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5 Tried & Tested Outerwear Trends for 2020

By Guest Contributor

29 Nov 2019

Before the winter months officially take over, we pulled data from Edited’s retail decision platform looking into women’s outerwear trends. We analyze what factors currently make up a successful outerwear assortment, including inspiration to take into the new year.

The Names

Rather than categorizing an item by the type of silhouette, retailers like J.Crew are marketing styles through personal names, like the Daphne coat. This strategy differentiates assortments across retailers, giving the garment a unique identity within that brand.

Retailers will continue to leverage this approach come 2020. It creates the opportunity for brand awareness and loyalty season-after-season, with customers acknowledging their favorite coat instead of another tweed topcoat that could be from any brand.

The Fabrics

It’s all about textures, regardless of shape. For the fluffy look, Jigsaw and Monsoon are pushing plush faux fur and teddy coats, while J.Crew have stuck with successful wool blended fabrics. It’s not only in retail as faux fur made an impact on the Spring 2020 runway shows too. A less dramatic texture, Ann Taylor advertised a sophisticated faux suede moto jacket, emphasizing the durability of this fabric.

With an increasingly conscious consumer, alternatives to animal products will soar - this is already playing out at retailers like Zara, which increased assortments of faux leather by 36 percent, YoY. However, with sustainability at the forefront of the apparel industry, alternative fabrics that mimic leather and fur without the high plastic content will grow in importance.

The Silhouettes

Raincoats are particularly popular at Chico’s increasing 250 percent YoY, while Talbots is offering four styles this year compared to none last year. Both Loft and Anthropologie highlighted the classic moto jacket in suede and faux leather. Puffer coats are up 10 percent YoY influenced by a spike in arrivals from Talbots and Phase Eight by 23 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

Outerwear trends from the Spring 2020 runway season will carry through to Fall 2020 collections as mass market retailers interpret their own version of these silhouettes. For example, Massimo Dutti has already adopted the leather trench coat, as seen at Junya Watanabe’s Spring 2020 collection.

With its continued presence on the runway and increased investment in retailers' assortments, the puffer jacket will remain an essential shape season-on-season.

The Colors

A staple color story across retailers, neutrals are favored color story for trenches and wool blended layering pieces for a classic look. In contrast, puffer coats are typically designed in bright and neon colorways - fitting for the streetwear vibe.

Drawing inspiration from Jennifer Lopez’ iconic green dress from the Spring 2020 Versace show, green will be next season’s color of choice. Expect to see green span a variety of shades including soft, earthy and jewel tones for textured styles and lime green for technical fits.

The Patterns

Animal prints continue to remain in favor. However, this year retailers like H&M broke away from the conventional leopard into cow print. Overall these patterns are often applied to textured fabrics like faux fur and teddy styles. Checks and plaids are typically saved for the blazer silhouettes with core colors including grey, black, white and brown.

Patterned outerwear made up16 percent of the total outerwear offering YoY, proving it’s a valuable design choice moving forward. A rise in diverse animal prints such as cow, zebra and jungle are growing recognition in retail and on the runway. Additionally, houndstooth will be the update to the classic check with forward-thinking retailers like Zara already pushing the heritage pattern.

This article was written for FashionUnited by Avery Faigen, 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: J. Crew webshop (l); Zara webshop (r)