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NPD: US Apparel Market up 10% Compared to 2019

The U.S. apparel industry has generated $13.3 million more in revenue — representing a 10% boost — in the first eight months of this year than it did in 2019, according to The NPD Group consumer tracking service.

More than three-fifths of U.S. consumers want a new wardrobe to replace their old and worn clothes or to accommodate new sizes as they head out more in their post-quarantine lives, the recent NPD omnibus survey shows.

Sleepwear, intimates, socks, underwear and other basics top the list of apparel needs and wants among U.S. consumers looking for a wardrobe refresh. Many consumers chose comfortable clothing during the COVID-19 pandemic as they stayed home and even worked there, making sleepwear the biggest growth category.

About 70% of women choose pajamas and slippers for activities other than sleeping, according to a recent NPD/CivicScience survey.

Intimates revenue went up 25% through August 2021 compared to the same time in 2019, in part because so many consumers changed sizes, but also because more shoppers are focused on comfort and versatility. Smoothing and wire-free bras jumped 46% and 41%, respectively. Shapewear needs have gone from waist cinchers and bodysuits to tank tops and thongs.

Men stocked up on underwear and undershirts, which were up 21% this year.

Socks for men and women combined to go up 27% between January and August this year compared to the same time in 2019. Crew socks led the way on the men’s side, while women opted for the low-cut variety.

“Consumers are going back to basics, as they return to life in ways we once knew,” said Kristen Classi-Zummo, director of apparel market insights at NPD, in a press release. “Consumers are prioritizing adaptable apparel that provides benefits for everyday occasions – fitting the work-from-home lifestyle, while also making us feel comfortable, confident and polished as we head out the door again. Brands that are nimble and innovate according to the consumer’s updated wardrobe will lead growth in the apparel industry as we move ahead.”

Related news: Fashion Nova Partners With Afterpay on BNPL Initiative

On Thursday (Sept. 23), buy now pay later (BNPL) firm Afterpay teamed up with eCommerce fashion platform Fashion Nova to give shoppers more options on how and when to pay for their purchases, according to a joint press release.

Online Fashion Nova shoppers can now choose to pay in four interest-free installments with Afterpay as part of the collaboration, the release stated.

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