The Future of Smart Casual Clothing

The Future of Smart Casual Clothing

We are seeing a revolution unfold right before our very eyes in terms of how people dress, with comfort and fit very much being at the forefront of purchasing decisions. A great example of this is streetwear, which has not only taken over the day to day attire, but it is now acceptable to wear in most, if not all nightclubs.

We carried out market research in which our respondents ranked both comfort and fit, as being the most important features they look for in clothing. A large influence on this change in consumer buying patterns, particularly in Ireland, has been the explosion of the fitness industry and the associated social media influencers. 
Tailored shirt, smart casual
As the popularity of weight training has increased, it is no longer seen as just a hobby, but as a way of life. It dictates people’s diet habits, their social circle, the online content they consume, and the clothes they wear. Backtrack five years ago, weight training was very much an alternative sub-culture, but due to the popularity of online bloggers and better information around flexible dieting, it is very much a mainstream lifestyle.

Consumers are already making fashion choices to match, with skinny jeans that mimic leggings, cotton elastane t-shirts that hug the bicep and long-line scooped hemlines that help accentuate a tapered torso. Sik Silk being a prime example, and are extremely successful across the UK and Ireland.

In fact, Chip Wilson, founder of the multi-billion dollar apparel company, Lululemon, has predicted that in the future we will all be wearing tight-fitted Lycra® because we will have superior information regarding our body composition and nutritional requirements. Here at Signature, we are inclined to agree, and thankful that we had been working on such a range for over a year by the time that statement had been released. The global activewear market is expected to reach $500billion by 2024, with online sales reaching $4 trillion next year.Mens Fashion

 

One such area of this massive pie, which is still relatively untapped is that of combining the performance aspects of stretch performance fabric in activewear, with clothing that is typically comprised of less flexible fabric. In particular office wear. From the very beginning of starting Signature we had a vision that was easily summed up by our one-line description; “Under Armor for the office.” In fact, we actually met with a senior member of staff in Under Amour this past year, who said that Under Armour at one point had a whole department ready to work on this very problem, but that nobody would actually purchase this kind of product from a sportswear brand. Therein lies our opportunity. A style brand, which combines the unique performances of sportswear, with a minimal, stylish design.

Combining the Performance of Activewear with Smart Casual

So we set about firstly developing a dress shirt which is comprised entirely of performance fabric. This set us on a journey of traveling to fabric exhibitions in Europe, consulting with fabric experts, and creating a product that we would wear ourselves. Our flagship shirt has the following unique features which we intend on incorporating into every aspect of office attire:

  • Tailored off the rack.
  • Extremely Comfortable.
  • Moisture-wicking, meaning no sweat marks.
  • Quick-Drying.
  • Non-iron. Wrinkles disappear within minutes of wearing the garment. 

Next, we needed to plan out our execution. We looked at brands in other product spaces who have exploded worldwide in a relatively short period of time. 

Some brands came to mind including GymShark, MVMT, and the luxury hot-sauce brand Truff. We looked at the way they operated completely online and built their brand using cinematic content and sold directly to the consumer via social media. So we made the decision to structure the company as if we were a digital marketing agency that managed other people's brands.

We took on board an artistic director and a media executive as part of the core team. We are keeping the innovation, creativity, and content in-house, and outsourcing everything else. With online sales, we have the opportunity to bypass common logistical headaches of wholesale and brick and mortar, so that we can zone in on our core competencies.

Smart Casual

Keep an eye on this space because it is one that will keep growing as we continue to innovate, design and create products that we are proud to wear ourselves.