Fashion Friday: Sportswear and Athleisure is the New Normal for North America

After a tough year for apparel in North America in 2020, forecasts are optimistic for 2021, especially in the categories of athleisure and sportswear. Increased time at home amid lockdowns has led consumers to dress completely differently, choosing casual and comfortable clothing over more formal or trend driven products. In fact, sportswear sales growth will outpace non-sportswear sales over the coming years due to several reasons. First, workplaces will adopt more casual dress codes amid hybrid environments as a way to attract more remote workers back into the office. Secondly, even as consumers venture out into social gatherings, these gatherings will remain smaller and casual. Third, many consumers have been leading more active lifestyles since the pandemic, with home gyms and physical outdoor activities gaining popularity. All these reasons mean that consumers will demand apparel that is versatile, comfortable and fashionable – and brands will have to tailor their product offerings to these evolving preferences.