Baton Rouge clothing stores selling more casual attire as work dress codes relax

Baton Rouge clothing stores have had a surge in sales since restrictions were lifted, and some of the reason may lie with pandemic lifestyles causing customers to gain or lose weight and offices loosening dress codes.

This is part of a larger national trend, Axios reports. The pandemic changed many retail and apparel trends, and we’re only beginning to understand what it means for business.

Post-pandemic, Bobby Berthelot, general manager at Perlis, says he and his team expected to be catering to more customers who had gained weight during the pandemic. However, they found customers to be equally dispersed between those who gained and lost weight. Either way, he says, both groups needed to restock their closets.

Higher sales of casual work clothes are also noticeable, as some employees continue to work from home and offices loosen dress codes.

Sales of golf shirts and casual trousers have been strong, Berthelot says, and he’s also seen a large decrease in customers buying ties. But while the trend is real, he says, customers haven’t completely abandoned their suits and sport coats.

Blu Spero, which sells casual women’s clothing, has seen the same, says the store’s Kyleigh Jackson, who has noticed more customers coming in to buy informal work clothes.

There has been a big call for a more laid-back style, says Will Aguirre, general manager at Carriages Fine Clothier. However, with more events like weddings taking place, he has noticed tailored clothing coming back in demand again.

As the sales surge continues, clothing stores could encounter a snag, like other industries have, with supply chain shortages.

Perlis has had to over-promise in order to over-deliver, Berthelot says, and 50% of the time the product it tries to request is back-ordered.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to keep the store stocked,” he says. “We’ve been getting alternate options, but it’s a challenge.”

This story originally appeared in the July 16 edition of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.