UK inflation rose to 1% in July, up from 0.6% in June, according to official figures.
The jump in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) – bigger than expected – was prompted partly by extra costs for personal protection equipment (PPE) for dentists and hairdressers.
Another key factor was the absence of traditional summer sales.
The Office for National Statistics said clothing and footwear prices were the biggest contributor to the rise.
In most years retailers slash clothes prices between June and July to clear out their summer ranges in preparation for autumn.
Many shops were not able to open until July when lockdown for non-essential retailers was eased.
This month’s figures are used to calculate rail fare increases, using a different inflation measure, the Retail Prices Index (RPI).
Railway season ticket holders and commuters will see a 1.6% rise in fares from January.
About half of rail fares are pegged to July’s RPI, which defied economists’ forecasts and rose from 1.1% a month ago.