During the height of COVID-19 and government restrictions, many people were forced to become homebodies.
This sparked a change in people’s habits, from acquiring pets to taking up cycling to avoid the gym.
And it also led to a massive increase in online shopping, especially when it came to clothing. Stores reported skyrocketing sales of loungewear as they spent nights at home instead of social activities.
Since transitioning back into working in person, however, many no longer need the loungewear they bought.
Mona Consignment in Victoria, for one, has seen a significant increase in loungewear clothes being consigned as people pare down their closets.
“Well, we were all in our house and online shopping was super easy,” said Deanne Young, the owner of Mona Consignment. “Everyone kind of reverted to leisure wear and a lot of people, I think, were wearing businesswear. So there was a huge influx of leisurewear, sweatpants, sweatshirts, yoga, etc.”
Young also believes that many people spent money on pieces that did not fit, due to not having the option of having an in-person changing room.
“We’re seeing an excess of items in the store,” said Young. “I think mostly because there were so many bad purchases during COVID. It was not an easy thing to return or there were no returns or it cost money for them to return. We also saw a lot of people that are finished with their business wear because they’re not working from home, bringing in their items to recoup the cost on their spending when they were buying stuff for the office,” said Young.
The difficulty of returning clothing and being in a financially challenging time resulted in many people turning to consignment stores to get something back for their purchases.
“They’re trying to recoup some of the costs of the money they spent,” said Young. “So I think a lot of people see this as a way of getting out of some hole they dug during COVID and being able to make a bit of money back on items we no longer use.”
Naturally, consignment stores are going to see what was in retail stores a year and a half ago according to Young, hence the loungewear trend starting with retail stores.
“You can see with Aritzia their whole section, like the whole store basically during COVID was cozy two-piece sweat sets,” she said.
However, the leisurewear trend continues to dominate stores, but it has evolved from life after the pandemic.
“Our lifestyle has all changed in those two-and-a-half years, from wearing stuff that we normally wear in the work day to a much more, comfortable casual appearance,” said Young. “I think that’s extended like a lot of people come in and are still working from home and want a little bit more dressy on the top, but they still want the leisure pant on the bottom because they’re doing Zoom calls.”