Bi-Annual Fashion and Beauty Trend Report

Spring / Summer Trends in North America

The Afterpay Bi-Annual Global

Fashion & Beauty Trend Report

Welcome to the North America section of the Global Trend Report, where we take a closer look at what Americans and Canadians are shopping for this Spring / Summer.

Who is the North American Afterpay Customer?

Over 8.1 million and growing, Americans and Canadians represent Afterpay’s largest customer base. Since our last report, they’ve changed their preference from shopping later in the day to the pre-work hours - coffee and shop. They’re still beauty obsessed this season, checking out with an average of 4 beauty items which is consistent with last season. They also love ready-to-wear, checking out with an average of 4 items this season, which has transitioned into monochrome tones and easy to style items such as bodysuits and rompers. 

Which cities are they shopping from?

Brooklyn
Chicago
Los Angeles
Philadelphia
Houston

What are they buying?

Casual-fashion is still present, but we’re starting to see the return of more transitional and easy to style looks. Bodysuits and rompers are key fashion items, while jeggings are still high on consumers lists. Many are updating their undergarments with nightgowns and underwear ranking high. On the beauty side, skincare is much more prevalent than makeup. Rollerball tools, sunscreen and CC creams as well as oils are ranking high. 

What are they buying?

Casual-fashion is still present, but we’re starting to see the return of more transitional and easy to style looks. Bodysuits and rompers are key fashion items, while jeggings are still high on consumers lists. Many are updating their undergarments with nightgowns and underwear ranking high. On the beauty side, skincare is much more prevalent than makeup. Rollerballs tools, sunscreen and CC creams as well as oils are ranking high. 

What's hot for spring?

As we pass the one year anniversary of lockdown in the US, we’re looking at the impact COVID-19 has had on our shopping behavior. As regions lift or create new restrictions, shoppers are maintaining their comfortable work from home purchasing patterns, with sweatpants, athleisure, and nightwear continuing to top shopping carts. However, shoppers are also beginning to look towards the end of lockdown, and are purchasing workwear, including pumps, work trousers, and even bodysuits. Skincare remains a top priority for shoppers as they focus on self care routines. Face rollers and oils have taken center stage for shoppers looking to bring the spa to their home. And as vaccinations roll out and travel becomes more accessible, buyers are scooping up duffle bags, flattering swimsuits, and sunnies heading into summer. 

The Top 3 Prints

If this season’s prints say anything, it’s that American and Canadian consumers are itching for warmer weather. Chambray and pique are a nod to the coming socially distanced outdoor activities like barbeques, golfing, tennis, and lounging by the pool. Shoppers also continue to be attracted to monogram prints as a means to show off what they believe in.

The Top 3 Hues

Neutral browns were big this year as tonal dressing made waves in North America. Also, as consumers adopted work and school from home, we’ve seen a huge spike in metallics. Pop culture also had a huge influence, with plum representing royal or rich colors stemming from aesthetics like Royalcore. 

The Hottest Brands & Retailers

Unsurprisingly, American’s have been doubling down on fitness, beauty and casual fashion. Below we dive in the top brands in the US.

The IT List

Stretch jeans, sneakers, and slides all made our list, showing that North American shoppers are still fully committed to the comfort infused lifestyle brought on by the pandemic. According to Afterpay’s consumer psychologist, Shakaila Forbes-Bell, the rise in comfort dressing isn’t a seasonal trend, but rather a response to a major shift in daily routines. And with any change in behavior, the longer we embrace it, the more likely it becomes our way of life.

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01

OLD NAVY Mid-Rise Super Skinny Jeans For Women

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02

NIKE Women's Air Jordan Retro 1 High OG

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03

crocs Classic Clog

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04

American Eagle Stretch Mom Jean

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05

Adidas Yeezy BOOST 350 V2 Casual Shoes

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06

OLD NAVY Triple-Layer Pleated Face Masks Variety 5-Pack

shop
07

OLD NAVY Extra High-Waisted Powersoft Light Compression Hidden-Pocket Leggings

shop
08

FENTY Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum

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09

UGG Fluff Yeah Slide

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10

24pcs Fake Nail & 1sheet Tape

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Style By State

Where you live has a major influence on how you dress… usually. That said, this year has been far from ‘usual’, and shopping patterns across the US are reflecting this shift.

The Beauty Update

If one positive came out of lockdown it was the resurgence of skincare. Being indoors may have hindered our social lives, but it also freed up time for self care. With that, it’s no surprise that products like sunscreen, CC cream and oils are this season’s hottest beauty items. According to Afterpay’s consumer psychologist, Shakaila Forbes-Bell, shoppers are gravitating towards these products because they’re not quite ready to return to their full makeup routines and want to continue prioritizing fresh skin.

CC cream
Sunscreen
Oil
Nail polish
Rollerballs

The Accessories Update

Fashion from the 90s, pop culture and working from home has had a major influence on this season’s most popular accessories. With the resurgence of fashion from previous decades, it’s clear shoppers are nostalgic, with items like scrunchies and charm bracelets making a comeback. More time on Zoom has nudged consumers to up their necklace game, and shows like Bridgerton have inspired new aesthetics like Regencycore. Hello again, headbands!

Hats
Charms
Necklaces
Scrunchies
Headbands

TOP SILHOUETTES:

Dresses

This season’s top dress silhouettes are a true testament of the times. Eyelet and peplum represent a new vintage feel on spring classics, with polo pointing to the coming summer months on the golf course. Gen Z’s love for jean has infiltrated dresses for its versatility to dress up or down, and fit-and-flare signals life post-pandemic with events like weddings on the horizon. 

Denim
Polo
Fit-and-flare
Peplum
Eyelet

TOP SILHOUETTES:

Footwear

Lockdown’s shift to casual footwear will have a lasting impact on shoes we wear this season. The ease of slip-ons remain a crowd favorite, while espadrilles, slingbacks and loafers represent transitional social and workplace fashion. But, as the country reopens, we’re also seeing shoppers plan for pending events and nights out with pumps trending up.

Slip-ons
Espadrilles
Loafers
Pumps
Slingback

TOP SILHOUETTES:

Swimwear

With trips to the beach and pool around the corner, swimwear is a staple item right now. As the first swim season post quarantine, we’re seeing supportive yet flattering styles like wraps and one-pieces become more popular. Shoppers are also spicing things up with plunge and cut outs, as well as keeping things feminine and playful with ruffles. 

Cutout
Ruffle
Wrap
One-piece
Plunge

What's Next?