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The Pandemic-Driven Obsession For Loungewear Has Major Potential As Athflow

A Global Health Crisis has swiftly transformed our wardrobes as we live and function from our couch desks. In the past 12 months, loungewear quickly emerged as the pandemic-driven category. The shift has been one to more casual and versatile garments characterised by their ability to work for people who were spending more time at home. We’ve switched to clothing with relaxed sensibilities that feel comfortable, are crafted with the earth in mind, and make us feel safe and at home.  

But even as our glamorous ensembles await to be flaunted in 2021, it doesn’t mean we will be leaving our loungewear behind in 2020. In fact, according to the 2021  Pinterest Predicts report, comfortable clothing continues to command our wardrobes with a new kind of aesthetic — Athflow (Randone, 2021). Athleisure continues to evolve but in its refined form with slick fabrics, cascading silhouettes and coordinated sets.  

Athleisure has been around for some time now and loungewear has emerged from it and is growing as the intersection of the more stringent contemporary categories —  knitwear and workwear. Consider the body-hugging knitted stretch dress that is speedily transitioning into retailers’ dress section. It’s chic silhouette, which is super relaxed, can transition into workwear seamlessly, in case you suddenly have to attend a couple of meetings. More specifically, Pinterest defines Athflow as “professional  enough for the office,’ stretchy enough for the yoga mat, and comfy enough for the  couch.”  

In fact, this shift dates back to the 20th century when sportswear emerged as an enjoyable alternative with everyday formalwear fading across the U.S. and  Europe. In the 1920s, Coco Chanel presented menswear staples, like tailored suiting,  as women’s own. But it wasn’t until the workforce revolution of World War II that trousers really, truly walked into the mainstream. Coming to the present time, 2020’s loungewear boom is indicative of a significant shift affecting all categories of our consumer lives, not just within apparel. The Work Revolution during the pandemic has changed how companies operate which directly affects how we will dress every day!  

Key points to keep in mind while stepping into Loungewear in 2021  

  1. Cosy Fabrics: Fabrics that feel soft to touch and that mould to the skin well, preferably crafted with sustainable materials
  2. Incorporate Fun: Fresh palettes that use tones other than neutrals, lifting moods on long, cold days of winter and transitioning smoothly to spring
  3. Outside of the Home: Loungewear in 2021 is making its way outdoors in silky pants, cotton onesies, cashmere trousers and knitwear dresses 
  4. Layering (Key Aesthetic): Taking inspiration from the Fall 2020 runway, layering has been the key aesthetic alongside tonal dressing which can work well for two-piece lounge suits


The way people dress is headed towards ultra-wearable looks that can be dressed up or down with more people searching for keywords like ‘home dress women, soft outfits, oversized outfits, and cotton jumpsuits’ and moving towards these trends. Post pandemic, our concepts for what is appropriate at the office and what is professional dressing is changing. 


Heather Gramston, head of womenswear at Browns Fashion, shares that it came as no surprise that loungewear over-performed for the online luxury retailer last year as comfort eclipsed all other priorities for those following stay-at-home orders in their abodes. With more remote working jobs and work from home options at some workplaces, the appeal of the Athflow clothing is forecasted to stick around for quite some time!