Holiday Clothing is Making a Comeback

Holiday Clothing Trends
We’re finding it hard to believe that the holiday season is fast approaching – but that means it’s time for the 2021 holiday clothing trends!

Last year, we analyzed holiday clothing trends in the midst of Covid-19. While the pandemic is still a global issue, we’ve seen more of the world return to some type of normalcy with the release of vaccinations. Last holiday season, people were encouraged to stay home and avoid large gatherings. This year, it seems like people are planning to resume their normal holiday get togethers. 

With festive plans on the rise, we expect consumers to pick up their holiday clothing shopping. We tend to see a noticeable rise in popular clothing categories, like sequins, formal dresses, and sweater dresses, around this time of the year. Last year proved to be quite the opposite thanks to the pandemic, but we predict this year will reflect positive changes in those categories. Let’s take a look at the numbers from our data analytics tool Fit Intelligence.

In 2020, we evaluated the change in purchases of a popular item, sequins, from 2019 to 2020. Sequins appeared to perform well month-over-month in 2020, but when compared to the previous year, purchases of sequinned items dropped by 39% in September 2020 and 78% in October 2020. We decided to look at that same holiday clothing trend this year with the expectation that sequins would make a comeback. And we were right – the purchase of sequins has increased by 19% and 16% respectively, when looking at September and October 2021 vs September and October 2020. 

Holiday Clothing Sequins

The same goes for formal dresses. Last year formal dress purchases declined by 21% when compared to the previous year. We attribute this to the fact that stay-at-home orders were still in place so people weren’t buying these types of items. This year, however, formal dress purchases have increased by a whopping 93% from September 2020 to September 2021 and 55% from October 2020 to October 2021. We predict that similar increases will continue throughout the months of November and December with holiday parties on the rise.

One other hot holiday clothing item we’re seeing this year are sweater dresses. The purchase of sweater dresses is on the rise leading up to the holiday season. September and October saw spikes of 85% and 77% when compared to September and October of last year. When we looked at fall trends a few months ago, we shared that cozy knits were going to be a hit this fall and winter, so it’s really no surprise that this product is such a hot seller as of lately. 

Comfortable Holiday Clothes

Now let’s take a look at the casual wear holiday clothes that were hot sellers last year during Covid. Since people were mostly staying home, there was an increase in purchases of cozy winter items like flannels and fleece. In September 2020, fleece purchases were up 47% compared to September 2019. This September, fleece purchases are up 13% compared to last year, but when comparing October 2021 to October 2020, fleece purchases are down 4%. 

A similar trend appears for flannel items. Flannel tends to be popular holiday clothing, which we saw last year with an increase of 37% when comparing September 2020 to September 2019 and an even larger increase of 49% from October 2019 to October 2020. In September 2021, flannel rose yet again by 14% compared to last year. However, the purchase of flannel items declined by 47% from October 2020 to October 2021. 

Holiday Clothing Flannel

Overall it appears that holiday clothing that was popular before the onset of the pandemic, like formal dresses and sequins, are making a comeback. People are ready to get back to their busy holiday schedules with work parties, family celebrations, and friends gatherings – and their wardrobes reflect that!


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