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For the love of loungewear: Developments and newcomers during lockdown

By Nora Veerman

16 Nov 2020


It was already predicted early in the spring: loungewear would be the biggest trend for 2020. That forecast seems to have come true. Eight months after the onset of the pandemic, loungewear is still a dominant trend. Existing brands with a loungewear range benefited fully from the constant home working situation in the past year. October saw the launch of multiple new loungewear brands and lines, and this week two more major luxury labels entered the loungewear market: American Theory and French Karl Lagerfeld. FashionUnited takes a look back at the growing love for loungewear and discusses key newcomers to the field.

De loungewear-edit van het Deense merk Selected, april 2020. Foto: Selected

The need for comfort

Make no mistake: the craving for loungewear also existed before the start of the corona crisis. Trend analyzes from the fall of 2019 and early winter of 2020 already showed an increasing focus on more comfortable clothing for home and work. “No one buys tailored suits anymore,” said trend watcher David Shah in October 2019. “We live in a very informal society. Athleisure is the new lifestyle.”

Following the entry into lockdown around the world, the demand for home clothing exploded. Partly for this reason, Nike, the top seller of sneakers and sweaters, shot up in April 2020 in the Lyst Index , the list of most popular brands. Research firm Edited published an analysis at the end of March that showed the growing relevance of loungewear. The agency advised retailers to put that category in the spotlight. Also Johannes Altmann, owner and CEO of consulting Shoplupe, advised retailers in April to provide more loungewear.

Creating completely new loungewear collections was not possible in such a short period of time - especially given the obstacles in international supply chains - but fashion brands were actively crafting loungewear edits. 'Comfort' and 'home' were undoubtedly the most common marketing terms of the spring. InWear presented a 'Homewear-Homage', Selected made the campaign 'Our Way of Comfort'.

De ‘freewear’ van Lordsxlilies. Foto’s: Lordsxlilies

From bed to desk chair and back: loungewear brand Lordsxlilies

In the summer, some could go back to work in the office and for a while there was the impression that it could stay that way - but September proved otherwise. With the increase in infection rates, it became clear that working from home would still be the norm in the autumn.

Loungewear was still a dominant fall trend in September, FashionUnited reported at the time. A definitive transformation began to emerge in workwear : “In a shift to a home-stay style, brands need to update their classic suits and formal workwear with the more casual features of loungewear, comfortable clothing and professional-yet-relaxed outfits,” wrote Don-Alvin Adegeest. At the end of October, The Guardian reported that a national shortage of loungewear was imminent in Britain.

The first new loungewear brands were announced. In Belgium, the Lordsxlilies label debuted on October 7 with 'freewear', 'soft, comfortable clothing for romantic women', according to the press release. The first collection included long teddy coats and floral pajama suits. "You can easily wear this romantic 'freewear' from your bedroom to the supermarket, without any strange looks." according to the brand.

De ‘Softwear’ van Ganni. Foto’s: Ganni

New loungewear lines: Ganni, Karl Lagerfeld, Zara and Theory

Existing fashion brands have also recently stepped into the gaping loungewear hole. On October 9, Ganni presented the 'Software' line: a new, recurring 'low-impact loungewear line' for women made from recycled fabrics. On October 19th, the French luxury brand Karl Lagerfeld launched its own lounge range. For women, the brand offered cashmere scarves, cardigans, sleeping masks, sweaters with logos for men. Today it was announced that Karl Lagerfeld will also be getting a line of underwear, with sporty underpants with an elastic logo band à la Calvin Klein, as well as soft pajamas and lace camisoles.

On October 21, Zara launched a lingerie line containing not only comfortable underwear, but also wide trousers and cuddly knitted shorts and cardigans. Yesterday the American Theory presented its Luxe Lounge line, with soft and business separates, completely made of silk jersey. "It's a luxury approach to loungewear," Siddharta Shukla, Chief Brand Officer at Theory, told WWD. "It is a range that really responds to the current time." We are waiting for the following brands to follow their example.

This aticle was originally published on FashionUnited.NL, translated and edited to English

Homepage image: Ganni