What Has Been The COVID-19 Fashion Impact For Consumers and Brands?

What’s been the COVID-19 fashion impact? COVID-19 has impacted every area of our lives—even our closets! Fashion is always influenced after major events, like the Great Depression or a war. During a global pandemic, we’re once again seeing a hefty shift in American fashion ideals. People are working from home more, the economy is still trying to recover, and we’re all trying to stay motivated and look chic with all the uncertainty surrounding us.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways the pandemic is reshaping the fashion industry.

There’s a return to the “basics”

The biggest shift we’re seeing is a desire to get back to the core basics of fashion. Money is tight for a lot of us, so we’re looking for more evergreen and everlasting styles. Neutrals, plain T-shirts, and classic cut jeans keep the wardrobe simple and high-value for years to come.

We’re finding that a lot of fashion brands have started stocking up on more beige, white, and black pieces compared to trendy colors as well. This is because consumers are looking for basics, and companies are looking for inventory that can hold its value over time in case it doesn’t sell right away. Fashion brands aren’t selling inventory at the rate they typically do since the COVID-19 shutdowns, so stocking more timeless pieces is a great risk management strategy - for brands and consumers alike!

Simple aesthetic is becoming the biggest fashion trend now. The biggest COVID-19 fashion impact is a collective preference towards minimalism, sustainability, and high quality.

Fast fashion isn’t as popular as investment pieces

As trends become less trendy, fast fashion is also becoming less common. Brands that are known for their seasonal pieces are struggling, while more classic designers are seeing an upswing in demand. So, where is this shift coming from?

First, fast fashion is seasonal. Since we don’t know which season we’ll be allowed to make consistent appearances in the world like “normal,” these kind of trendy pieces don’t seem as important to have in the closet. It’s still fun to be chic at home of course, but the idea of “trends” are inherently outward.

Second, fast fashion is bad for your budget. You’re essentially throwing money out the window each season on trends that only last a few months. Investment pieces look and feel great for years to come, saving money in the long-run. Since people have been more budget-conscious since the lockdowns, there’s a stronger emphasis on price-conscious and high-value items.

Third, fast fashion is bad for the environment. We’ve all been seeing how nature started to blossom after just a few weeks without human intervention. Consumers are growing more conscious and conscientious, so sustainable fashion is really paving the way for the future of the fashion industry.

Finally, women are beginning to care more and more about how clothes look and feel on them as an individual. Body acceptance and self-love has blossomed—which is incredible! It’s less about trying to “fit in” with the crowd and more about finding evergreen pieces that look stunning on you and accentuating your best features.

Buying secondhand is all the rage

Shopping consignment is another major impact that stems from the movement towards quality, investment pieces. When you buy secondhand, you can get high-quality, designer pieces at a fraction of the price. That’s really, really good for your budget! Plus, you’re giving a renewed life to clothing pieces, which is great for the environment as well.

A lot of women also talk about how much they love shopping secondhand. You can get timeless or trendy pieces that are rare or hard to come by. They’re styles unlike anything else out on the market right now. So, you get the thrill of shopping for unique items that speak directly to you and your style, not just the “style of the times.” You’re shopping for you. This is an unexpected and really cool COVID-19 fashion impact!

Buying clothes from consignment shops is an economical, sustainable, and fashionable alternative to shopping “new.” Check out 6 reasons pre-loved fashion is all the craze.

Not sure where to find quality secondhand designer clothing that you can feel confident about? Check out these 7 websites to shop for fashion on consignment.

Selling secondhand is increasingly popular

Consignment shops aren’t just a great option for buying clothes. They’re also an awesome way to make some money on your own pre-loved gems. During quarantine, a lot of women, like you, decided to clean out their closets and focus only on items that bring them joy and make them look/feel gorgeous. We’ve seen a lot of sales coming in, and we love the influx of stunning pieces we’ve been getting as you go through your closet!

What to do with the clothes you don’t want to keep anymore? Don’t throw them away and add to the environment-killing textile problem across the globe. Sell them to consignment stores and make some extra cash. De-clutter and get paid, what’s better?

If you haven’t done your quarantine closet cleanout, you’ll absolutely love the way it feels for your mind, body, and budget—trust us!

Ready to sell your clothes? Sell with Current Boutique! We offer competitive commissions, guaranteed authenticity, and 3 easy ways to sell your goods. Join our community of amazing sellers!

Work from home clothes are getting dressier

Working in your PJs was fun in March and April, but now it’s getting old. People are even growing sick of athleisure. We still want comfy WFH clothes, but most of us are eager to start dressing up again. We refer to it as “sweats fatigue,” and it’s hitting hard for even those of us who used to love the idea of working in our loungewear.

The hottest trend right now is the one-step-above-pajamas look. We like to call this COVID-19 fashion impact the “Zoom Call Chic” trend! We’re all still prioritizing comfortable clothing, but we want to look good too. That’s because looking good impacts our psychology and makes us happier, healthier, and more productive. We’re seeing a lot of wrap dresses, caftans, linen blouses, and wide-leg jeans especially.

Check out these 8 simple ways to look great and feel comfortable in your WFH clothes, without blowing your budget.

Mending clothes is more common

In the 1940s, following the Great Depression, “Make Do and Mend” was the official fashion slogan of the times. That’s because fabric was hard to come by and very expensive. In fact, to save money women actually upcycled cotton flour sacks into dresses; so food companies started to print patterns on their food bags to encourage people to buy their products over their competitors!

We’re not making clothes out of potato sacks yet, but the idea of DIY fashion is definitely coming back during our post COVID-19 life as well. People are on a budget and they have more time to learn how to fix clothing at home, so we’re seeing a lot of revitalized clothing pieces. Check out our 10 DIY Projects to Revamp Your Clothes + Closet if you want to save money, reduce waste, and show some love to your clothing!

Dry-clean-only is out

People are washing their clothes more frequently to keep them sanitary and healthy. We still don’t know just how COVID-19 is spread, so it’s not worth taking a risk re-wearing the same clothes without washing. Thus, gone are the days of dry-clean only clothes. If it’s not easy and simple to get your clothes clean, people probably aren’t going to buy or wear it anymore.

That’s also why we’re seeing an influx of natural materials like cotton, linen, and washable silk and merino wool on the market. These are the easiest clothing materials to clean and sanitize in the wash without a major impact on the color, look, and texture of the fabric. Fabrics that shrink and stain easily, especially synthetic fabrics, are quickly losing favor in the market.

Subscription-based clothing is taking a hold on the market

Subscription clothing boxes have become more commonplace since February. This is likely because they’re a budget-friendly and convenient way to keep your wardrobe updated. Some boxes are only rented clothing, so this cycles clothing and minimizes the impact on the environment (although you need to take shipping impact into account as well). Others just offer new clothing pieces at lower prices, so women can stay more price conscious. You can see the pros and cons of subscription-based clothing services in this article by NBC.

Fashion is more important than ever

Is anyone else going stir crazy? We’re all eager for the days where we can dress up and go to a restaurant, put on our hot jeans and go to the mall, or even spend girl time at a club or bar! Because of this sentiment, there’s not only a trend upward of comfy-professional clothes but also of dressier investment pieces. That’s because people can’t wait to go out and “dress to impress” when the world opens back up.

There’s a lot of “dream purchasing” going on right now, so we anticipate dressier days on the horizon. Leggings used to be the hot item going out and about, but we expect that people will want to look sharp and dress up even to run some errands once the lockdowns are totally over.

Fashion is a part of who we are—as individuals and as a community. It impacts our motivation, our thoughts, and our feelings. With such uncertainty in the world, we can still be certain of one thing: our closets!

Find the pieces that make you happy.

Don’t be afraid to dress up.

Make purchasing decisions that are right for your budget, style, and the environment.

And of course, browse Current Boutique for trendy + timeless designer investment pieces that will keep you cheerful at home and ready to take the world by storm.

Have you experienced a COVID-19 fashion impact in your life? We’re curious to hear your thoughts!

Carmen Lopez, President & CEO www.currentboutique.com


Hello Fashion Lovers! I've been in the fashion industry for over 15 years. I started Current Boutique with the desire to recycle amazing pre-loved designer gems for others to enjoy! I value quality, unique craftsmanship, sustainability & saving money. I am a fashion lover who is energized by the challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur. I'm here to share tips on fashion, style, bargain shopping and business. I hope you enjoy!
XOXO, Carmen