The days are getting shorter and there’s a cold chill in the air – let the wardrobe shuffle begin! You know the Fall staples: satisfying sweaters, relaxed joggers, soft flannels, essential turtlenecks and now more than ever, just plain comfy pieces.
One word that might best describe the underlying 2020 consumer purchase behavior: Cozy. As the Covid-19 pandemic lingered, living in fashionable comfort and the accelerated shift away from brick-and-mortar to alternative buying channels reshaped the apparel landscape.
Retailers that dropped timely ‘cozy comfort’ assortments and presented customer experiences at the correct touchpoints found themselves in a sweet spot – on trend.
So, what looks different this Fall 2021?
The economic engine has re-started, a more discerning, multi-dimensional consumer has arrived, and a sense of fresh optimism has been woven into Fall Collections.
Expect to see lots of vibrant colors added to the standard neutral palette — breathing new life into a myriad of brands embracing corporate responsibility and sustainability.
Saturated shades in a rainbow of colors—from electric yellow, to cobalt blue, to hot pink! And floral patterns aren’t just for strutting on the spring runways anymore, as a wide range of rich moody colors are appearing in a variety feminine floral pattern.
- Check out Frances Valentine and find unique print mixing, color-blocking, and updated classics. The cable knit and fairisle are getting a lot of attention as well – modernizing an authentic, classic style with even more vibrant shades and differentiating textures.
- Stripes and Plaids are receiving strong positive feedback on social platforms and media chatter as well! Outerknown, Staud, Johnnie-O, and Evereve have dropped an enviable mix of color and pattern in their latest catalogs, seamlessly transitioning their collections from season to season. The Feeder Stripe has curated a profound new look too — showcasing both in knits & wovens as well as color mixing.
- Soft sustainable environmentally conscious cashmere bodes well for comfort; luxurious comfort that is from Naked Cashmere. An assortment of unconventional styles and silhouettes that can be worn together or on its own. Outerknown cashmere has been reimagined using recycled cashmere saving on natural resources.
- Traditional men’s inspired styles like the oversized button-down shirt, jacket, and trouser, loosely tailored, yet refined classics. AYR has this covered in their oversized Deep End Shirt, a best seller offered in solids and stripes.
- Classic Tees, Henley’s, Polo’s, Pullover knits are in the mix as well… (no surprise) — great on their own and functional as layering pieces, these classics drive revenue as retailers strive to continually re-invent and leverage brand equity. Public Rec reveals their ‘Go- Tee’ collection, Buck Mason markets ‘the best damn fit you have ever tried’ Cotton Tee shirts, American Giant remains authentic with an essential classic assortment, our partnerJohnnie-O brings you new & improved styles, while prAna expresses its ‘clothing for positive change’ with the ‘Cozy-Up’ and Foundation Tee collections.
- The latest jumpsuit silhouette at Outerknown is a winner – and the innovative, emerging retailer is taking the trend to the next level! A best seller and in high demand, the breathable organic cotton jumpsuit creates a buzz similar to their road-less-traveled Blanket Shirt.
- Denim is in ‘high-waist’ demand! The high waist straight leg, the dad jean, the low-rise baggy jean, and the high waist flare are all competing for in-store shelf space, online eyeballs and ultimately, consumer dollars. Two-tone color, patchwork & print are currently making a splash on the denim scene as well. Outerknown, prAna, and AYR‘s latest catalogs feature various washes, lengths and silhouettes at a variety of strategic, brand-positioning price points. AYR is going “crazy-comfy” with jeans like ‘The Pop’, the most comfortable jean “they can’t keep in stock” to ‘The Must’ high rise wide leg that is super flattering with a strong vibe.
- Outerwear collections have been curated in various styles and fabrications: fleece, sherpa, insulated down. Silhouettes found in full-zip, parkas, bombers, and vests – stylish and function using sustainable materials found in partners UpWest, Outerknown, Backcountry, and prAna.
- Accessories continue to carry a cozy comfort message as well. In Footwear, new offerings include a deluge of comfy loafers, luxury heels from brands like Mia Becar, knee-high boots, clogs, and indoor/outdoor slippers. And with a thicker, lug-sole platform bottom! Chunky & kitten heels are well received along with cozy fabrications like shearling – keeping “cozy” in the spotlight. Partners like Sam Edelman and Vionic are doing just that! And of course, the athleisure sneaker is here to stay, becoming a versatile wardrobe staple; wear it casual, dress and work attire.
- Handbags play into comfort (suede, shearling) and functionality with a mix of reinterpreted classics as well as its newest member: the Phone Bag.
- Home exhibits many of the same characteristics and trends. Comfort, Convenience, and Color… Vintage meets Eclectic Modern. Our spaces have become more functional and more personal. Warm natural textures, like Boucle and Sherpa bring cozy and an emotional connection of familiarity. St. Frank’s latest catalog features handmade artisan pieces from accent pillows to accessories; a way to invite warmth, color, and texture into your home and transform your space. Their Double-Sided Alpaca throw is a great addition to your living space.
- Finally, customers are increasingly seeking brands that resonate with their core beliefs, one that cares about corporate responsibility and sustainability. Brands like prAna, AYR, UpWest, Outerknown, Naked Cashmere, American Giant, Vionic, St.Frank have all stepped up to the challenge — intrinsically understanding the need to cultivate an authentic voice within the social fabric.
- Cozy, comfortable, versatile, sustainable, unique, compelling. A more well-informed consumer is demanding these traits be built into unique, expressive assortments that match their values. Thoughtful brands are delivering within consistent-messaged omni-channel touchpoints and consumers are shopping across all platforms within that ecosystem.