An Analysis of Lockdown Fashion

It’s always best to dress for the occasion. Attending a wedding? Wear a dress or a suit. Going to the office? A nice button-down does the job. Joining a Zoom meeting from the couch? Well… that’s where things get a bit tricky. Typical fashion rules get thrown out the window. A satin blouse paired with oversized sweatpants is perfectly acceptable — though at Shane Co., we at least suggest a nice set of earrings to balance out the sweatpants.

In this shoulder-up world, clothes have taken on an entirely different role. A complete, cohesive outfit is no longer a necessary component of a good first impression. There’s no need to stress over whether that top matches those bottoms, or which pair of shoes give off the right vibe. Rather, clothes are primarily for comfort. For so many of us lucky enough to work from home, as long as our upper bodies in that small square on the screen look put-together, it doesn’t matter that we’re still in the same pajama bottoms from the night before.

With this in mind, we at Shane Co. began to wonder: What will fashion look like when we finally resume our pre-pandemic routines?

We surveyed 1,843 Americans to find out how over a year in some form of COVID-19 lockdown affected personal outfit and jewelry choices, and what we can expect when we re-enter a post-lockdown world. Read on to see what we found!

The Impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown on Retail Clothing Businesses

Infographic depicting the impact of COVID on retail clothing businesses

It looks like many of us used the pandemic to refresh our closets. Retail clothing busIt looks like many of us used the pandemic to refresh our closets. Retail clothing businesses have seen a whopping 115.41% increase in sales since March 2020, even though 84.2% of people have dressed more casually while spending more time at home during lockdown. And, although nearly 34% of people have not purchased any new clothing or jewelry during the COVID-19 lockdown in the U.S., this means the other 66% of us did some serious retail therapy in 2020!

Infographic showing statistics on how style is changing after lockdown

We’re in the midst of a fashion revolution. TikTok tells us that side parts and skinny jeans are out, pushed aside by middle parts and mom jeans, but it turns out that over a year of lockdown has been a catalyst for other kinds of fashion trends. In fact, 37.3% feel that their personal style has changed due to the pandemic, and over 20% of people will not return to how they dressed before the pandemic. But what exactly does that shift look like? 

Turns out, the hours spent chatting with others through a screen have taken a toll on personal fashion choices. More than half of people, 61.3%, will opt for comfortable clothes more regularly post-lockdown. Not only that, but nearly 40% have lowered their standards of what’s “acceptable” to wear since lockdown began. It seems safe to say that sweatpants and yoga pants will stick around for a little while longer — and we aren’t complaining about that!

Infographic depicting changing fashion trends during and after lockdown

If you didn’t spend your time at home staying up to date with the latest on-trend styles, you’re not alone. More than 70% of people did not keep up with fashion trends during lockdown. Despite this, a majority of people, 52%, think that clothes will play an important role in their confidence when returning to social gatherings, and 56.4% plan to buy new clothes specifically for going out post-lockdown. One thing is for certain, though: We’ll likely see less denim out and about, as 32.3% of people have just about sworn off jeans post-lockdown.

Infographic of how shopping habits have changed during lockdown

The pandemic forced most industries and communities to go virtual, and shopping habits have been no exception. Whether for convenience or personal safety, online shopping is here to stay. Over 60% of people report that they will purchase clothing online more post-lockdown. Moreover, nearly 33% have purchased clothing seen on social media during the last year of lockdown. For better or worse, without the internet, people would still be shopping old-school — in an actual store — and many would be without fashion inspiration from online influencers. 

Here’s an unexpected twist: An exciting number of people plan to be bold with their outfit choices post-lockdown. More than 35% overall expect to get more experimental with their wardrobe, and over half (54.4%) of Gen Z plans on the same. We can’t wait to see what crazy choices this entails: Maybe we’ll emerge from the pandemic looking like residents of the Capitol in “The Hunger Games”!

Fashion styles, trends, and habits have all changed as a result of the last year of lockdown. But, one thing is certain: Shane Co.’s timeless jewelry will complement whatever outfit choices you make going into the post-lockdown world.

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