Posted on January 30
According to a November 2021 consumer survey by CivicScience of 4,200 Americans, three-quarters of respondents said their wardrobe contains many items of clothing they will never wear again. Only 15% want to keep their wardrobe as it is. Is this normal?
“I’m not surprised. We have changed in two years. Our view of ourselves and society has changed and our clothes should reflect what we have become,” says stylist Louise Labrecque, author of Your clothes speak†
For many people, the pandemic has also caused physical changes. “People don’t fit in their clothes anymore. This is what I see with my clients, many people have gained weight, others have lost it or changed jobs,” analyzes Marie-Claude Pelletier, president of the styling agency Les Effrontés.
Change of materials
People now focus on comfort while continuing to worry about their appearance. We wear flowing, soft and unstructured materials. “All women (including men) want to look casual chic. A professional look, yes, but comfortable. Women no longer want to be skimpy in a suit or a straight skirt, I see a direct link with the relationship with their new body,” says Marie-Claude Pelletier.
Léa Carle-Bachand, sales consultant at Belle+Rebelle, a store specializing in Quebec designers, says she received a large quantity of cotton swabs last fall. “We are really looking for comfort, there is a difference with the collections from two years ago. loungewear [lounge wear] are successful, but the cuts are more feminine, more elegant. We have many tunic dresses and the fabrics are very soft like bamboo rayon which is very comfortable to wear. †
Designer Melissa Nepton dropped coats from her collections, which were among her bestsellers before the pandemic. “We’ve revised our philosophy and moved to comfort. Yet we always dress the same customer,” she says. “Women’s look has changed, the wardrobe is more relaxed than structured. We want to be beautiful and comfortable. For example, we’re going to wear a loose dress that makes us look good in Zoom, but which will also be practical for taking care of young children or running errands. It can be worn in all conditions from morning to night. †
Clothing is less segmented, says Louise Labrecque. “We will wear them for work (teleworking) as well as for evenings and weekends. Everything gets mixed up. †
Indeed, the line between the different spheres of our lives is becoming thinner and thinner and companies were reviewing their dress codes even before the pandemic. “A lot of them ask me to give presentations on new dress codes to find out what’s appropriate and what’s not. It all depends on the environment you work in. A well-groomed image is important in business, finance and law, for both men and women,” explains Marie-Claude Pelletier.
Stylist Louise Labrecque notes that while casual style is ubiquitous, many people have had enough of too “loose” clothes. “We want to make an effort, men and women, because it is good for morale, and above all we want to wear color, such as blue, mauve, pink. When we look at the screen in video conferences, the color comes across better than beige. †
An opinion shared by Marie-Claude Pelletier. She thinks the floppy or pajama look is depressing in the long run. “Walking in front of the mirror with your blouse and your pajama bottoms is not good for your self-confidence, even if you live alone. †
She understands that people want to change their wardrobe, because very often there is only gray, black and white. “We have become very aware of our image as we spend much of the day looking at each other in video conference! We judge our hair, our skin tone, and many have said to themselves, “I’m tired of looking at myself, I need to look better.” And that is mainly due to color. †
More than ever, we want to show off on screen. “When you feel good, you gain self-confidence and you treat each other differently. We often think that clothing is superficial. This is incorrect, as there is a real impact on self-confidence, even with telecommuting. †