The continuing trend for working from home is contributing to Britons opting for “comfort” when it comes to workwear, according to research by fashion data specialist True Fit.
It points to uplifts in sales of “casual wear” for work on the back of “hybrid” working, where people still work from home some days of the week despite the current relaxation of Covid restrictions.
The Fashion Genome data, based on online clothes shopping, reveals that sales of casual menswear and womenswear for work is up 180% and 140% respectively in September.
However, as many people started to return to offices at the end of the summer, demand for more formal footwear such as boots has consistently outpaced trainers since July and represented 50% more purchases compared to trainers in September.
The “comfort” trend in workwear follows a survey commissioned by The Office Group earlier this year that found that only 12% of British consumers wanted to completely return to the traditional formal “nine to five” workwear look.
Despite the reopening of high-street retailers since lockdown, True Fit’s Fashion Genome research found that online apparel sales were up 15% year on year in September, and up eight per cent compared to August.
Even though online clothes shopping soared last year due to lockdown, online sales remain six per cent higher in 2021 compared to 2020, indicating a sustained demand for e-commerce and a long-term shift in the behaviour of increasingly digitally-first consumers.
Sarah Curran-Usher, managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at True Fit, said: “The sustained and continued upward growth in demand for online fashion shows shoppers are now truly digital-first.
“Even the most devout bricks-and-mortar fashion shoppers have shifted and stayed online, while those who were already digitally native have had those behaviours further reinforced and entrenched.”