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2021 style forecast: Comfort and function are in fashion

Citing predictions of a giant trend forecaster, a fashion and merchandising expert expects comfort and function as well as versatility will continue to influence the fashion choices of consumers in 2021. 

After a year of sudden changes in the way we conduct our lives, including the manner we dress which favors loungewear and other easy-to-wear outfits, people are seen to build on this behavior. 

Christine Benet, fashion and merchandising expert. 
Practicality, in a time of crisis, trumps trends.

“The pandemic did not stop consumers from their purchasing behavior. Rather, there is a shift towards more practical products,” noted Christine Benet, Associate Dean for Environment Cluster of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts. Benet cites predictions of World’s Global Style Network.  

Because comfort at home and practicality when outside—few items to wash after venturing in the public—are prioritized, long dresses and skirts with slim silhouettes are forecasted to be popular among women. 

When it comes to loungewear, which is currently enjoying it’s time in the spotlight, print and texture will be favored over embellishments. 

Ribs and shirring bring soft shapes to nightwear. 
According to Benet, soft crochets are perfect for artisanal comfy vibe, while loud historic details and openwork embroidery bring romance to easy shapes. 

Further, ribs and shirring add a gentle touch in nightwear-look, while rustic fringing gives the ensemble a boho spirit. Patchworks like lace and ditsy florals as well as embroidered sheers create character in a minimalist ensemble. 

Edgier choices come in the form of black and white contrasts in feminine looks, cut-out cross-category bodywear, and fine strappings in stretchy bra tops.

“Loungewear has significantly risen in the Philippines and it goes to show how consumers have adjusted to the pandemic and created their own new normal at home,” shared Benet.

Oversized outerwear continues its reign. 
Fitted styles are in for men, while the cozier option is crewneck sweater. 

Benet said sets and co-ords are ideal when matched with parka, bomber, and track jackets—for guys who venture outside. 

The “business on top, play on the bottom” dressing, which is popular now that conversations and other affairs are conducted via video call, gets a new name—Above the Keyboard dressing. 

“Trying to look presentable during online work while performing household chores posted a challenge. However, consumers were slowly able to identify appropriate pieces that are still functional and fashionable, highlighting top clothing,” observed Benet.

Sneakers made of eco-friendly materials are forecasted to be popular in 2021. 
When it comes to today’s least seen piece of clothing—aside from undergarments, of course—sneakers, especially those made of eco-friendly materials, are expected to be the star in the footwear category this year.

“The pandemic brought awareness to social issues, as the general public saw its effects even in the manufacturing sector of the fashion industry. Now, there is more interest in social entrepreneurs and sustainable products,” explained Benet.

She added, “Fashion pieces are now considered to be investments that will last beyond the pandemic.”

Topics: 2021 style forecast , Comfort and function , Christine Benet

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