You can call it a post-pandemic clothing crisis. Nearly half of all Americans say they are battling to find fall and winter clothes in their closet that will fit them.
Their struggle comes as they are starting to get dressed up once again for such events as returning to work in an office, dining out, travel, and weddings.Read More »
The situation is one to which most of us can relate.
For more than two years during the pandemic we lived in casual, comfortable clothes, not caring about dressing for social occasions. There simply was no need to do so.
We spent more time at home than before. We worked from home. We ate at home. We no longer entertained at home. Even when we went out, casual was the way to go. After all, everyone else was dressed casually anyway.
Comfort beats all
Indeed, some people thought they would never dress up again. The pandemic had brought with it a whole new lifestyle that suited them. Casual dress became the essence of many people’s personal style.
Some describe it as being caught in “style limbo.”
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So much so that half of 2,000 Americans polled by OnePoll for leading fashion retailer Nordstrom said their personal clothing style became more about being comfortable than about anything else.
Now, however, the social scene is coming back. As a result many are realizing they missed those events and, hey, dressing up again might be a good idea after all.
Those clothes have gone
With this change in mind, they are opening their closets only to realize that they have thrown out items they thought they would never wear again or that no longer fit.
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Many hours on the sofa at home during the pandemic also made an impact. Those extra pounds now mean that many clothes do not fit any longer.
As a result, many Americans are facing a variety of hurdles when it comes to finding clothes that flatter their type of body and those that simply will fit correctly.
Almost four in every 10 Americans feel as though they have “nothing to wear,” according to the poll.
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The survey found that people are looking for help when it comes to finding clothes to wear for:
• Events — 34%
• Dining out — 30%
• Travel — 21%
• Work — 20%
As we emerge from the pandemic, people have an opportunity to reimagine what clothing styles mean for them, says Fanya Chandler, senior vice president at Nordstrom. They have the opportunity, she adds, to get to know the joy of fashion once more.
For some that means dressing more comfortably even as they return to what used to be normal wear, Chandler says. Others, however, are ready to come out from their homes once more. As they do, they are trying new clothes and are determined to look their best.
What will we wear?
What, then, are Americans’ fall fashion plans?
The poll found that:
• Dress pants and dress shirts are the items that a third of Americans are looking forward to wearing in the post-pandemic world.
• Two in five Americans say they will dress comfortably for the rest of their lives.
• About two in every 10 polled said they want to blend in with others before they determine what their future clothing style will be.
• For about 15% minimalism will be their style.
• Almost two in 10 are looking for pieces that can easily be coordinated.
• Those who plan to return to working in an office are looking forward to wearing dresses (26%), dress shirts (28%), and dress pants (28%).
In a separate survey of 2,000 people, OnePoll found that two-thirds of Americans say they have never found clothing that fits their body sizes. The finding was particularly true for those who weighed more than 250 pounds.
Their problem now is apparently not much different than before the pandemic.
Everyone seems to be asking the age-old question: What should I wear today? The answers might be different today than they were before the pandemic, however.
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