3 fleece insights to take in 2021


COVID-19 Lockdown has accelerated fleece fabric into mainstream territory due to its availability in numerous options, its cozy and technical assets make it popular in the market. Here 3 key learnings from 2020 will be discussed to help plan its move into next year.

Figure: COVID-19 Lockdown has accelerated fleece fabric into mainstream territory due to its availability in numerous options.


Fleece is no longer just a fabric used in the outdoor market, retailer giants like boohooMAN and Zara are now interested and investing. Even more technical fabrics like Polartec®, traditionally seen at Patagonia and The North Face, are noted at the likes of J.Crew.

This has led the average value down making a more competitive and trend-driven market for fleece.

Apparel retailers need to revive their collection next year with selections that appeal to their customer and their pricing expectations. The greatest way to control costs is with the type of fleece offered.

Uniqlo stocked varied qualities with pricing to match, while boohooMAN retained at low costs with 100% polyester. Pricing can still be available at the higher end if it’s adequately justified and promoted.


  1. Microfleece tops

Soft and lightweight, use it to update the half-zip top and turtleneck sweatshirt for basic and lounge edits.

  1. Shirt jacket

A comfort-focused alternative to denim and canvas, use utility detailing like paneling and pocket details to keep it modern.

  1. Fleece hoody

With sports brands like adidas and Nike already updating the silhouette with fleece this year, 2021 will see the trend skyrocket.

  1. Reversible jacket

A great option to transition easily from indoors to outdoors, this versatility will allow for higher pricing.

Gorpcore & loungewear essential

How to build the Gorpcore story. Stick to traditional silhouettes and add technical aspects with detailing. Double-ended zips on jackets, patch and concealed pockets, special linings and stitching methods that reduce bulk.

Promote fleece’s warm, lightweight and breathable properties – perfect for outdoor adventures. Pair with utility pieces like cargo trousers and shorts to complete the look.


Fluffy fleece has already infiltrated lounge edits, especially for jackets. Utilize the fabric on hoodies and sweatshirts and even co-ords for a cozy upgrade from jersey.

Lighter weight fleece options will work for a more refined at-home story – see microfleece trend above. Highlight its ultra-soft handle and easy-care properties in customer communications.