You can learn a lot about human behavior and tendencies while on an airplane, especially when you’ve packed on enough miles to circle the globe more than a handful of times. I’m constantly traveling, but people’s style of dress never ceases to capture my attention. Time after time, I encounter more passengers that lead me to wonder if they even bothered getting dressed in the first place.
This phenomenon is not limited to airplane travel, but it’s an indication that people are dressing more casual these days. While sweatpants and pajamas alone aren’t everywhere, activewear certainly is, manifesting itself in the form of streetwear and workwear. Women, for example, are silently declaring that dressing up a pair of yoga pants with a blazer and a couple accessories is a sleek, creative outfit for the office.
We recently asked 1,223 NPD panelists if they would say they’re dressing in a more casual fashion, as causal, or in a less casual fashion during the past two years as compared to the prior two years, and here’s what they had to say*:
On a regional level, the study also found that the percentage of panelists identifying themselves as dressing more casual was just 10 percent higher in the South and West than the Northeast and Central regions.* This trend, therefore, is not just a warm weather or coastal fad, but a steadfast national trend happening among men and women.
With the casual clothing trend migrating into the social and professional space, this is an opportunity for retailers to not only ensure that it’s advancing in the proper direction, but to connect with consumers by educating them on how to utilize casual for dressing for success.