Peak sweatpant has passed and high heels are hot again, according to data from fashion industry experts

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After a year of being in loungewear, casual clothes are out, according to fashion experts. Hot Thunderstorm Studio
  • After a year of living in sweatpants, people are starting to shop for going-out clothes.
  • Data from fashion search platform Lyst show sweatpants falling off the list of the hottest products for the first time in a year.
  • Meanwhile, searches for high heels and dresses are up 163% and 222% respectively.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sweatpants are out and high heels are in, according to new data from global fashion search platform Lyst.

In its latest report covering the hottest trends and brands in the fashion industry, based on the searches of over 150 million shoppers, Lyst called the peak sweatpants phase officially over.

“Several quarters ago the prevailing mood was of hunkering down and adapting to a predominantly home-based lifestyle. Now there are signs that shoppers are eager to get out again, express themselves, and diversify away from sweats,” the company wrote in a press release this week.

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According to its data, searches for high heels and dresses were up 163% and 222% respectively in the most recent quarter. And for the first time since the end of 2019, a pair of heels made it into its ranking of the hottest women’s products. Meanwhile, sweatpants fell off the list for the first time since early 2020.

“This quarter we saw shoppers start to act on pent-up demand for going-out wear,” a spokesperson for Lyst told Insider.

“It seems peak sweatpant has passed … Sweats have seen us through the past year, but many fashion-lovers are now looking to set aside the sweatpants and rediscover the joy of dressing up. The things shoppers have been browsing, saving, and buying in the Lyst app suggest an imminent return to going-out wear,” she said.

Sales of athleisure wear and casual wear boomed during the pandemic as consumers trapped at home sought comfort in their clothes. Meanwhile, sales of going-out and workwear suffered, and in some cases, led to bankruptcies in the industry.

But the trend toward dressing more casually predated the pandemic, and experts say it’s here for the long haul.

“What we’ve seen through COVID-19 is indeed an acceleration of a lot of the trends that were already underway,” Anita Balchandani, a partner at McKinsey who works on fashion and apparel, said in a recent podcast about the state of the fashion industry.

“Whether you look at digital, sustainability, or even athleisure and casualization, these were all trends that we were seeing before the crisis. If anything, they’ve been amplified over the course of the crisis,” she said.