Stitch Fix launches inaugural 'Style Forecast'
San Francisco-based online styling service Stitch Fix released on Wednesday its inaugural 'Style Forecast' revealing key trends for 2022, as well as shopping preferences that have been largely influenced by the pandemic.
The report, which leverages data collected from Stitch Fix's 4.2 million clients and thousands of stylists as well as its merchandising team, includes 9 notable findings into what to expect from consumers in the next year.
"From the very beginning, Stitch Fix has brought together advanced data science and a human touch to transform the way people find the clothes that help them look and feel their best. From this data, we also gather insights into broader style trends in the market and what's motivating these trends — which has been particularly important over the last two years to navigate changing consumer preferences in an uncertain time,” said Elizabeth Spaulding, CEO, Stitch Fix.
In particular, the results reveal the pandemic's influence on evolving wardrobes. Fifty-eight percent of Stitch Fix women's clients and 53 percent of its men's said their look changed during the pandemic.
As part of their updated looks, two-thirds of consumers said they plan to replace one-third of their wardrobe, with 33 percent planning to replace at least half, while nearly 4 in 5 millennials are likely to refresh their wardrobe.
The pandemic has also birthed a new product category, according to results. 'Business comfort' has emerged and it’s more sophisticated than the former 'casual' classification. It includes oversized stretch blazers, elastic-waist bottoms, sweater dresses and new 'Knoven' tops (knit + woven material).
The category emerges as nearly one-third of consumers say they would rather take a 10 percent pay cut than dress up for work every day. Likewise, nearly 4 in 5 Americans, 77 percent, have sworn off at least some business clothes for good and 51 percent of Boomers say they will never wear a business suit again.
While workwear is all about comfort, 55 percent of consumers said they are excited to get dressed up to go out, with 44 percent actively planning to replace their going-out clothes. Still, athleisure remains Stitch Fix's fastest-growing category, while performance-driven active sales are also growing. For women, everyday dresses are equally thriving. Some of the top styles include maxi dresses, dresses in natural fabrics like linen, poplin and gauze; and bright, optimistic colors and prints.
Meanwhile, client requests for sustainable and organic materials increased 22 percent since 2020, indicating that consumers are increasingly prioritizing environmental values when shopping.
As consumers change what they are shopping for, they are also open to changing how they shop for them. The vast majority — 81 percent — of consumers say they would like a better way to find clothes that fit them and their lifestyle.
"We hope the Style Forecast offers fashion perspective beyond the runway trends to help people and our brand partners better understand what's trending in everyday life as we head into the new year and embrace a 'new normal' together,” added Spaulding.
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