Fashion as investment: What we will be wearing in 2021 | Inquirer Lifestyle
Shirring brings soft shaping to nightwear and home wear. Looks from Thakoon (left) and Veronique Leroy —WGSN PHOTOS

Fashion as investment: What we will be wearing in 2021

‘The pandemic brought awareness to social issues. There is more interest in social entrepreneurs and sustainable products’

Shirring brings soft shaping to nightwear and home wear. Looks from Thakoon (left) and Veronique Leroy —WGSN PHOTOS


The year 2020 began with a call for the extreme and the flamboyant. But the sudden shift to work-from-home (WFH) arrangements forced everyone to slip into cozier fits. For 2021, comfort, versatility and function remain de rigueur.

Fashion design and merchandising expert Christine Benet, newly appointed associate dean for Environment Cluster of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts, has revealed next year’s style trends, in line with the predictions of giant trend forecaster World’s Global Style Network (WGSN), comprised of a team of over 250 experts and data scientists that curate an immense online library of insights and inspirations on fashion, retail and the whole lifestyle industry.

The financial anxiety brought by the economic decline highlights consumer needs rather than commercial concepts. Stay-at-home drove a new interest in flexible, easy-to-style and easy-to-wear outfits.

“The pandemic did not stop consumers from their purchasing behavior. Rather, there is a shift toward more practical products,” Benet noted. “Fashion pieces are now considered to be investments that will last beyond the pandemic.”

Pretty patchwork from lace at Acne Studios (left) and Soft crochet for artisanal loungewear at Dior

For ladies, long dresses and skirts with slim silhouettes are a go-to.

Loungewear definitely rules the racks. It is now more about print and texture and less about embellishments. Soft crochets are perfect for a comfy artisanal vibe, while loud historic details and openwork embroidery bring romance to easy shapes.

Ribs and shirring likewise add a gentle touch to the overall nightwear look, while rustic fringing gives ensembles a boho spirit. Pretty patchwork as well as embroidered sheers create character in a minimalist ensemble.

Those who opt for an edgier touch can play with black-and-white contrasts in feminine looks, cutout cross-category bodywear, or bra tops.

The universal cover-up is still all about “oversized.” Looks from 81GB and MSGM

Fitted styles for men

For men, fitted styles are likewise in. For cozier options, crewneck sweats remain king, while universal cover-ups and oversized cuts provide layered, slouchy looks. Sets and co-ords are hero pieces, especially when matched with parka, bomber and track jackets.

The WFH set-up likewise led to the so-called “above the keyboard dressing,” which gives importance to the visible pieces such as necklines that render a professional look.

“It took time for consumers to weave their work schedule with their home environment. This is the same with personal grooming,” Benet explained. “It may be simpler. Trying to look presentable during online work, while performing household chores, posted a challenge. However, consumers were slowly able to identify appropriate pieces that are still functional and fashionable, highlighting top clothing.”

Sneakers, especially the growing interest in eco-sneaker materials, show how the pandemic has shifted consumers’ priorities on comfort and function.

“The pandemic brought awareness to social issues, as the general public saw its effects even in the manufacturing sector of the fashion industry. Now, there is more interest in social entrepreneurs and sustainable products,” Benet added.

Flexible styling plays into a spectrum of trend stories.
There’s a growing interest in sneakers using eco-friendly materials.