We’ve been talking for the last couple months about the trend of Elevated Active, and how utility and luxury come together to make workwear a category worth watching. Now let’s look at it a little differently – still the same subject, but from a different angle.
An aspect of Elevated Active that we haven’t really explored yet is something I call surfaces for the senses. Everything is “inside” right now – inside our homes, inside our families, even inside our pandemic pods. As we adjust our lifestyles to staying in more, we look to our clothes to help us feel comfortable, safe and protected.
Psychology even has a name for this: cocooning. This isn’t a new thing, but the trend of shunning public places and surrounding yourself with creature comforts has found new resonance in recent months. The term is applied across many aspects of our lives, from how we choose to live in our homes, referred to as “curating your cocoon,” to my favorite new term, “wandering cocooning” – the wonderful experience of getting out and driving solo.
Cocooning also has literal meaning when it comes to clothing. We often choose certain items because they act as actual cocoons for our bodies.
Comfort tops the list of features people are looking for and comfort means designing for all the senses. The Flannel Sherpa Blanket, the Cozy Fleece Hoodie and the Faux Fur Blanket are all examples where we see the crossover of comfort and elegance – luxurious fabrics and classic looks combine to wrap us up in a sense of familiar warmth.
Don’t think for a moment that this is a trend limited to women. When we released the Luuma Pullover Fleece Hoodie exclusively for ladies last year, we immediately heard from men who wanted the same level of casual comfort. Our answer is a Luuma 1/2-Zip Fleece for him, blending understated style with an exceptionally soft hand feel.
Softness isn’t the only game in town – we also seek comfort through protection. Puffy jackets and vests have become more relevant than ever because they feel like a padded layer between you and the rest of the world. These styles are tidy, professional and visually strong, yet they also express the true definition of protection with a durable water-repellent finish to keep you safe from increasingly unpredictable weather.
The importance of sensorial touchstones is also proving its value at the cash register. For example, ribbed textures in sweaters and cut-and-sew knits are especially popular with consumers this year. A top like the District® V.I.T.TM Rib Scoop Neck Tee molds to your body and feels supportive, like a hug. This is the kind of support we can all use more of right now.
As our world has gotten smaller, it’s the little luxuries that matter more. Forget the expensive sports car and the richly indulgent meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant. We’ve come to respect and even cherish our well-worn sweatshirts, comfy cardigans and restaurant-quality, hand-crafted meals at home, thank you very much.
Feeling comfortable and safe is a feeling that can’t be overrated. Finding these feelings in the clothes we wear helps us find a little happiness today and holds the space as we look forward to an even brighter future ahead.
Next month, let’s start talking about how we are actively creating this brighter future in the here-and-now and the items that are helping us accomplish our goals. See you then!