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US fashion trends

US fashion trends

How the pandemic changed beauty and fashion, and how brands are responding to new consumer demands.

Things move quickly when it comes to fashion and beauty trends. As new home-bound practices become more routine, the industry has had to shift faster and more dramatically than usual.

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Led by a need and a capacity to create accessories for safety (mask up!) the fashion world has dove into work from home or work from anywhere fashion trends: for a while they even represented the epitome of all things work-related.

As we move into a new phase in the global pandemic, fashion will continue to keep up.

We used Talkwalker’s consumer intelligence platform to analyze some of the biggest trends in the US for fashion and beauty fans, and the brands they love, so far this year.

The fashion and beauty Industry Report is compiled from insights generated in Talkwalker Analytics and Talkwalker Quick Search between March 2021 and June 2021. Some stories look at a longer trend and therefore analyze data as far back as June 2020.

Comfort and safety first!

The first trend you are undoubtedly aware of is masks. There’s been over 280 million mentions of masks worldwide in online conversations over the last year alone! That number is falling, as masks become more normalized across the country-- conversations around them are fading too.

A collage of the most engaging social media posts depicting fashionable masks is shown.

Fashionably masked is a recipe for great social media engagement.

Our report found that 40% of fashionable mask mentions are positive, compared with just 13% of the mask conversation overall. That means that for fashion retailers the accessorized opportunity to sell masks will remain for a long time.

Another surefire trend you’ve seen or experienced for yourself is the move to comfortable clothing. Who needs slacks when sweats will do?

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To usher in this new era of athleisure apparel for all occasions, brands are turning to celebrities to remind consumers it’s okay to embrace comfort.

Athleta recently signed Simone Biles away from Nike - just in time for the Tokyo games.

Evening wear is the new...toilet paper?

The Wedding Report says that last year there were 40% fewer weddings than the year prior. And next year, in 2022, they expect 2.5 million weddings in the US, the most since 1984.

This has translated to a prolific undersupply of high-end evening wear. Wedding dresses, ball gowns, bridesmaids dresses, and tuxedos are in high demand with retailers’ supply chains struggling to keep up.

Halter tops wrap up fashion

One of the newest trends we can see, growing quickly, is about halter tops.

Mentions of halter tops that include the words “wrap” or “cross” have doubled from this time last year. These garments are snug and made from comfortable material, it makes sense they are flying off shelves.

Mentions of halter tops that include the words

Look at that results-to-engagement ratio, wow!

It ties in (no pun intended) with the trend of staying comfortable.

Skincare for self-care

Parts of the beauty industry have had a rough go of it. Makeup use, and fragrances have seen declines, according to a report by McKinsey. That doesn’t mean parts of the beauty industry haven’t found a way to thrive recently though.

Skincare has received newfound focus and attention from consumers who have been focused on self-care while working from home.

One example is the rise in social media mentions of organic sunscreen.

Organic suncreen mentions are depicted in the chart, there have been 5,000 mentions so far this summer, and that number is growing.

More and more consumers are taking a closer look at what they rub into their skin.

While still a small portion of the overall skincare conversation, this trend has all the makings of a brand opportunity.

As brands like Native lather into the organic sunscreen trend we’re just waiting for a brand to build a thriving community while selling DIY sunscreen kits.

Your report on the latest in the fashion and beauty industry

User-generated content (UGC) beauty trends are getting amplified on TikTok

Our report took a look at nearly a million fashion and beauty video tutorials posted in the last 3 months alone. That’s a lot of influencers!

Here’s a quick tip for brands and the influencers they hire about which posts are most engaging: the most engaging posts were the ones that helped viewers maintain a beauty or skincare routine even in lockdown.

The outcome of two forces working in tandem is logical but worth stressing: influencer marketing matters more than ever. Especially for fashion and beauty brands like E.L.F. and especially on TikTok.

The first was that as brands found themselves locked out of their studios, with teams working fully remotely, it was the influencers themselves - those owners of mini studio and production houses in their own homes - that were still able to create content regularly, and in the right tone to reflect the country’s condition.

Bored in the house and in the house bored, it was consumers who wracked up billions and billions of viral views across a wide range of topics….on their phones.

Influencer marketing then became one of the only avenues available to beauty brands. Brands couldn’t create content explaining the benefits of their products, and they didn’t have a great way to reach people who’d want that content anyways.

Personal care products saw a surge in mentions during peak lockdown.

Personal care products became an object of attention, at the expense of makeup and cosmetics, early on in lockdowns.

Influencers solved both problems for beauty brands in the pandemic.

Our report also examines how they prepare to make the next jump: to a product launch.


While no one could have seen what was lurking around the corner in November 2019, pandemic era norms and sensibilities are now commonplace, and fashion and beauty brands are getting back to what they do best - pushing the envelope of style and beauty, creating, defining, and expanding on trends, giving self-fulfillment to people around the globe who still need to look their best, even if it’s from behind the laptop’s camera.

Check out the full fashion & beauty Industry Report now to learn about how you can best position your brand to make the most of the current trends...or the next one.

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