Jun 14, 20213 min read

What’s hot for summer? It’s time to re-emerge from lockdown with these fresh looks.

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by Klarna

It’s been a long year, dominated by lackluster looks most of us would probably prefer to forget (sorry, sweatpants!). But as lockdown restrictions lift, people are beyond eager to reconnect with friends and family—and look their best while out and about. To lead us out of lockdown in style, Klarna and A$AP Rocky are kicking off a multimedia campaign aimed at encouraging us to get smoooth again.

And it seems most consumers can’t wait! Klarna’s latest consumer survey of over 1,000 shoppers across the US found that more than half (53%) have been waiting for the pandemic to end before refreshing their wardrobe, and 73% plan to switch up their style as they re-enter the social scene and return to work.

What trends can you expect to see in the coming months? Here’s what we learned.

Color & creativity for the win!

Though tradition dictates that you can wear white after Memorial Day, don’t expect to see too much of that basic hue this summer. More than a third (38%) of shoppers are ready to add color to their wardrobe. Which shades will be most popular? Shoppers across all ages are adding a splash of blue (28%) to their ensembles, followed by black (26%), and the always-summer-y aquamarine (24%).

In addition to dramatic colors, bold patterns will also prove popular. Flowers and abstracts tied for the designs of choice, with stripes and animal prints following close behind.

Going out or staying in, dressing up is having a moment.

It’s no secret that dressing up can make you feel fantastic and, dare we say, even a little more productive. So it makes sense that the vast majority of consumers (71%) plan to dress up more often now than during lockdown. This desire to appear a bit more polished is particularly pronounced among younger shoppers, with nearly three-quarters (73%) of 18-35 year olds ready to trade in their comfy clothes and upgrade their personal style.

Even if they don’t have plans outside their homes, surprisingly, more than 80% of consumers sometimes still dress up while staying in. The reason? Looking their best helps them feel better, more than half of consumers across all age groups (53%) agree. No argument there!

Shoes, shoes, and more shoes.

In a response that would make Carrie Bradshaw blush with pride, consumers across all demographics placed shoes at the top of the list of items they want to buy right now. Jeans and shirts took second place, while light summer clothing came in a close third.

Within the footwear category, the top three styles consumers are most eager to purchase include sneakers (46%), sandals (37%) and that old summertime staple, flip flops (33%).

Everything old is new again!

When asked which style they’d most like to see make a comeback, consumers ages 18-25 and 36-56 picked baggy pants, proving comfort isn’t too far from the minds of shoppers. Neon colors were the first choice of the 26-35 year old set. Low-rise jeans and glitter are also poised to make a comeback.

What will people be wearing around the water cooler?

As workers make their way back into the office, more than two-thirds (68%) of surveyed consumers plan to change up their look. 49% will wear more comfortable clothes while a mere 19% will get more dressed up.

Focus on sustainability

7 out of 10 (70%) of consumers say they now shop more sustainably than they did pre-pandemic. How are they achieving this? Across all age groups, the top ways are by shopping for more sustainable brands (28%), shopping less (21%), and upcycling or reusing clothes (11%).

More positive news: Almost 9 out of 10 consumers (88%) who shop more sustainably now than they did prior to the pandemic, plan to keep up the good work.

The survey was conducted by the research agency Dynata during May 2021 and includes 1140 US consumers aged 18-45.

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