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Rather than dress to impress, the easy to wear look has become the biggest trend in fashion, a new study for lifestyle marketplace Unbound revealed today.

Over eight in ten (81%) make comfort their top priority, ahead of cost or style.

Just one in eight (13%) regards following the latest trend as essential; displaying a status symbol logo trails at the bottom of a league table of what people now want in their wardrobes.

The research carried out for Unbound, which owns the footwear disruptor Hotter shoes, reveals how fashion on the high street and in the office has dramatically changed. Comfort has become the biggest influence in deciding everyday chic, not just in what we wear at home.

Looking good is still rated by over half of those questioned (52%) and people haven’t stopped wanting to be stylish (27%) but gone are the days when you had to suffer to be fashionable.

The study which questioned over 2000 respondents also showed that being easy to wash is seen as more a priority than of colour, fabric and cut.

Sarah Davies, Chief Product Officer of Unbound said: “Comfort has become key for people over the past year and people are breaking free from restrictions and the stress of choosing what clothes they feel they should be wearing. This change in fashion goes hand in hand with people investing more time in their own self-care and wellness.

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“Of course, people still want to look well turned out but they have gained confidence to decide on products they feel good in and like wearing. Comfort is the new luxury. We are becoming loungewear connoisseurs and are appreciating the joy in comfort.”

This latest study was backed up by industry figures which revealed sales of ‘athleisure’ clothing, such as yoga joggers, almost doubling in the last year (Direct Commerce).

And the trend has even begun to trickle down to the haute couture world. On the recent catwalks of London, Paris and Milan, elasticated waistbands, stretchy fabrics, flat sandals, knit dresses and sneakers have all made an appearance.

LouLou Storey, style coach at The Styling Storey added: “You can look good but not feel great, however if you always feel great I believe you will always look good.

“Feeling at peace with our bodies and comfortable in our own skin is key. Our clothes should allow us to move and flow through life with ease not fight against who we are.

“I think also in a changing world we need to feel safe; comfortable clothes can act like a subtle security blanket … there’s already enough discomfort in the wider world.”

The trend has embraced all ages with the over 50’s as keen to embrace the comfort look as younger generations. How this continues to reshape the collections in-store for 2023 and beyond is a trend to watch.

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