How the pandemic is changing fashion and beauty trends:
The coronavirus crisis has upended just about every part of daily life. Tens of millions of Americans are out of work, and a deepening recession has forced many people to rethink their spending. Retailers already saddled with a glut of unsold winter and spring merchandise are scrambling to get a handle on these new habits and what is projected to be a long-term shift in the types of clothing, shoes and accessories people will be willing to buy.
- Leading the charge:
False eyelashes, which averaged 15 percent increases in week-over-week sales in May as businesses in many parts of the country began to reopen, according to market research firm NPD Group. Mascara sales meanwhile grew 11 percent in the same period, while demand for eyebrow products jumped 5 percent. It makes complete sense, when you have to go out and you're wearing a productive face mask those are the products that emphasize your smize your smiling eyes.
- Sales of lip products:
Sales of lip products meanwhile fell 5 percent in May. After all nobody wants lipstick smudges inside their masks.
- Sales of makeup products:
Makeup sales picked up last month after about two months of declines, when much of the country was hunkered down at home. During that period many Americans shifted away from cosmetics to skin care products such as face scrubs and body creams, which are still performing well. Sales of high-end soaps, home scents and hair color also have risen in recent months.
- Goodbye high heels and stiff dress shoes:
Sales of high heels, loafers and other dress shoes have been tumbling for years and analysts say the pandemic has turbocharged their demise. Sales of men’s and women’s dress shoes plunged 70 percent in March and April according to NPD.
- Women are finally ditching high heels:
Slipper sales doubled in April as Americans splurged on higher priced options such as fur lined Ugg products. Crocs known for their homely but comfortable signature foam clog.
That trend is likely to continue even as Americans return to work. Shoe manufacturers are busy creating designs with wider and thicker heels, padded insoles and other athletic touches to add stability and comfort. Sales of stiletto shaped heels dropped 11 percent last year.
- A return to basics:
Malls are reopening, but don’t expect to see racks filled with seasonal trends. With money tighter retailers and consumers are loading up on evergreen basics and neutrals. That has led many retailers to stock up on items such as plain T-shirts, classic-cut jeans, and beige and khaki pieces that won’t fall out of favor if they don’t sell right away.
What we’re looking for today are core basics,” Morris Goldfarb, chief executive of G-III Apparel Group, which owns a number of brands including DKNY and Bass, said on an earnings call this month. “Fashion is not as important this year.”
- Shorter hemlines:
Skirts and dresses get longer as the economy worsens. But this time, analysts say, fashion is heading in the opposite direction away from maxi dresses and floor sweeping skirts. The shift, he said, is less about fashion trends and more about retailers’ desperation. When business gets bad, you need to make a bold statement to get people to buy something new,” he said. And if shoppers already have closets filled with ankle-length styles that means enticing them with above the knee fashion.
- Even more causal wear:
Corporate America has been retreating from blazers and ties for years, and analysts expect to see more athletic wear and casual attire at the office even after the pandemic is over. When Americans do head back to the office they’re likely to trade in business casual . Think hoodies paired with blazers, and sweatpants with silky tops. There will be much more mixing and matching between dressing up and dressing down. And it’ll be okay to wear the same thing over and over again. The pressure is off.