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Buyer insight: Five popular categories consumers are buying

By Don-Alvin Adegeest



Image: Loungewear via Pexels

A summer marked by loosened travel restrictions and reopening of economies, especially in Europe, has seen a shift in purchase categories. While holiday apparel may have been less popular than anticipated, growth in casualwear and activewear continue to fuel consumer buying, with comfort being a key driver.

Denim 2.0

Consumers may still be wearing sweatpants, dressing for working from home with a comfy-on-bottom vibe, but an increase in denim and jeans highlights a shift from loungewear to casualwear. In Q2 online retailers saw a 60 percent rise in new denim styles with sell-thrus increasing 15 percent year on year. A loser silhouette is trending, which generally have a wider leg, as are lower-waist styles. Vintage blue treatments and knee rips were prevalent and will remain an overarching theme in denim’s future, with acid washes appearing both on the AW21 women’s runway and the recent men’s SS21 presentations.

Elevated loungewear

Hoodies, sweatpants, jerseys and knitwear have all seen stellar sales in Q2, but not to be confused with the popularity of the lounge pants seen at the onset of the pandemic in Q2 of 2020. Elevated styles which can be worn outside of the home, like cuffed joggers, cardigans and smart crew neck sweaters should be kept in fall assortments. In knitwear, trans seasonal items and mix and match layering are strong performers.


Sport bra’s, leggings, shorts and all things knitted remain top of the sales pyramid, where activewear remains one of the fastest rising categories. In menswear particularly, sales of hoodies in the UK and US are up 41 percent and sweatshirts 29 percent versus 2020. Searches for ‘sports’ and ‘exercise’ continue to fuel activewear, as does demand for ‘at home’ fashion.

Polo’s and preppy dressing

A staple within preppy dressing, polo shirts saw an 18 percent lift in investment as retailers assorted it for complimentary trends like golfcore and tenniscore. Compared to Q2 2020, investment in checks nearly tripled in skirts, blazers, and matching sets.

Lifestyle updates

Lifestyles are continuously changing, which is one of the reasons sleepwear continues to perform so well after restrictions were lifted. Categories like wellbeing are quickly evolving with new possibilities in sleep accessories and branching out into lifestyle categories, like homeware. The global sleepwear and loungewear markets are predicted to flourish and see a growth of USD 19.5 billion dollars between 2020-2024. Items like hoodies, tees and co-ord sets were ever-present in designer’s collections on the Fall 2021 runways.

Data provided by [Edited](https://edited.com)