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Were You A 2020 Fashion Cliche?

Updated: Feb 18

The one thing we see year on year globally is the intense rush to keep up with trends. As frivolous as some of these are, there is never a lack of a willing audience who are more than eager to rush out to bedeck themselves in the latest fashion crazes.



From dad shoes to cropped tops for men, faddy trends are rapidly followed by the world’s mass population. Celebrities are earnestly stalked online to see what and who they’re wearing and local trends on the high street are adapted at lightning speed to suit the demands of the people.


2020 Offered us something a little different last year given the crisis that is COVID-19 with fashionistas ditching their heels, mega coiffed hair and cinched in bodysuits for more comfortable loungewear to make for easier work from home (WFH) ensembles. Local e-tailer RunwaySale took a deep dive into their online purchased statistics to see how 2020’s most popular items grew this Christmas period versus December 2019.


Comfortable activewear led the pack showing staggering growth at 229%. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and her equally famous sisters helped push this trend making glammed up faces, sneakers and leggings the must have look for 2020. Face and body items purchased online cemented this trend with a 95% increase showing us that make-up was still a desirable purchase last year despite many cameras being turned off during Zoom meetings.


“It is clearly evident that despite the financial setbacks many have faced and, with us spending most of our time indoors locked away from the rest of the world, the desire to acquire stylish spoils still prevails,” said Rob Noble, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at RunwaySale.

Accessories also showed a notable incline in sales coming in at a 52% increase when compared to 2019’s sales.


“We surprisingly saw a massive increase in the number of men shopping online in 2020 which tells us that the gender was also in need of retail therapy during a particularly tough year. We saw a 100% increase in mens items that were checked out at our counters,” says Noble. Just some of the items that were loved by men last year included t-shirts, golfers, sneakers, watches and fragrances.


As we moved closer towards the December/ festive period, tops proved to be high on the fashion agenda coming in at 28% in sales with a preference for comfy t-shirts versus blouses and shirts. This was followed closely behind by shoes which made up 22% of the December online purchases. Swimwear was also bagged in abundance as many South Africans looked forward to a sunny beach holiday following a tumultuous year.


While nothing much has changed since last year, word on the street is that the fashionably forward can look forward to a year filled with brand new trends making an entry into the pages of fashion magazines and social media with stylish black face masks, clothing in cheerful pastel colours and bright head scarfs as inspired by the ’50s and 60s leading 2021’s online purchases.


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