by MIKE CHAIKEN
Vaccines for COVID-19 are available and mandates to wear masks in public places have been rolled back. But lingerie and intimates designers and manufacturers believe customers are still going to be shopping for garments that reflect their need to be safe and comfortable.
Patricia Maeda of the director of women’s intimates and swimwear for Fashion Snoop, an agency that tracks trends in the fashion field, said there are several “cultural sentiments” that will influence what fashion shoppers are looking for this fall and winter. Maeda, who spoke during a webinar hosted by Curve Connect, focused on two particular cultural sentiments: harmony and refuge.
Harmony reflects the idea of “re-humanizing” in a post-pandemic world, said Maeda. Noting 2020-21 was a “very difficult year,” Maeda said, “People are ready to emerge from lockdown… Emerge from the chaos with new habits and customs that will drive humanity forward…We are primed to embrace a new era of reunion and relief.”
As part of this cultural sentiment, Maeda said people are turning to activities that promote spiritual peace. They also seeking out “intimacy, touch and physical connection.”
When shopping, Maeda said customers will gravitate to purchases that foster health and well-being. They are preparing for the “next inevitable health crisis.”
“Home and personal space have become our wellness sanctuary protecting us from the discomfort of the outside world,” said Maeda.
Lingerie and loungewear will reflect that mood of refuge by offering consumers a balanced construction and a soft gentle design.
Maeda said lingerie will be comfortable in a way that reflects this sentiment of harmony. However, as a turnabout, Maeda said these comfortable garments will have a sexy appeal. Women can expect semi-sheer fabrication — using accents like mesh and tulle—that is integrated into every day lingerie.
This touch of sexiness, said Maeda, reflects a desire by women to be vulnerable yet strong.
In terms of fostering well-being in a post-pandemic world, Maeda said women can expect to find scented lingerie. The scents will be infused with essential oils that provide a soothing effect on those women wearing the garment.
Additionally, said Maeda, sleepwear will help promote harmony. It will be offered with similar scents from essential oils as lingerie will be. Sleepwear also will come in fabrics that help regular temperature. The fabric also will be anti-bacterial.
Loungewear became essential attire during the lockdown, said Maeda. And this will continue in the fall and winter. Maeda said consumers are now willing to wear loungewear when they either take Zoom calls or while they are running errands.
Another cultural sentiment cited by Maeda as a driving influence on lingerie and intimates purchases for the fall is “refuge.” Due to the pandemic, customers are looking to be reconnected with nature. Many people are leaving the city life in favor of time spent in the natural world.
This sentiment of refuge, said Maeda, also reflects the desire for people to feel safe and sheltered from danger and pursuit.
“Comfort is really exploding in popularity,” said Maeda and that’s reflected in the trends for lingerie and loungewear come fall.
“Consumers want cozy lingerie that serves as emotional armor,” said Maeda during her discussion of the sentiment for refuge.
Lingerie in the fall will use soft quilting techniques, said Maeda. To foster a sense of touch that has been missing for many people during the pandemic, lingerie will come in more tactile fabrics such as textured knits and terry cloth. Consumers also can expect to find lingerie using soft cashmere, said Maeda.
As a reflection of this mood of “refuge,” Maeda said, full coverage lingerie also will trend in the fall and winter. Consumers will favor high-waisted panties and bras that offer fuller cup construction.
Sweatpants will still trend for fall because of this desire for refuge, said Maeda. People find comfort in the garments, she said. Sweatpants also offer functionality for the wearer.
Curve Connect, who hosts trade shows for the lingerie and intimates industry, also noted in a press statement that there are four trends for fall and winter.
First of all, customers should be looking for matching two-piece sets of bras and panties.
Secondly, women should be buying garters.
Thirdly, the “new It color” is green, which is inspired by the back to nature movement of the post-pandemic world.
Finally, women will be looking for strapless bras to be worn with more dressy, formal attire as celebratory events return to everyone’s agenda.