May 21, 2024


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We’ve finally passed ‘peak sweatpants’

Alta dress, £255, Reformation

Alta dress, £255, Reformation

Global fashion shopping platform Lyst has revealed data from shoppers that suggests we’ve finally passed ‘peak sweatpants’. Back in the midst of lockdown, it seemed naively optimistic to splash out on occasionwear with no dressingup opportunities in sight. What we could justify splashing out on, however, was loungewear.

The week after a third lockdown was announced in January 2021, searches for loungewear skyrocketed 488% compared to the previous year, according to New Look, but Lyst’s latest data suggests the other end of the style spectrum firmly has our attention now, and fashion optimism is in full play.

“The things shoppers have been browsing, saving and buying in the Lyst app suggest an imminent return to going-out wear,’ confirms Bridget Mills-Powell, Content Director at Lyst. “Sweats might have seen us through the past year, but many fashion-lovers are now looking to set aside the sweatpants and rediscover the joy of dressing up.’’

‘June 21 dressing’ became a fashion category of its own when it was announced that it would be the final date in the lifting of lockdown restrictions. From that date, a full return of bars, restaurants and nightclubs is expected, and will see the UK return to a pre-pandemic state after 15 months. Cue online fashion sites swiftly boasting sections full of fabulous dresses, fancy tops, silky skirts and heels in a bid to get us excited about dressing up again.

It’s worked: data from Lyst shows that searches for high heels and dresses are up 163% and 222% respectively, and sales of handbags – and designer ones at that – are on the rise.

Ready to sideline your sweatpants? With our reentry officially in sight, here’s what to buy instead:

Special heels

Lyst’s data shows that colourful mules (in particular, the Attico’s Devon style, which take the 5th spot in Lyst’s most popular product list) are in high demand. With a chunky block heel, it’s the perfect style to start with as we make the transition from slippers and trainers to going-out shoes.

Look for a kitten heel height, supportive ankle straps and a padded sole for the most comfortable reentry heels.

best heels to buy now

best heels to buy now

Elise sandals, £245, Aeyde; Rhinestone heels, £125, Uterque; Leather mules, £350, ByFar

Investment handbags

As we return to normal everyday life, handbags will be back in the fold. Lyst noted that Prada’s Re-edition nylon shoulder bag was the 4th most in demand product globally over the past three months, so keen beans might like to note that it’s currently in stock online.

Timeless styles that we can eke maximum cost-per-wear from, and which also hold their value well for reselling later down the line, are the best investments to make.

best investment handbags to buy now

best investment handbags to buy now

Jacquard and leather bag, £1100, Loewe; Le Maillon bag, £1890, Saint Laurent; Re Edition nylon bag, £590, Prada

Going-out dresses

Much like our handbags, the ‘going-out’ section of our wardrobe has been collecting dust over lockdown. It’s only right then that as special occasions are back on the cards, our attention has turned to fancy frocks, with Lyst seeing demand rise by 222%.

If you already have lots of dresses that you can pull out for reentry but are keen on some newness, why not look to a rental for your fix? By Rotation and Rotaro are excellent starting points: they have options from It dress labels including Self-Portrait, The Vampire’s Wife and Reformation.

best going out dresses to buy now

best going out dresses to buy now

Silk midi dress, from £32 to rent, Rotaro; Cut out midi dress, £95, & Other Stories; Jacquard dress, £165, Kitri; Metallic jacquard cami dress, £205, Ganni

Fabulous accessories

If you haven’t a big budget for your reentry looks, consider updating older looks by way of jazzy new season accessories. The cost-per-wear speaks for itself as you can pair them with anything from jeans and a white shirt, to a metallic party dress.

Lyst noted that sales of satin headbands (specifically Prada’s popular padded offering) were on the rise, and it’s easy to see why as they turn a simple outfit into a statement party-ready one.

best accessories to buy now

best accessories to buy now

Laurita hoops, £140, Daphine; Mixed pendant earrings, £7.99, Mango; Lele Sadoughi hair bow, £60, Harvey Nichols; Gem hair slides, £7 for set, Accessorize; Floral scrunchies, £18 for set, Anthropologie

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