In its first style forecast report, Stitch Fix, an online personal stylist site, has released its predictions for style and shopping trends in 2022. It examines consumers’ changing shopping habits and predicts the return of jeans. The platform also highlighted frustrations of consumers with traditional online shopping such as the time it takes to browse and the fit.

The report’s data comes from Stitch Fix’s vast network of stylists, clients, and customer surveys. Additionally, industry data is compiled by Stitch Fix’s data science teams. Style feedback and purchase information are also included.

Elizabeth Spaulding, CEO of Stitch Fix, said that the Style Forecast will offer a fashion perspective beyond runway trends. It will help both people and brands better understand the current fashion trends as we enter the new year.

The Big Wardrobe Clearout and the Rise of Business Comfort

The report found that 67 percent of US-based customers plan to replace one-third of their wardrobes, and 33 percent intend on replacing at least half. Nearly four out of five millennials stated that they plan to update their wardrobe over the next year.

Respondees revealed that more than half (male and female) of respondents said that their personal style has changed since the pandemic. This figure is supported by the rise in lifestyle-specific clothing styles that have emerged in this period. According to the report, 77% of respondents said they have stopped wearing business clothes and nearly half want to ditch business suits. Stitch Fix added a new category, “Business Comfort,” to its website. This is a trend that prioritizes comfort over formality. This look is evident in the popularity of sweater dresses and elastic-waist pants.

Athleisure, which is still the fastest-growing platform category, has seen the rise of active sales driven by performance. Trends like skorts and bike shorts have been influenced by the popularity of golf, tennis and hiking.

Nights out and jeans are back

According to Stitch Fix’s report, Jeans and dresses are again thriving. The two-legged denim staple saw a 30% increase year over year (YOY). Wide-leg jeans began to grow while skinny jeans were hampered by Gen Z TikTok who declared that the style was “over”. The platform also saw a rise in dresses, which helped the platform increase its inventory by 40% to meet the demand. Maxi dresses, in natural fabrics like linen and bright, optimistic colors, topped the charts.

Many customers are excited about the return of special occasions and nights out as lockdowns ease. The report found that more than half of respondents were eager to dress up for a night out. Gen Z was particularly keen to upgrade their special occasion wardrobe. These figures were supported by Stitch Fix’s 50% YOY growth in the category and the increase in occasion footwear.

group of people tossing wine glass

Personalised shopping

A significant 81 percent of respondents stated that they would like to find clothing that fits them well and suits their lifestyle. However, many also expressed frustration with the typical online shopping experience. Many of their reasons stemmed from hours spent scrolling through the internet trying to find the right fit for them.

Stitch Fix also saw a 22 percent increase in requests for organic and sustainable materials from clients. This highlights the importance of shopping with eco-friendly products.

The report concluded that “The Style Forecast” focuses on the potential for retailers to deliver what matters most to consumers right now, such as matching their clothes to their needs, aligning their purchases with their values, and offering expert guidance – without overwhelming them.

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