See all Blog posts

5 workwear trends to know

Culotte and blazer suits are trending, while workleisure gains momentum. The workwear trends retailers need to have in their assortment today.

While many companies have decided to permanently move into a remote-first policy, others are preparing for a hybrid or full return back to office spaces. So what workwear trends should retailers stock to capture consumers across all work environments? 

As we mentioned last year, the pandemic hasn’t erased the demand for workwear, but it does look different. In this report, we highlight the most popular wear to work styles that retailers are promoting via email, analyzing how they are doing in the market, alongside runway inspiration.

Want to see the data behind these workwear trends? Reach out for a demo today. 

1. The Traditional Style

Retailers like Jigsaw and The Outlet are promoting suits for workwear this season, with linen and lightweight fabrics key terms used to describe the professional yet breathable styles. Also, light shades and neutrals are commonly displayed via email, with dark browns sprinkled across communications from The Outnet, RE ONA and Acne Studios.

Culottes are the stand-out style for suit bottoms across emails, top movers and the runway. Retailers like Joules claim they “make your summer wardrobe the most stylish yet,” while other retailers promote them as a smart update to the classic trouser. Mango sold its design at full price for $59.99 and black makes up 22% of arrivals in the market.

Coinciding with back-to-school season, reposition plaid, tweed and mini skirt co-ords for preppy wear to work stories. For future assortments, update successful core styles with subtle details like exaggerated buttons or split hems.

Top Movers

Fall 2021 runway inspiration

  • Preppy-inspired
  • Split hem trousers
  • Culottes & blazer
  • Blush pink

2. The Modern Day Style – Workleisure

The term “workleisure” was used by Banana Republic, Nordstrom and Zalando to describe workwear edits that are elevated yet comfortable. Sweater vests, wide-leg trousers and button-down shirts are defined as “styles to beat tracksuit fatigue” in Zalando’s workleisure email, transitioning customers out of loungewear and into comfortable work-appropriate attire.

Basic items have also been included in workleisure emails and moved well in the market. 15% of basic T-shirt arrivals have had a majority sell out, with H&M, Mango and Matalan among retailers with the most basic T-shirts selling out at full price – the average advertised sell out price $12.14/£10.87.

Customers demand soft and performance fabrics despite their work environment, so be sure to expose those qualities via email and product descriptions. For those working from home through the rest of the year, emphasize top-half dressing – exaggerated collars and bright colors are critical.

Top Movers

Fall 2021 runway inspiration

  • Elevated loungewear
  • Silk pajama-inspired
  • Athleisure
  • Softcore

3. The Minimalist Style – White Button-Down

32% of white button down shirt arrivals have sold out at full price – most notably at H&M, Aritzia and Mango. Of these styles, linen, cotton and poplin are among the most commonly used words. Oversized is also a popular term used to describe these tops, a silhouette depicted across retailer emails like Whistles and Lulu’s – a shape that is also backed by the runway. Short sleeve styles are currently favored, making up 56% of the sold out products.

Customer closets will be full of basics by fall, so give them another reason to come back and shop your best sellers with a twist. For future seasons, roll out core designs in fresh colors and patterns, and rework this minimalistic top with deconstructed designs and feminine details to create hero pieces – see ADEAM and Adam Lippes for inspiration.

Top Movers

Fall 2021 runway inspiration

  • Re-worked
  • Bows
  • Oversized
  • Band collar

4. The Layered Style – Blazers

In the US and UK, 33% and 22% of blazers sold out without a discount, demonstrating the demand for this outerwear style is stronger in the US. Of these styles, neutrals made up 28% in both markets, with brights of greens, pinks and oranges showing a higher sell out rate in the UK – evidence that more colorful versions captured the UK shopper. Retailer emails spotlight blazers for wear to work collections – brands like Banana Republic focus on classic black styles while trend-led brand Revolve features summery pastel shades.

Longer-lined silhouettes are commonly communicated, while all lengths show success in the market. Cropped styles moved quickly at Bershka, and H&M had success with oversized designs. These shapes will continue to trend, so be inspired by designers like Eudon Choi, who reworked the garment to create something unique.

Top Movers

Fall 2021 runway inspiration

  • Deconstructed
  • Structured shoulders
  • Cropped
  • Oversized

5. The Casual Style – Jeans

Customers are still looking for comfortable options, even when picking out jeans, which is why retailers like Madewell are promoting relaxed designs. However, when looking at styles that have sold out without a discount, only 2% of jeans in both regions are categorized as wide-leg. In the US, mom jeans have sold out the most at 4%, while skinny jeans make up 6% of the sold out denim in the UK.

Other than shades of blue, white is the color most often endorsed by retailer emails, and is the third favored color following blue and black in both regions. Get inspired by Marine Serre’s red patchwork jean for Fall 2021. Across designers this runway season, boot-cut and flared styles were popular, feeding into the nostalgic 70s theme that will carry through the fall season – consider repositioning your 70s-inspired designs for workwear edits.

Top Movers

Fall 2021 runway inspiration

  • Wide-leg
  • Frayed hem
  • Dark wash
  • Color

Don’t forget to sign up to our weekly Insider Briefing for more reports and analysis into the latest industry news.