The Loungewear Industry Post-Pandemic

loungewear covid

COVID’s impact on the fashion industry

COVID-19 had an astronomical impact on the fashion industry. With the nationwide lockdowns creating a huge shift in consumer demand, and fashion retailers being forced to close their doors, it was essential for brands to alter their approach if they wanted to survive. The importance of understanding consumer needs and working this into a cohesive digital marketing strategy became more apparent than ever before.

Unsurprisingly, loungewear was one of the very few apparel categories that benefitted from the pandemic. As Nathaniel Popper stated in a New York Times e-commerce report: “It [was] hard to sell clothes, other than leggings and sweatpants.”

Home workouts, living-room yoga and no more office-working meant that loungewear became all-day wear. We saw a major shift in the fashion industry that many brands were able to capitalise on.

A Shift in Consumer Demand

This trend emerged when the first lockdown was announced on 16th March 2020. Search volume for loungewear sets hugely increased, as consumers began to prioritise comfortable fits to wear at home.

 

On the contrary, with the nightlife industry at a complete halt, demand for party dresses fell at an alarming rate. (You can read more about this and how brands combatted the decline in our blog post here)

 

A silver-lining for many brands

Boohoo was one of the many brands that were able to capitalise on this. By tailoring their marketing to match its audience’s newfound need for inexpensive loungewear sets, Boohoo’s sales climbed by 41% to £1.7bn, up from £1.2bn the year before.

Rather than the usual focus on occasionwear, their Instagram feed was largely centred around the idea of ‘at-home glam’ and romanticising day-to-day lockdown tasks, such as baking, or working out from your living room.

 

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Loungewear and athleisure brands like Adanola also, unsurprisingly, saw a huge benefit from the pandemic, marketing their ‘activewear made for comfort’ as the perfect addition to a lockdown wardrobe. But with the return of office working, nights out, and Boris’ recent announcement of scrapping almost all COVID restrictions, how are these brands tailoring their approach to keep up the momentum post-lockdown?

Adanola – Dressing up loungewear

Many loungewear brands like Adanola have tapped into the trend of dressing up athleisure sets with blazers post-lockdown.

 

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Taking inspiration from streetwear style icons like Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin, Adanola has shared a lot of UGC and lifestyle content that illustrates to consumers just how versatile their products are.

The return of social activities doesn’t mean you have to give up on the comfort of leggings; their activewear sets can easily be dressed up with a smart jacket and micro handbag.

Bo and Tee – Gym-Based Content

Launched during the height of COVID-19, Bo and Tee is the ‘child’ of occasionwear giant, Oh Polly. They saw huge success with their first launch, selling out in just 12 hours. 

Loyal Oh Polly consumers wanted comfortable leggings and loungewear, rather than their usual party dresses, which fuelled Bo and Tee’s success.

However, the brand has shifted its approach on social media post-lockdown from home-based lifestyle content to gym-based professional photoshoots.

 

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We’ve also seen them grow their influencer marketing, as they collaborate with more fitness influencers than ever before. In understanding consumer needs, and tailoring their social media strategy to suit, Bo and Tee are able to drive sales and keep up the momentum gained during lockdown.

Boohoo – Moving with the times

Boohoo appear to have moved effortlessly with the times, shifting their focus from comfortable loungewear back to celebrity-inspired occasion-wear.

 

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Boohoo has been a great example of how tailoring your strategy to meet your target market’s demands can result in success.

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Read more interesting case studies on our blog page.