As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic ease a bit, Americans are flocking clothing stores to look for new sizes as many of them found their waistlines greatly changed during the lockdown period.

After weeks of self-isolation during the height of the pandemic, Michael Ladin of Oak Park, Illinois, and Allison Weiss Brady of Philadelphia, finally got the chance to go out and coincidentally, their first trip was to a clothing store. Both said they needed new sizes of clothes, albeit for different reasons.

During the lockdown, Brady busied herself with cardio workouts at her home gym to fight boredom. When strict isolation measures were finally lifted, the 49-year-old charity fundraiser found she went down approximately two sizes and also lost 20 pounds.

Ladin discovered he gained around 10 pounds after spending most of his time sitting around and eating chips. "I'm not surprised. If I don't work out consistently, I gain weight," the 59-year-old said.

Like Brady and Ladin, many Americans found themselves shifting to new clothing sizes, ABC News reported.

Labels like Levi Strauss & Co. and popular lingerie brand Cosabella are taking cognizance of this trend. The same goes for body measuring technology firms, which report that shoppers have been changing measurements on their online profiles.

Clothing companies consider this a positive development. But retailers who are already reeling from decreased spending also face a likely surge in costly returns as shoppers go for new clothing sizes.

Dave Sharma, the CEO of Perfitly LLC, revealed the body measuring app saw a 20% increase in users changing their measurements in April and May as compared with the same period in 2019. The increase is similar to what the app usually observes in months after the winter holidays.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Marc Rosen, president of Levi Strauss Americas, said the company started to see shoppers going into stores undecided about their size. "For most, it's been a long time since they've tried on a pair of jeans, and they may be up or down a size," he said.

Some companies added bigger sizes to the stock, dubbed COVID-15. Guido Campello, the co-CEO of luxury lingerie labels, Journelle and Cosabella, said their customers are requesting new bra and sleepwear sizes.