Virtual meetings are the new normal. The likes of video-conferencing tool Zoom – which in March was one of the most downloaded apps in the US and the UK, according to mobile-analytics platform App Annie – has replaced the desk-side catch-up.
In this climate, workwear has become a head-and-shoulders affair. While we may want to comply with normal work dress codes up top – a blazer, earrings and lashings of mascara are still in view – anything goes from the waist down. MatchesFashion and Browns have all reported spikes in people buying loungewear. “We’ve seen sales of casual and loungewear double in recent weeks,” says Browns’ womenswear buying manager Holly Tense. Blankets – the kind that can be surreptitiously draped over chilly legs – are also proving popular. “Sales of throws have tripled in comparison to last year,” says Chelsea Power, senior buyer at MatchesFashion. “Our customers are clearly after optimum comfort.” Scotland-based Begg & Co, which specialises in cashmere and lambswool wraps and throws, has seen a 258 per cent increase in interiors sales in recent weeks.
It’s a similar story at Olivia von Halle, the UK-based pyjamas and loungewear brand, where revenue for March was up 275 per cent from the previous month. “March is usually a relatively quiet period for us. However, sales this year have been exceptionally strong,” says designer von Halle. “Our silk pyjamas and silk-cashmere tracksuits have been particularly popular, as customers seek out pieces that are desirable in lockdown.” British brand Sunspel, which sells relaxed crew-neck sweatshirts and easy-on-the-eye track pants, has also seen a spike in loungewear: sales went up 142 per cent in March.
On Instagram, stylist Suzanne Koller has been documenting her WFH outfits from quarantine in Paris with the hashtag #anotherbirkenstock – and has thus far showcased quite the collection, including the classic Arizona two-strap style, and the brand’s most recent launch, the 1774. Whether you choose to wear your Birks with socks or a bathroom pedicure, however, is up to you.
This story was originally posted on 16 April 2020.