Swapping stilettos for sweaters: How COVID-19 is changing Kiwi fashion

COVID-19 has changed a lot in this world, including people's fashion choices.

Leisure, comfort and activewear are flying off the shelves, leaving high fashion and high heels in their wake.

New Zealand fashion retailers noticed that post-level 4 lockdown, the orders were coming in fast - but not for the usual items.

"The majority of the orders were for casual wear - comfy pants, sweatshirts, t-shirts - anything that was comfortable," said Charlotte Dawes of designer brand Moutique

COVID-19 lockdowns, alert level changes and gathering restrictions means Kiwis are simply going out less, and fashion is adapting.

The demand for comfortable clothing and activewear is on the rise. Brands like LuluLemon are benefitting from not only a need to exercise, but a craving for comfort.

Popular New Zealand designer Kelly Coe of Augustine is jumping on board. She's about to launch an activewear collection because of growing demand.

"I put it off because I've always been about the pretty dresses and getting women in New Zealand to dress up more," she said.

"I felt this was going against what we were trying to do, but it's time - it's time to do activewear."

And what about sneans? Sneakers and jeans were once the epitome of a fashion faux pas - think Seinfeld and Steve Jobs -  even Barack Obama committed the fashion crime.

But now it's all the rage, says Dawes. Her sales of sneakers have now surpassed heels, and she's having to reorder every week. 

"It is in fashion now, but you've got to get the right shoe!"