Aoife Byrne

January 11, 2021

Trend alert: Why houndstooth is the latest pattern to invest in

Act now on the houndstooth check that's rising in popularity. Find out why it's the right timing to buy into the pattern and how to COVID-proof the trend.

Straddling Dark Academia and the Heritage trend, Beyoncé catapulted this pattern into the spotlight on Instagram this week.

Find out why you should act on houndstooth now, outlining key trends in retail and pop culture.

Want to see who else is investing into this trend? Reach out to a retail specialist today for a demo.

Reasons to invest

1. It’s timeless

Houndstooth is a recurring theme on the runway, never going out of style. With consumers making more careful buying decisions, this trend’s classic nature offers reassurance through wardrobe longevity.

2. Celebrities are wearing it

It’s been endorsed by icons including JLo, Cardi B and most notably Beyoncé. The singer wore a statement David Koma catsuit in the first week of 2021 and featured a houndstooth maxi dress in her visual album, Black Is King.

3. It feeds into the Royal aesthetic

TV shows and streaming platforms are increasingly setting trends and The Crown has been no exception. While Royal fashion has always been influential, the series has cultivated an even greater taste for traditional, British-inspired clothing. From Princess Diana to The Queen, houndstooth is a firm favorite of the monarchy, demonstrating how the trend works for all ages from teen to mid and mature.

4. Preppy is having a moment

Emily In Paris was an instant success upon its release last October with its heroine gaining attention for her tacky, preppy style. Gossip Girl and Clueless reboots are also in the works and slated to hit screens over the coming year, elevating hype around bougie dressing.

5. It works across genders

Don’t neglect other markets. Womenswear currently dominates this pattern, with just 12% of products in stock ascribed to menswear. This signals a huge opportunity for retailers to step in and fill the gap. Unisex is also something to consider – Miley Cyrus is a poster girl here, having worn a Richard Quinn suit in her video Midnight Sky, previously modeled by a male on the Fall 2019 runway.

Market trends

Color

While black and white styles dominate both regions, the UK is significantly more invested in traditional monochrome. Brown is the top stocked trend shade across the board, where neutral colorways see double the investment in the US.

houndstooth

Pattern

Looking across all check types, houndstooth comprises 8% of all apparel in stock. For comparison, Glen Plaid and checkerboard comprise less than 0.5% each. While Mango and Zara are sticking to classic patterns, brands such as boohoo, H&M and Nasty Gal are modernizing the check through large scale, mixed and graphic iterations – ideal for a younger customer base. Few retailers have merchandised houndstooth with clashing alternate check prints as championed by Beyoncé – capitalize on this.

houndstooth

How to COVID-proof this pattern

Keep fabric in focus: Whether it’s high quality tweed or a super soft knit, select materials with care and communicate their assets to your customer.

Buy into versatile products: Think comfortable knitwear such as cardigans that can be worn in and out of the home, or look to Monki’s stirrup leggings that offer loungewear appeal.

Promote investment pieces: Highlight this pattern’s timelessness, making it a strong investment buy, tying into the slow fashion movement. Outerwear is the key category to promote here.

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