Is loungewear here to stay ?

Decoding leading brands' loungewear assortments 

Key takeaways

  • Loungewear collections have experienced significant growth between 2020 and 2021, with comfort gaining staying power within the industry.
  • Price increases have hit the loungewear category, as leading brands in Europe and the United States are showcasing rising prices.
  • Occasion wear is more prominent within the European market than in the United States.
Loungewear Retviews Article Decoding Strategies

The longstanding global pandemic has resulted in the emergence of countless loungewear and athleisure collections across the fashion industry. Nearly two years in, retailers are faced with the considerably important question of whether loungewear is here to stay for the long haul? As COVID cases are surging and safety measures are still in place worldwide with new variants creeping up; finding the right balance between occasion wear and loungewear in collections is essential for fashion brands. However, brands can stay ahead of the curve, identify the ideal mix between loungewear and occasion wear in their collections, and nail the right pricing strategy in the current industry shift with Retviews real-time data.

Dive into the following analysis, created using Retviews, the automated benchmarking solution that helps fashion brands and retailers monitor competitors, strengthen their strategies, and maximize margins with real-time data.

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The power of comfort 

The recent festive season saw a lot of sequins, shades of silver and red, and fun holiday party looks gaining traction in leading brands’ collections, as showcased by Retviews’  data. However, the rise of new variants and new measures put a damper on the season’s festivities and shifted people back to working from home. Although there is a large interest in dressing up emerging, loungewear has maintained staying power within apparel collections. How did it shape up compared to 2020’s prominence?

Retviews Data Loungewear Assortment New Arrivals 2020 vs. 2021

Retviews data indicates that loungewear was significantly more prominent in 2021 than it was in 2020, with a 12% increase within the European market’s leading brands’ new arrivals. The share of loungewear within leading mass market retailers’ such as ZARA and Uniqlo’s assortments, grew from 5,8% to 6,5% throughout the past year. Consumers have grown accustomed to the familiarity of comfortable clothing, and its prominence only grew stronger


Make room for occasion wear

Brands enhanced their loungewear focus in 2021, taking advantage of the increased value of comfort in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Taking a closer look at the exact timeline of this year’s new loungewear arrivals; there is an evident strong growth following the summer months, with a peak during the month of September.

Retviews Data Loungewear 2021 New Arrivals Timeline

There is however a slowdown in leading brands’ loungewear offer at the end of the year - with the coinciding desire for dressier and sexier looks. Although still prominent, loungewear is expected to make more room for occasion wear in 2022 - as shoppers are once again eager to dress up for social occasions. Leading brands are using Retviews’ real-time data to nail the balance between the two categories and stay on top of the industry shift in 2022.


A price shift - even in loungewear 

With the precarity of the supply chain, the fashion industry is experiencing an evident shift. As a result, price increases have been hitting the fashion industry, and loungewear is no different. Retviews gives brands an in-depth look into how prices have changed, and exactly which apparel categories are experiencing the strongest increase, allowing them to optimize their own pricing strategies in real-time.

Retviews Data Loungewear Price Increase EU US market Fall Winter Season

Both the European and United States market have displayed a clear price hike in the loungewear category, throughout the 2021 fall and winter season ranging from September to December. Within leading mass market brands in the European and United States markets, average prices for loungewear have showcased a similar rate of increase - standing at 3% and 4%, respectively.


Finding a balance

When positioning your brand in different geographical markets, getting the right collection, and prioritizing the right categories is crucial. In the case of the European and United States market, the difference is clear with regards to loungewear.

Retviews Data Analysis Assortment Mix Lounge vs. Occasion Wear 2021

As indicated by Retviews data, loungewear is clearly more prominent within the United States market, as the category even surpassed its occasion wear assortment in 2021. Casual styles and practicality will not completely fall out, as comfort will continue to be a prominent purchase driver in 2022.  The US market is among those expected to boost “casualization in the workplace”, as indicated by Business of Fashion x McKinsey’s State of Fashion.


Navigating loungewear in 2022

Loungewear is here to stay - yes, especially considering the volatility of the global pandemic, but so is the desire for dressing up, as shoppers are itching to get back to social events.  2022 will definitely showcase the return of occasion wear, but don’t retire your loungewear collection just yet. Brands need to consider their presence in both segments and get ahead of the desire for vibrancy and fun in apparel, whilst taking into account the power of comfort.

Amid an industry-wide shift, find out how Retviews, the automated benchmarking solution, can help your brand stay ahead of competitors with the right product mix, optimize your pricing strategy and maximize margins.

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