Lockdown has fast-tracked this fabric into mainstream territory. Available in various options, its cozy and technical qualities give it real staying power in the market. We dissect key learnings from 2020 to help plan its move into next year.
Pricing Is Now Accessible
No longer just a fabric used in the outdoor market, mass retailers like boohooMAN and Zara are now investing. Even more technical fabrics like Polartec®, traditionally seen at Patagonia and The North Face, are noted at the likes of J.Crew. This has driven the average price down creating a more competitive and trend-driven market for fleece.
It’s essential for retailers to refresh its assortment next year with options that appeal to its customer and their pricing expectations. The best way to control costs is with the type of fleece offered. Uniqlo chooses to stock varied qualities with pricing to match, while boohooMAN kept costs low with 100 percent polyester. Pricing can still be accessible at the higher end if it’s adequately justified and promoted.
The two graphs show how this trend can work all year-round.
Trends to buy into: 1. Micro fleece tops
Soft and lightweight, use it to update the half-zip top and turtleneck sweatshirt for basic and lounge edits.
2. Shirt jacket
A comfort-focused alternative to denim and canvas, use utility detailing like paneling and pocket details to keep it modern.
3. Fleece hoody
With sports brands like adidas and Nike already updating the silhouette with fleece this year, 2021 will see the trend skyrocket.
4. Reversible jacket
A great option to transition easily from indoors to outdoors, this versatility will allow for higher pricing.
A Gorpcore & Loungewear Essential
How to build the Gorpcore story. Stick to traditional silhouettes and add technical aspects with detailing. Double-ended zips on jackets, patch and concealed pockets, special linings and stitching methods that reduce bulk. Promote fleece’s warm, lightweight and breathable properties - perfect for outdoor adventures. Pair with utility pieces like cargo trousers and shorts to complete the look.
How to build the loungewear story
Fluffy fleece has already infiltrated lounge edits, especially for jackets. Utilize the fabric on hoodies and sweatshirts and even co-ords for a cozy upgrade from jersey. Lighter weight fleece options will work for a more refined at-home story - see micro fleece trend above. Highlight its ultra-soft handle and easy-care properties in customer communications.
This article was written and for FashionUnited by By Tara Drury, Retail Analyst at Edited. Edited is the leader and industry-standard for real-time retail analytics, where the software leverages artificial intelligence to track and reveal insights on competitor product ranges, pricing, discounting and trends across the global retail landscape. The software is used by buyers, planners and trading teams to generate a huge competitive advantage.
Images courtesy of Uniqlo.