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Britain has become a nation of fashionable loungers

Smart office wear has been officially ditched in favour of soft trousers, trainers and slouchy knitwear.

A study of 2,000 adults discovered 49 per cent now own more ‘relaxed’ clothes than ever before.

One in six said their wardrobes have ‘significantly’ changed due to the ‘flexi-lifestyle’ – partially working from home or the office and having social occasions both in person and virtually.

The study, commissioned by shopping centre, centre:mk, also found that 28 per cent feel they need to give their wardrobe a refresh to suit this new lifestyle.

But adults are now 10 times as likely to buy a jumper over a suit and five times as likely to purchase jeans over a maxi skirt.

More than a third (35 per cent) will be ditching their heels in favour of trainers, while fewer than one in 20 plan to buy stilettos this season

Kim Priest from centre:mk, said: “The study shows how shoppers are reinventing their wardrobes this season to create the ultimate flexi-wardrobe.

“The new flexi-lifestyle we’re all living means shoppers are adapting their clothing items to become smart casual capsule collections, pairing new items with their timeless classics like jeans and blazers, and designing their top half to be screen ready.

“Our research shows that shoppers are opting more for comfort particularly when working from home.

“However, while they’re a bit more relaxed in their attire, they are still keen to look as good as ever, often paring comfort on the bottom half with a smart top to take the children to school, jump on an important Zoom or for those rare real life social occasions we all want to make the most of.”

The study also found that these ‘flexi-wardrobes’ will also include a fashionable face covering, oversized t-shirts, gym wear and leggings.

They will also contain four pairs of jeans, six jumpers and four pairs of trainers.

It also emerged that 18 per cent plan to buy more comfortable clothes to accommodate their new lifestyle, with the average adult planning to spend £103 on their autumn/winter look.

But the 25-34 age group have been the biggest spenders over the past few months

But the 25-34 age group have been the biggest spenders over the past few months, splashing out £123 on new fashion – with a fifth spending £200 or more.

More than half (51 per cent) have conceded that their clothes shopping trips will be different to usual though due to a lack of social occasions likely to take place this autumn and winter.

As a result, 31 per cent plan to opt for more casual pieces over smarter looks while 21 per cent will buy flexible items that they can wear both working from home and in face-to-face meetings.

And three in 10 of those polled are planning to buy more jumpers than they normally would have in previous years, while a quarter want to stock up on more t-shirts and hoodies.

It’s not just clothes though as the research, carried out via OnePoll, also found the average adult is planning to fork out £48 on beauty products for the autumn/winter season.

Prof Carolyn Mair PhD, behavioural psychologist and author of ‘The Psychology of Fashion’, who has collaborated with centre:mk, said: “Many people miss the opportunity to be spontaneous, so we are choosing clothing items that can be combined effortlessly to work in multiple contexts.

“This reduces uncertainty, increases confidence and provides a sense of control which in turn contributes to our wellbeing.

“What we wear is our second skin, it expresses who we are.

“Prior to the pandemic, we associated traditional workwear with conscientiousness and professionalism, but working from home has changed what we wear to perform our jobs and the associations that we make about appearance.

“We can exert and command authority in casual clothing in many different ways.

“Although we make a judgement about a person in under one second based on their appearance alone, we often change this when we know them better.”

The average Brits’ ‘flexi-wardrobe’ currently includes:


Seven jumpers
Five pairs of jeans
Four casual skirts
Three smart skirts
Four pairs of trainers
Six items of loungewear
Ten t-shirts
One suit
Five day dresses
Four formal dresses
Five items of gym wear
Two pairs of suit trousers
Five coats
Six shirts/blouses


Five jumpers
Four pairs of jeans
Three pairs of trainers
Five items of loungewear
Ten t-shirts
Three suits
Three items of gym wear
Three pairs of suit trousers
Four coats
Seven shirts
Two pairs of chinos

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