COVID-19 pandemic creating shift to more comfortable fashion
CAMBRIDGE -- The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a shift in the world of fashion to more comfortable clothing, a phenomenon that happened during a previous world health crisis.
Shannon Burns is one shopper who says she rarely dresses up since she shifted to a work from home schedule.
"I'm mostly wearing cozy things like this turtleneck, things I can just throw on and be comfortable in my home," she said. "I'm not wearing as many business suits or work wear."
The trend of shoppers has opting for casual wear over dresses and suits has been unfolding for months, according to Shelly Trotta, the owner of Waterloo clothing store Loft 106.
"We are seeing more of a work from home wear," she said. "People want to see more athleisure wear. People are steering away from dresses and more to tracksuits and pajamas."
One Waterloo Region resident tells CTV News they haven't worn a tie for a year, while another says they have a few more pairs of sweats and comfortable clothes than before.
For those that who study fashion closely, like curator Jonathan Walford at the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, a similar shift happened during another world health crisis.
"What the Spanish influenza did from 1918 to people was like today," he said. "They stopped buying fashionable clothes. They were buying comfortable clothes or things like blankets.
"They weren't buying their high end clothing."
Walford adds that the Spanish Influenza also influenced fashion choices in the years to come.
"Veils for women's hats became very fashionable," he said. "They thought a veil would do a good job of filtering out the bacteria."
The fashion industry will be watching closely to see if comfort is here to stay, according to Walford, or if another shift is on the horizon, like the return of glamour.