A less-than-merry Christmas is on the horizon as the cost of living crisis and decade-high inflation sets to dampen customers' festive spirit.
According to NRF, holiday sales are expected to grow between 6% to 8%, a departure from last year's record 13.5% increase.To help your business succeed during this challenging period, our Analyst team has rounded up the top trends retailers have backed. Call it a sanity checker for your holiday assortments so you know what should be front and center for Christmas campaigns.
Read on for the 12 festive trends shaping menswear, womenswear, childrenswear and homeware, and reach out for a free demo to see our data in action.
Menswear Festive Trends
1. Winter-Themed Sweaters
Novelty sweaters made up the highest assortment within tops, growing from just 19 new options in 2021 to 99 this year. Penguins are the favored character, with retailers landing their own designs versus licensing, which saw minimal investment. Other wintery motifs including snowmen and snowflakes were noted at Marks & Spencer and boohooMAN.
2. Fair Isle
A smarter alternative for the holiday season, new Fair Isle options grew 144% YoY. Its appeal offers consumers an investment piece with longevity outside of Christmas versus novelty holiday-specific products, given that consumers will be watching their spending this year. Styles include patterns or mock necks in placement prints for a subtler look. All 12 of John Lewis' new jumpers are Fair Isle designs and the pattern in socks grew in assortment, making up 27% of styles versus 18% last year.
3. Matching Family PJs
Sleepwear has seen new styles climb 244% YoY, with options landing earlier this fall. In 2021, just one option dropped in August versus ten this year. September saw 43 arrivals in 2022 versus ten in 2021 and is currently tracking as the peak month of intake. Family pajamas have also seen options grow from four to 17 this fall, with investment from Marks & Spencer, Tu at Sainsbury’s and New Look.
EDITED customers can log in to read the full review on menswear holiday trends for 2022.
Womenswear Festive Trends
4. Casual Tees
Unsurprisingly, sweaters make up the vast majority of newness, accounting for 44% of all tops. However, casual T-shirt styles make up a significant 25%, providing a lower-priced option for consumers looking for a festive refresh at $37.18/£17.57 vs. $80.75/£49.05. Popular graphics included Christmassy puns, tongue-in-cheek slogans and nostalgic characters such as The Grinch and Buddy the Elf.
Pajama sets saw the strongest backing within festive sleepwear ranges, accounting for 65% of arrivals. Meanwhile, bathrobes have the least investment, with just 2%, highlighting an opportunity for retailers looking to diversify their assortment and address the growing demand for warm and cozy attire.
6. Hair Accessories
Within accessories, hair accessories are the top-invested style, holding 35% of new season products. Drilling down further, playful headbands and hair clips are the most popular sub-styles.
EDITED customers can log in to read the full review on womenswear holiday trends for 2022.
Childrenswear Festive Trends
7. Preppy Influences
Subtle references to the Prep School narrative can give festive tops staying power beyond December. Varsity typefaces, contrast raglan sleeves and athletic stripes were most common, as seen at Janie & Jack, Boden and Marks & Spencer.
8. Warm Weather Accessories
Retailers held off dropping stocking filler-style jewelry, with arrivals down 88% YoY. Practical hats and warm weather accessories dominated the initial festive newness, with classic Fair Isle patterns building a traditional aesthetic. Snoods were a new investment for FW22 at Boden, providing a more streamlined alternative to the inconvenience of long scarves for young energetic customers.
9. Holiday Dresses
Red maintained its position as the top stocked color for dress arrivals YoY, however, its successor changed from 2021's blue to sugary pink. Tactility reared its head as a key selling point, manifesting in tufted fabrics like corduroy and velvet. Dress and tights bundles can give frugal shoppers a more economical way to buy outfits, while also allowing retailers to benefit from a greater overall basket spend.
EDITED customers can log in to read the full review on childrenswear holiday trends for 2022.
Homeware Festive Trends
10. Energy-Saving Decorations
While fairy lights are synonymous with Christmas, be mindful of introducing watt-powered decorations. Instead, retailers should invest in battery or LED-powered, taking into account the rising energy costs. LED candles are already available at Homebase, Very, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
11. Tassled Cushions
Festive cushion covers have emerged as an appealing way for consumers to refresh their homes. Retailers can include luxury details to raise price points – Anthropologie’s Christmas cushion is priced at £68 and features tassels, high-quality materials and a slogan. Tasseled cushions are also being promoted at Bed Bath & Beyond and Wayfair.
12. Snowflake Motifs
Snowflakes are a common motif within homewares across tableware, complementing the wintery themes across apparel graphics. These have the potential to be reframed in a ski or cabin edit post-Christmas to help drive sales of leftover stock.
EDITED customers can log in to read the full review on homeware holiday trends for 2022.
Contributions by Katherine, Aoife, Anna Lamb and Karis.
Don't forget to subscribe to the Weekly EDIT for more data-backed insights delivered straight to your inbox.