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People care about their appearance again – a lot, according to the latest trends data from Reddit. Despite continued global lockdown regulations, consumers are flocking to social channels to learn how to look their best.

Business fashion, nail polish and male fashion advice are just three of the interest areas on Reddit that saw huge spikes last week. Despite altered work and school schedules across the globe, people are now pulling themselves – and their outfits – together. 

“There has been a dramatic shift,” says Reddit’s head of partner insights and research, Dan Gould. “Conversations have moved from dressing up a Zoom background to actually dressing up. It’s a big correction.”

r/BusinessFashion saw a 1,000% increase in views this past week, illustrating a clear interest in dressing for work, whether in an office or at home. The community, which calls itself a “place to inspire or be inspired to look your best at work”, shared guidance as to whether certain outfits are professional enough for the office and offered an ‘outfit of the day’ with other members.  

One of the running jokes in adland has been about people doing Zoom calls in their underwear à la this popular Snickers ad. It appears people are now interested in actually wearing proper pants. “Because people haven’t worn them in so long, people are asking about shoes and pants,” says Gould. “They are exploring new styles and seeking validation from the community. They are beginning to be interested in wearing new things versus just what they were wearing before.”

r/malefashionadvice, Reddit‘s largest men‘s fashion community, had a 10% increase in unique views last week. Top posts included a detailed guide to pants, an FAQ on the meaning behind different fits (skinny, athletic, tapered) and a guide to sleek versus chunky styles of shoes.

Women are also all in on exploring new looks. r/beautyinfluences saw a 675% spike in views, with significant interest in fall eyeshadow looks as well as impressive DIY techniques. Specifically, r/nailpolish saw a 500% increase, with renewed focus on both DIY and professional manicures. Conversations have ranged from transitioning into autumn, with polish to match the feel of the season, to getting back to the manicurist. 

“We are seeing conversations about fashion exploration and retail therapy,” says Reddit’s head of creative strategy, Will Cady. “People are beginning to seek that type of normalcy. This offers a big opportunity for marketers in retail, cosmetics and other segments that have suffered during lockdown. It’s a positive sign of things to come.”

Overall, this renewed interest in appearances is a symptom of the quarantine’s third act, says Cady. Even if workers, students and the like are staying home part- or full-time, “the internet is more social than ever“.

“With everything from job interviews to first dates happening online, the first impression remains a critical life experience people are willing to invest in and get right. Brands that help people to shine through the square screen to the other side are best positioned for growth.”