From the return of a certain forgotten footwear to the unexpected hobby sweeping the country, 2021 brings us a lot of hope and some extra-cool new trends. We looked backward, forward and to the statistics to predict 10 lifestyle trends we’re likely to see in 2021.
BEAUTY & FASHION
Lounge. Wear. Loungewear.
2020 can keep a lot of things, but loungewear isn’t one of them. We’re just getting started. You’ve likely seen these sets everywhere … you know, the cute matching top and bottoms that look a lot like PJs but could absolutely pass for a trip to Trader Joe’s!? This comfy-chic trend will likely just get hotter this year as so many more favorite brands and small businesses are beginning to carry options. The latest Pinterest Predicts Report says searches for “soft outfits” are up 185%, and “cotton jumpsuits for women” are up 160%.
I remember secretly envying my fifth-grade teacher’s rotating collection of Dansko clogs. They just looked so comfortable, and I loved the heel height. A longtime favorite of artsy types and healthcare workers, clogs aren’t just for those creating or on their feet all day anymore. The Wall Street Journal‘s “How Clogs Clomped Back Into Style (Seriously)” cites that many luxury labels are making high-fashion, high-price tag versions of the clog. This new revival is related to a decline in formalwear and a desire for ease and comfort. You can slip them on and off, and they trudge through a lot, just like us.
Natural, everyday makeup is back. From the thick of 2020 and into this new year, we’ll see less and less of the full-face, 100-step makeup routine, and more of an emphasis on skin care that lovingly treats what’s underneath the makeup more than the makeup itself. 2021 will likely bring more socializing, but this “less is more” approach we’re applying to our social circles and outings applies to our makeup, too. Breathable, natural, back-to-basics makeup will outshine the full-fledged night-on-the-town-proof look.
Car = Third Space
As many car owners are driving less for work and more for pleasure, the domestic road trip is having a major moment, and some are opting for some very high-mileage routes. A recent survey by Reviews.com found that more than 81% of people who plan on some type of leisure travel this summer, plan to travel by car. Viewing our cars as an extension of the home will bring some meaningful changes this year.
Latest-model cars are adding full massage seats for the driver and front passenger, high-tech surround sound, and even car-to-car communication. Plus, expect a rise in gadgets for any car ready for the long haul — in-car coolers and warmers, auto coffee makers, car-specific air purifiers, and a vehicle desk for that person who can’t stop working! Pinterest, again, cites a 200% increase in searches for “car date night” and a 115% increase in “car man cave”!
Find Your Park
According to National Park Service data, Yellowstone National Park saw a 21% increase in visits in September 2020 compared to 2019, and park visitorship across the country is expected to continue to rise this year as Americans flock to wide open spaces and, perhaps, finally explore the treasures in our own darn country. An Airbnb trends survey says, “Looking back at September 2019 for trip planning in 2020, for U.S. guests, cities like Paris, London and Rome were all top destinations. Next year, a range of domestic locations in national parks, winter ski and beach towns are becoming the most popular.”
An article in Quartz also cites that “every destination Google is tracking, from retail to office to restaurants, has seen a moderate to severe drop except one: parks, a category including everything from public beaches, dog parks, and marinas to national parks.” We hope to see the revitalization, expansion, and investment in parks and greenways as 2020 showed us just how important they are.
IN THE HOME
One Thing, Many Purposes!
With more people in the household at once, kids and their working parents are vying for quiet places to think, read, or unmute on their Zoom meetings. Taking hints from the tiny home and minimalist movements, furniture companies and home design firms will focus on products that can be used as two or more things. Murphy beds that can turn into desks, storage under sleeper sofas, and an outfitted “cloffice” (closet-office!) are new trends being searched.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
The Michelin-Star Home Kitchen
Having gotten into a groove of cooking at home in 2020, this year, we’re looking beyond the grocery store for our supplies. We’ll see more attention to gourmet dishes and elaborate dining that incorporate luxe ingredients from top restaurants and local shops. The rise of sites like Goldbelly illustrates this trend perfectly. This online retailer empowers small shops, restaurants, and food purveyors from around the country to sell and ship their goods nationwide. You can order fresh lobster from a pier in Maine, an entire Peking duck meal from an NYC hotspot, and famous seasonings and sauces to accompany your creations. According to the Pinterest Predicts Report, searches for “food garnishes” are up 55%, and “gourmet food plating” is up 105%.
“Clean” Cocktails & Mocktails
As consumers continue to grow more conscious of what their bodies are consuming, mocktails and “cleaner” cocktails will continue to boom beyond Dry January. Brand-new companies like Kin are beautifully packaging and marketing the euphoric, mood-boosting side effects of their non-alcohol drinks without the regrets of alcohol. Health reasons and curiosity lure us into no- and low-alcoholic drinks, and the rapid rise of sales shows no sign of stopping. Expect to see a lot of language about health-boosting properties, although alcohol is not healthy. A VinePair 2021 drink trend report cites that booze brands will push things like “probiotic hard kombucha,” “hard seltzers rich in antioxidant vitamin C,” and “‘clean’ wine.” Attention to product ingredients — in booze and otherwise — will be a big part of 2021.
HEALTH & FITNESS
A September article in The Washington Post states that “golf, the official sport of social distancing, had its best summer in decades.” This trend will continue this year as many people got a fresh set of clubs for Christmas (equipment sales are skyrocketing). The same article cites that 98% of courses are now open across the country, and We Are Golf Organization has worked with the CDC on an impressively organized plan to safely allow tens of thousands of players back to their local courses. There is also an encouraging rise of new players who have either discovered the game or returned after a long hiatus. One of the sport’s main appeals is that all ages can enjoy it, so it’s a great outing for cooped-up families.
Outfitting The At-Home Gym
We got really great at working out at home in 2020. Or maybe we got really good at turning off video and doing the bare minimum in our Zoom workout class while also checking email. (No shame!) Either way, routines and spaces have been carved out for home workouts, and our options will only keep growing. In 2021, virtual exercise will become more realistic to reflect an outfitted studio, and many consumers are stocking up on their at-home arsenal of equipment. The sleek Bala Bangles ankle and wrist weights continue to sell out. New stationary bikes are popping up left and right to compete with Peloton. Lululemon’s sales of both clothing and The Mirror — an example of a multifunctional, space-saving design — are skyrocketing. The best predictive trend of 2021 is that this saturation of all-things-fitness will make it more affordable and easier for people of all skill levels and sizes to find their groove and prioritize their health.
Happy 2021, y’all!
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