As population works from home, Walmart reports increased sales for tops but not pants

Tips for working from home during the coronavirus pandemic

In the age of social distancing, working from home has become the new normal. But coronavirus quarantine has led to an interesting trend in fashion: sales for tops are up, and sales for pants are down.

Millions of workers, typically bound to business or business-casual attire in the office, are now free to lounge around their homes in hoodies and sweatpants. But tops still play an important role as many employees will get semi-dressed for video conference calls. 

Dan Bartlett, Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs, told Yahoo Finance that the company has seen a spike in sales of tops, but not bottoms. "So, people who are concerned, obviously, from the waist up," Bartlett said. "These behaviors are going to continue to change and evolve as people get accustomed to this new lifestyle if you will."

CBS News political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns posted a picture of herself live on CBSN wearing a blazer on Instagram Stories, but clarified that she was still wearing leggings out of frame.  Caitlin Huey-Burns

While Walmart hasn't closed its stores, Bartlett said the company has seen a spike in online sales.

Gap Inc. reports similar findings to Walmart across all of its brands, including Gap, Athleta and Old Navy, the company told CBS News on Friday. But for people who are buying pants, they certainly aren't reaching for slacks. Gap Inc. said its brands have seen major spikes in sales for comfortable clothing, including joggers, leggings, sweatshirts and sleepwear.

"Our brands have seen an increase in searches for loungewear, sweaters, and other clothing that is well suited for at-home wear," a spokesperson said. 

Nordstrom declined to comment on specific sales, but said that it has added categories to its homepage to reflect customer feedback, including "Create Your Sanctuary," "Get Comfortable," "Relax and Rejuvenate" and "Keep the Kids Busy."

Other brands have noticed the trend and started marketing their more casual items on social media. 

Everlane, a brand known for its work-appropriate stables, is offering "Bundles of Comfort" on its website, which allow shoppers to pick two of the brand's coziest items at a lower cost, including leggings, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and long-sleeve T-shirts.

Men's fashion brand Suitsupply is getting in on both sides of the trend. The company recently posted a photo on Instagram of a model wearing a button-down, tie and blazer on top — and nothing but underwear on the bottom. 

"Working from home doesn't mean compromising on style. Keep your look professional—from the waist up at least," the brand wrote. Scrolling through the Instagram post leads to a picture that says, "Off-camera?" before featuring the same model, this time wearing a sweatshirt. 


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