This past fall, Lululemon’s design team noticed something unusual. Wall Street bros were flocking to the Brookfield Place store in the Financial District to buy the On the Move trousers, which look like chinos but are made from the same soft, stretchy, moisture-wicking material used in the brand’s activewear. That’s right: Finance execs were finally ditching their suits.
Lululemon is far from alone in noticing that suits are no longer in vogue. After two years of living through the pandemic—spending long periods working in sweatpants from the comfort of the couch—the way we dress appears to have changed significantly, perhaps even permanently. Brands, retailers, and analysts have found that consumers are ditching suits, silk blouses, and other formal workwear, opting instead for clothes that look professional but feel like the loungewear they’ve grown accustomed to wearing.