UK Search Trends Reveal Dress Code Anxiety

Personalised clothing company, Banana Moon, has announced the UK is suffering from an increase in dress code anxiety. The industry report revealed that “dress code” related search terms had seen significant increases in volume compared to the previous year.

Comparing search trend data for key terms from March 2020-2021, against data from March 2021-2022, searches for ‘smart casual dress code female’ were up 128% and searches for ‘smart casual dress code men’ were up 198%. Searches for the term ‘smart casual workwear’ was also up 16%.

Of the analysis, Alex Grace, Managing Director at Banana Moon, said: “It’s clear the intent behind this search is for users to determine what smart casual means in the workplace or for an occasion. The boundaries for this have been somewhat blurred for many, with a third of adults working from home at some point this year and 56% of Brits wanting a blended worklife, comfort working from home looks set to stay.”

As well as worrying about what to wear, the report revealed UK consumers are also worried about where their clothes come from. Sustainable clothing search terms saw a lift in several areas when looking at behaviours year on year. As well as looking for general ‘eco-friendly clothing’, people are also searching for specific sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester.

Other key sustainable clothing terms that saw an increase in searches included:

  • Eco friendly clothing – up 14% YOY
  • Recycled polyester – up 5% YOY
  • Sustainable clothing – up 6% YOY

Alex Grace continued: “Brands are recognising how important supply chain transparency is to the consumer. Consumers are actively looking for ethical brands and sustainable choices. Whether a business is investing in uniforms, promotional workwear, or branded incentives for staff, it’s clear that sustainable clothing should be a priority to ensure people feel good about the clothes they are wearing.”

Keen to identify key trends in workwear and promotional attire, Banana Moon’s report also looked at search interest around personalised clothing and accessories. The analysis revealed that personalised clothing has seen renewed interest, particularly around personalised workwear, branded hoodies, and personalised bags.

Personalised clothing searches that saw the greatest increase included:

  • Personalised workwear – up 12%
  • Personalised t shirts – up 17%
  • Branded hoodies for men – up 310%
  • Personalised beach bags – up 49%
  • Personalised backpack kids – up 57%      

Alex Grace, said of the findings: “Personalisation of clothing is becoming an increasingly popular way of increasing customer satisfaction. Whether boosting brand awareness, portraying a professional image, or simply commemorating a special occasion, personalised clothing has more of an impact than we realise. That’s why we conduct regular industry reporting to stay at the top our game.”

The full industry workwear report and analysis can be found here.


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