NEW YORK — Whether they’re planning a post-COVID party or just going back to work, almost one in six Americans already have an outfit picked out for the day they get to go out in public again. While women may have a reputation for stylish wardrobes, a new survey finds more of these Americans are men rather than women.

In a recent OnePoll survey of 2,000 people, 45 percent say they’re planning to go “all-out” for their first post-pandemic event. That includes 55 percent of men and 36 percent of women.

Furthermore, 15 percent have already started picking outfits for when public safety protocols fade away. This is true for a fifth of all men polled (21%) in comparison to only a tenth of women (9%). On average, it will likely take the average American two hours to get ready for their formal post-COVID debut. For nine percent, it may even take them over five hours in total.

post covid fashionCleaner’s Supply commissioned the survey in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the invention of dry cleaning; first patented by inventor Thomas Jennings.

Results also suggest that people are looking forward to presenting themselves the way they used to before the pandemic. Over a third (38%) also think their “getting ready” routine in 2022 will be exactly the same as it was in 2019. Another 14 percent think their morning routine will be even “more elaborate.”

While almost half of the respondents (47%) admit that it now takes them longer to feel comfortable in outdoor clothing than it used to, nearly the same number of people (46%) make sure to dress nicer in virtual meetings with someone. Another 22 percent have already tried on their fancy clothes at least once during quarantine to make sure everything still fits. Nearly one in five people (19%) have gotten dressed up “for no reason.”

Quarantine isn’t cutting down on the dry cleaning

Despite a relative dearth of formal social events, one in six Americans have still taken a garment to their dry cleaning service within the past twelve months.

“In the two centuries since Jennings became the first African-American to hold a U.S. patent, fashion hasn’t changed as much as you might think,” says Cleaner’s Supply President Jeff Schapiro in a statement. “Suit sales might have dropped during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, for example, but if you look what people were wearing in the ‘Roaring Twenties,’ it’s clear that extravagant, luxury clothing became much more popular after life returned to normal.”

post covid fashionIndeed, 41 percent have shopped for an article of clothing other than loungewear over the past year. These shoppers plan to spend an average of $160.67 on new going-out clothes once the pandemic is over. Even before the pandemic, 21 percent believe they were typically overdressed for whatever occasion they found themselves at. Only 16 percent felt underdressed.

“At the end of the day, we all want to take pride in what we look like and how we present ourselves in public, whether you’re wearing a silk ball gown or a cashmere sweatsuit,” Schapiro adds.

Over half the poll (57%) shared their excitement about having an in-person social life again. Three in 10 Americans say they’re more excited than they are nervous. However, don’t be surprised if the suits people buy after 2022 are made of a much cozier blend of wool. Forty-seven percent expect formalwear to become more comfortable in the future.

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About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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