As the graph shows, there is a significant disparity in brand assortments between the UK and the US, with the latter experiencing a stronger move towards casual styles, than the UK.
Within leading brands’ (such as Hugo Boss and Paul Smith) assortments, suit sets have declined by 22% in the US and by 8% in the UK compared to 2021, with numerous brands designing a "suit reboot" by employing flexible fabric, often used for athleisure.
Ties, however, were substantially reduced in both the United States (by 34%), and the United Kingdom (by 36%), with many retailers making more room for knitwear (which has been deemed to be the new tie), in reaction to the move towards making workplace attire more casual.
The trend of hybrid dressing is resulting in an increased demand for sneakers, despite the end of the “lockdown era”. As it can be seen from the graph, there has been an increase of sneakers within leading brand assortments, particularly in the United States, where their assortment share increased by 10%.
On the other hand, formal shoes have seen a significant decrease, with a prominent gap between the two countries. The assortment share for formal footwear fell by 22% in the UK and by 46% in the US.
Making Workplace Attire Casual
Consumer’s wardrobes are adapting to the new nine-to-five rhythm as the world heads back to the office, without compromising on the comfort of loungewear. Sharp and tailored garments are now being balanced with softer lines and fabrics, for a sophisticated yet casual style.
Leading brands are leveraging the shift towards casual workplace dressing by creating products with new fabric alternatives and hybrid styles. Hugo Boss: known for its formal attire is now led by casual wear, as the brand has decreased its suit assortment by 28% compared to 2021. Moreover, they are tapping into the suit “reboot” as they have teamed up with Russell Athletic to create a collection of jersey fabric suits.