words Alexa Wang
Today’s shopper is prioritising one thing over anything else these days—comfort. And when something that is comfortable is also trendy, fashion-conscious shoppers get a double whammy. According to reports from the Guardian, we Brits are working harder than ever before.
Long, hard, weeks at work are made marginally better through comfortable clothing that we can relax in, which is resonating with us when we’re working from home.
Even before the majority of us were working from home, there was an increased demand for loungewear. An increase in flexible working hours and a growing freelance workforce helped drive this demand. The global loungewear market is forecasted to grow nine per cent—$19.5bn—from 2020 to 2024, with the year-on-year growth rate predicted at 7.6 per cent at the end of 2024. There have been a number of brands that have been launched with this in mind, with athleticwear designed to be exercised and relaxed in.
With loungewear soaring in popularity, it begs the question—which loungewear takes the crown?
Comfort starts with shoes
Just like we need to keep our feet warm to avoid being cold, our feet must be comfortable so we are content holistically. Comfort starts with our feet and shoes. Imagine walking barefoot over pebbles or venturing around in eight-inch stilettos all day. You’d be incredibly sore and restless. Comfortable, flat shoes are taking reign at the moment, with our research finding that trainers and slides have soared in popularity.
Google Trend data showed that searches for “how to wear trainers with dresses” and “best shoes to wear around the house” increased 600% and 800%, respectively, over a year, with comfort taking priority for today’s fashion. Interest in slides increased 19.7% over a five-year period, showing a steady but consistent increase year-on-year.
Market research agency Mintel found that women in the UK are choosing to buy trainers rather than heels, with 37% investing in trainers and 33% opting for high heels. With luxury brands cashing in on this lucrative market, finding comfort that is stylish has never been easier.
We explored Google data to find out what people are searching for the most when it comes to styling loungewear. We looked at the average monthly searches and how much these have increased from July 2019 to July 2020.
According to the data, “two-piece lounge sets” had 4,314 monthly searches, up 650% from the year before. This was followed closely by “women’s loungewear set” with 3,929 monthly searches up 494%, and “ribbed loungewear set” with 3,700 searches up 60%.
Popular celebrities who are influential of the fashion industry, such as Gigi Hadid and Kim Kardashian-West, are helping drive high fashion loungewear adoption. Kim Kardashian-West recently released her own SKIMS brand of loungewear and underwear in the UK. Dubbed the ‘Netflix and Chill’ generation, many younger people are less about fear of missing out and more about the joy of missing out. This follows conversations around mental health and self-confessed introverts choosing to stay in as a form of self-care.
With the rise of androgynous identities in fashion, unisex clothing and gender fluidity is rising. The relaxed shapes of loungewear aligns with the gender-neutral movement.
We’re not surprised to see the rising popularity of trainers and flat shoes with casual fashion taking the world by storm. There is less need for suits and high heels and more for flat shoes and snuggly loungewear. Which do you prefer?