PPE Apparels Are Becoming More Fashionable - See the New Designs

Fashionable PPEs in daily clothing

Fashion has for the longest time been one of the core requirements of the human lifestyle. But the current situation has taken a huge toll on fashion with its concern diminished all over the world. For most of us going out to a social gathering, dressed in good is simply not a priority. Moreover, with nationwide lockdowns, restrictions in public gatherings, work from home scenarios, there is a much lesser need for fashionable apparel.

The only apparel which is in demand is Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) apparel as these are considered as protective gear designed and used to safeguard the health of people wearing them. This does so by minimizing the exposure to any biological agent which in this case is the Corona Virus. According to a report by Grand View Research the global healthcare PPE market size is expected to reach USD 8.9 billion by 2027. This shear rise means that as months go by, people would be more and more dependent on PPE and it would be an indispensable part of our day-to-day life.

As of now, most of the requirements for PPEs have been from the healthcare department which has served its primary function i.e. to protect the people wearing them. But as more and more people get out their confinement for their day to day living, there is a growth of demand in the market for garments which serves the purpose of protecting its wearer along with being fashionable and functional. This also adds to the fact that with most of the traditional suits comfort has never been in consideration. With the use of non-breathable fabrics, complicated wearing procedures, lack of uniqueness the experience is barely tolerable.

This growth in demand led certain brands and designers towards their drawing board to come up with options that infuse the aspects of PPE bodysuits with that of fashion. The following article is going to be about such influential ideas and designs which is going to lead the market towards a new product category catering to the need of the hour.

Brands that launched a fashionable design for PPE

The first of such an example is from the UK brand Boohoo with its brand Boohoo Men. Their design line on Snood hoodies has been in demand since the pandemic. For most of the hoodie, all the components are the same but with added cover for the face. Wearing this avoids the need for wearing masks and also has a style factor. Since then this product has also been extended to women’s wear. This proves that a simple solution to already present designs can have the ability to make it a niche product in times required. 

Retailers such as The North Face, American Threads, MissPap, SHEIN have also started to include such customised products such as convertible tops in their line-up which shows that there is a market for such products.

Fig-1: Snood Hoodies from Boohoo

Fig-2: Convertible top from American Thread

New uniforms in the new normal period

Following this, there has been an increase in customized PPE bodysuits in place of the traditional suits. These portray graphics, design choices, accent colors to set apart from the crowd and also symbolize specific reasons. In most places, this has become the new uniform. 

Examples of this can be seen in airlines, healthcare departments, private organizations, etc. These bodysuits also have the added advantage of being functional with suitable fabric choices, levels of protection, shapes, etc. As of now most of such designs are being done at a small scale with individual designers but looking at the current scenario this may soon become a trend to follow on.

Fig-3: Bodysuit by Kamiseta

Fig-4: Design by Pablo Cabahug

As individuals designers get more into PPE designing, there has been an emergence of various concept designs in bodysuits which looks something straight from the future. One such is from designer Joe Doucet with his MICRASHELL top suit. 

Looking something from the farsighted future this has been designed as a socially responsible solution to allow people to interact in close proximity without any risk of contaminations. Designed for nightlife events such as live events, parties, etc., this airtight top suit is equipped with hard-helmet, high-performance lightweight fabric, sealed sewed patterns, led lights, mobile integration, air filtration, etc. only naming a few. For additional information visit the Production Club website.

Fig-5: Concept design by Joe Doucet

The above were just a few examples of how fashion is merging with PPEs in bodysuits. Most such designs are based on traditional gowns but with better fabrics, size options, easy wear-ability. Along with that, we are also seeing numerous variations in masks types, face shields all made with the purpose to make the wearer more fashionable. But this also brings a question on the level of functionality and effectiveness of the products, as any kind of compromise can have a fatal conscience.

To sum it up, these designer products surely checks both the tick for being functional as well as being fashionable. As these become the new normal, early adaptors can surely benefit from becoming the trendsetters and with time, more similar ideas and products will become available in the market.

Soumyadeep Saha

Soumyadeep Saha holds a Master's Degree in Fashion Technology from NIFT, New Delhi. He is also a graduate in apparel production. His area of interest includes Quality Assurance and technology implementations in Apparel Production.

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