Using data from Stitch Fix sales, the online personalized-shopping platform recently released its inaugural Style Forecast report. | Photo courtesy of Stitch Fix
As of Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Stitch Fix, a leading online personalized-shopping company, has released its inaugural Style Forecast report, which reveals key trends for 2022 including a category called “Business Comfort” as the new workwear.
Style Forecast uses data from Stitch Fix sales as well as shopping insights from 4.2 million clients and thousands of Stitch Fix stylists, consumer surveys and industry data to predict what is going to be trending in the next year. The comprehensive report predicts growth in versatile athleisure styles, bold colors and patterns, and the resurgence of categories like jeans, heels and dresses. The report also mentions some of the issues shoppers have with traditional online shopping, such as scrolling through pages to find what they’re looking for to not truly knowing how an item will fit.
“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 these 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, chief executive officer of Stitch Fix. “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.”
According to Style Forecast, 67 percent of consumers plan to replace one-third of their wardrobes, while 33 percent plan to replace at least half. Nearly four out of five Millennials are likely to refresh their entire wardrobe, mainly due to style preferences changing due to the pandemic, with 58 percent of Stitch Fix’s women clients and 53 percent of men saying their looks changed and expect those changes to continue in the near future.
The new category Business Comfort shows how workwear has changed to reflect how the work environment has changed during the pandemic. With the rise of working from home, many people have opted to ditch the business clothes and turn toward comfort. The aptly named category features style and comfort options that provide a more sophisticated look than business casual and is exemplified in the rise of oversized blazers, elastic-waist bottoms, sweater dresses and “Knoven”—knit and woven—tops.
Nearly one-third of consumers said they would rather take a 10 percent pay cut than have to dress up for work every day, and nearly four out of five Americans have sworn off some business clothes for good. Over half of Boomers said they would never wear a business suit again.
While workwear has become more about comfort, 55 percent of consumers said they are excited to get dressed up to go out again, with nearly half planning to replace their festive clothes. Stitch Fix saw sales in its special-occasion category increase 50 percent year over year, showing that people are attending events again.
Jeans saw a 30 percent increase in sales on the platform year over year, with women’s wide-leg sales increasing 70 percent, and, after being negatively talked about on TikTok, the growth rate of skinny jeans declined in the same time frame. Stitch Fix clients are increasingly using social media and influencers for style guidance, with client-request notes increasing 75 percent year over year.
Athleisure remained the fastest-growing category on the platform as the popularity of sports like golf and tennis and other socially distanced outdoor activities have seen the rise in bike shorts, hiking shorts, performance polos and skorts.
Consumers are increasingly looking for more-personalized shopping experiences that align with their values and provide good products. A majority of consumers said they would like a better way to find clothes that fit them and their lifestyles when shopping online so they can avoid traditional online shopping problems. Stitch Fix also reported a 22 percent increase in client requests for sustainable and organic materials since 2020, indicating consumers are more aware of and prioritizing social and environmental impact when making purchases.