DETROIT — As offices reopen, many of us aren’t ready to give up — entirely — the T-shirt and sweatpants combination we've all grown to love while working from home.
But retailers are noticing a transition in what customers are buying as they prepare to return to being seen in public as the world returns to a sense of normalcy as the coronavirus pandemic winds down.
Instead of going back to high heels and ties, people are going for comfortable looks that take their joggers and T-shirts up a notch.
Here’s a look at what three metro Detroit fashion retailers say their customers are shopping for:
The Peacock Room: Women are dressing up but staying soft
The desire to be happy and getting back to interaction and connection are trends Rachel Lutz, owner of Detroit-based The Peacock Room, sees in 2021.
Customers in the store that focuses on vintage-inspired and timeless dresses, accessories and gifts are shopping for tiaras and outfits to dress up. Sales for the tiaras, which start at $20, were already thriving, but picked up during the pandemic. Lutz said people are choosing to purchase tiaras because they want to wear what makes them feel good.
“People are refocusing their priorities,” Lutz said. “We realize that the time that we spend with each other is precious. So even if you’re getting together with a girlfriend for dinner, you’re gonna dress up, even when you didn’t before. You’re excited to see each other and spend time with each other. You want to look good and feel good. And people are stepping their game up.”
People were moving away from fast fashion, which is typically cheap, glitzy clothing and accessories that might mimic celebrities, before the pandemic, and that movement has spiked, said Lutz, who also owns sister shops Frida, which features bohemian, casual attire and accessories, and Yama, which features edgy and contemporary clothing.
She said customers who have been working from home for more than a year are still prioritizing athleisure wear, which is a mixture of athletic wear and loungewear, but are purchasing higher-priced premium outfits that are soft, like linen fabrics.