​Stock Up: 2021 Trends for Your Boutique

Tick, tock…it’s time to think about fashion trends and the type of items to stock in your resale boutique for 2021. While the past year has been anything but normal, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and shops need to be prepared for the arrival of new traffic—both foot and virtual. So, while consumers bought less (but better) in 2020, we’re willing to bet the future of shopping will be paved in pre-loved Chanel, Gucci, and Dior.

Trend #1: Sustainability

While “sustainable fashion” has made waves in the industry, it’s really just another marketing and PR buzz phrase that brands seemingly apply to all their goods, whether they’re environmentally friendly or not. With words like “vegan”, “organic”, “eco” and “conscious” overused, the idea of fashion being sustainable has essentially lost its meaning. Whether fast fashion brands are touting their organic cotton and recyclable fibers or Burberry and Gucci claiming carbon neutrality, the fact is the production of new clothing pollutes the earth and brands will never really be able to reduce their carbon footprint without embracing the resale industry.

Moving forward in 2021, we will see more brands embrace re-engineered cashmere, ethically sourced wool, organic cotton, recycled textiles, and cruelty-free materials—faux fur and leather.

But remember, resale is the ultimate in clothing recycling and we’re all doing our part to save the world!

Trend #2: Circular Fashion

The sudden popularity of ethical and environmentally friendly brands has given way to circular fashion, which aims to minimize waste and make the most of a brand’s resources. Circular fashion’s goal is to make sure the life span of a designer’s item is cyclical—and this starts with the timelessness of the design. Do they think it’ll be trendy for 8-12 weeks or is it a classic piece that’ll never go out of style?

The designer then must focus on the sustainability of the materials. Are the textiles biodegradable? How long does lambskin leather last? And on the lambskin note, are the animals and workers being treated fairly and ethically? And finally, once the piece has been outworn or the wearer just becomes bored, can it be repaired or redesigned? Can it be resold or rented? With cyclical fashion, the hope is fewer items will be bought and that will result in less damage to our planet.

So, before you go stock your shop with designer delights, think about whether these items fall into the category of circular fashion—otherwise you might end up with excess stock at the end of the year.

Trend #3: Elevated Loungewear

We’ve all adopted a more comfortable lifestyle and we’re only going to see this trend grow even more throughout 2021. The whole work from home, gym from home, school from home, and shop from home movement has caused us to embrace our inner comfy, cozy and shove those constricting party clothes to the back of the closet.

So, what are shoppers on the hunt for this winter? Snuggly essentials like chunky cardigans, cashmere jogger pants, oversized sweaters, fleece hoodies, ribbed polo shirts, sweatshirt dresses, and flannel button-downs! And of course, sheepskin slippers, designer sneakers and fur-lined slides.

Trend #4: Face Masks

Yeah, yeah, I know they’re not all that great, but they’re here to stay for the foreseeable future so you better make them fashion! It’s time to ditch the disposable medical designs and stock up on some seriously stylish options.

As people emerge from the final lockdown and begin to trek back to the office, the gym, and even the nightclub, they’ll be looking for some statement face masks. From dainty lace to glow-in-the-dark prints, tie-dye, crystal embellishments, and stone-washed denim, face masks have been designed to fit every face shape and fashion persona, so it’s time to stock up. Add a little more bling to your selection by also investing in face mask chains and straps…the more unique the better!

Trend #5: Soft, Cushy Clutches

Simplistic, laid-back, luxe leather clutches are the name of the fashion accessories game this year, and in a sense it’s a nod to 2020’s don’t-touch-me vibe. If you’re holding a clutch in front of you with both hands clasped, it’s pretty difficult to shake hands when greeting someone, and maybe that’s why this trend has taken off!

Since most people pulled a Marie Kondo in 2020 and cleaned out their closets, they’ll be looking to replenish what was sold—and that includes handbags. One of the bag trends spotted all over the runways for 2021 were slouchy, pillow-y, lightweight clutches that resembled Bottega Veneta’s casual cool design called “The Pouch”. From ruched and ruffled leather to chain embellishments, and oversized envelope designs to baguettes, once nightlife takes off again, fashionable folks will be on the hunt for these mini must-haves, so be ready to have supply for their demand!

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