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Consumers Aren’t Interested in Latest ‘Top Fashion Trends’ Report Claims


In a new report, independent British fashion brand, Blakely Clothing, shares the results of a 2,000 respondent survey which found that most of the UK’s 18-35 year-old shoppers have no intention of following this year’s top fashion trends. But what do retailers need to know?

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 78%, stated that they are willing to spend more on clothing if it means better quality and durability, 67% said they are now more likely to invest in classic and timeless pieces than in trending attire, and 77% said that the longevity of their clothing is more important to them than its trendiness. 

The report, ‘I wouldn’t wear that’, notes that there are 15% fewer Google searches related to fashion trends in the UK each month now than there were five years ago, while searches for ‘comfortable clothes’ have shot up 32% in the last month and ‘athleisure’ and ‘athleisure wear’ are seeing sustained popularity and growth. 

“The definition of fashion is changing,” Blakely CEO Gareth Newman says, “where enduring quality and comfort are at the forefront of consumer demand, focusing on wellness and value for money rather than trending aesthetics.” 

Across a range of womenswear trends identified in popular fashion magazines as top choices for 2024, the least popular were ‘Hot Metals’ and ‘Snowflake Patterns’, with 64% of women saying they don’t intend to buy or wear these. Those predicting menswear shoppers would be leaning into ‘Animal Prints’ and ‘Glitterbombed’ looks this year will be disappointed to learn that 65% and 69% of men respectively have no intention of shopping for either, and will be far more likely to opt for ‘Back in Black’ – the only trend to entice a high volume of shoppers, with 72% of men happy to follow a ‘trend’ that largely amounts to what many people consider a standard wardrobe: dressing solely in black.

For brands and retailers hoping to see growth throughout the year ahead, the data hints at the need to focus energy on demonstrating quality, value and longevity in garments, rather than seeking to launch product ranges that satisfy ever-growing lists of trends.

60% of respondents in the Blakely survey did admit to having their personal style influenced by social media, however. Shoppers may not be swayed by the trends put forward on runways and in fashion and lifestyle magazines, but evidence suggests they can be sold a certain look by the Instagrammers, TikTokkers and other social media stars in their newsfeeds. Northern Irish shoppers are most likely to be influenced by what they see on social (71%) while buyers in the East of England are as apathetic about social suggestions as they are about mainstream trends – just 44% in the region cited social media as influencing their purchases.

“The regional variations in how social media influences fashion choices highlight that digital trends often don’t mirror actual wardrobe selections.” Gareth Newman goes on to say. “It’s becoming clear that consumers are less swayed by online fast fashion trends than we might assume.”

While there is no doubt that brands can still gain significant value from being seen and shared in sought-after fashion titles, any not yet setting social media at the heart of their 2024 strategies may find that Blakely’s figures provide serious food for thought.

For more insight, including additional regional data and demographic comparisons, read the full report on the Blakely website.

*Research was conducted between the 30th of January and the 5th of February 2024 via a national survey, distributed to a representative audience of 2,000 18-35 year olds across the UK. Search data and online trend insights were collected through Google Trends, Ahrefs, historic Google keyword data, Pinterest and TikTok trends, while ‘top trends’ for 2024 were established through recurrence frequency in titles such as Vogue, GQ and other major fashion and lifestyle publications. 

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