If 2020 was the year of the Zoom wedding, 2021 is bringing the party back for the newlyweds and their guests. As in person fittings remain difficult at this time, online searches for wedding dresses and suits have quadrupled year-on-year. From the rise of the engagement watch to grooms’ skirts and the increasing demand for partywear, brides and grooms are now opting for bold and contemporary pieces made to celebrate love and spark joy.

Looking at brands, we expect a big year for contemporary labels rather than big luxury names. Searches for Khaite and Retrofête — both favorites amongst the fashion crowd — are continuously rising (up 63% and 27% respectively year-on-year), while Simone Rocha’s bridal accessories are amongst the most wanted so far. Thom Browne is becoming a favorite amongst grooms, as searches for the brand’s suits grew 23% over the last quarter. Meanwhile, page views for white Christopher John Rogers pieces have increased 42% since the start of the year, with his topstitched cotton-twill maxi dress generating over 5,000 page views over the same period.

The Year of the After Party

Lockdown newlyweds are having the chance this year to celebrate in front of their loved ones, with sequel weddings and after parties. Following a year full of Zoom parties and waist-up dressing, partywear is having its big moment again. Fashion-favorite brands including Retrofête, LoveShakFancy, Amina Muaddi and David Koma have all seen a spike in searches ahead of the summer wedding season, while interest for mini bridal dresses has jumped 170% since January.

Despite the profound popularity of party dresses, “fun pants” are becoming the new favorite amongst brides and grooms. We expect a big year for jazzy, going out bottom pieces such as printed pants (+43%), embellished (+37%) and pleated trousers (+31%), demand for which has been steadily increasing over the past three months. High heels are also making their way back to the party scene, with rhinestone heels amongst the most wanted categories and over 18,000 monthly searches for Amina Muaddi’s crystal slingback pumps.

The Untraditional Way

As the market adapts to a new era, so too are couples, who are bringing an extensive range of “firsts” during this season. “Bridal”, “wedding” and “matching” face masks are most couples’ “something new” and have been generating over 30,000 monthly searches collectively. But face masks aren’t the only unexpected accessory of 2021; expect to see more fine watches and the rise of the “engagement watch”. Looking at the category as a whole, terms such as “couple”, “engagement” and “wedding” have started to appear more frequently over the past year, resulting in a 42% increase in searches for pieces including these terms.

Shoppers are increasingly looking for gloves to match their wedding outfits: searches for the accessory including the terms “bridal” and “silk” have nearly doubled over the past three months, no doubt due to both Covid and Bridgerton inspired dressing.

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