The fashion world has, for the past decade or two or three, seen a serious overhaul in trends. The most prominent fashion genre that has taken hold and continues to grow is athleisure - a trend in which clothing designed for workouts or other athletic activities is worn in other places - such as at school, in the workplace or on other casual and social settings. Towards the end of 2018, athleisure represented about 24% of the total apparel industry’s sales and was forecast to grow significantly through 2019, according to the NPD Group, a leading global information company. Garments once designed with athletic performance in mind like yoga pants or leggings, hoodies, sweatpants or joggers, ski jackets and windbreakers, sports bras, crop tops, biker shorts and sneakers have become staples in the fashion world - from high fashion, couture runways all the way down to prêt-à-porter streetwear. Here’s why this hot trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon:
Athleisure is About Comfort
If you think back to centuries ago, fashion for men and women rarely took practicality and comfort into consideration. For example, it was once fashionable for women to wear highly restricting corsets, laced up so tight that fainting was common, underneath floor length gowns. It was the only acceptable, presentable attire and women were expected to go about their business and daily duties this way. We’ve clearly come a long long way since then. One of the #1 reasons athleisure has become such a hot trend is that it delivers on 2 of the most important aspects that consumers care about in this progressive day and age: aesthetics and comfort. The tight fitting yoga legging, for example, is highly flattering, tucking in the belly and accentuating curves. At the same time, it is also lightweight and comfortable, making it easy to go the entire day wearing them. Whereas a few decades back, it might have been strange to see a coworker wearing such comfortable bottoms while at the office, it has now become an everyday thing.
Athleisure is About Versatility
The rise of athleisure is a huge indicator of what societal values are at the moment. Efficiency and practicality is paramount to women with multiple roles and responsibilities. A working mom who balances a career along with motherly duties, as well as stays fit, attends church or temple or mosque, who volunteers or is working on her own business or who is active in her community needs to do a wide variety of things. Changing for everything she does is just not practical. Today’s superwomen who do it all need functional clothes that can keep up with multiple uses. Activewear does just this. Whether at the gym, at the store, making a quick coffee run or picking the kids up from school, sneakers + cute activewear like yoga leggings and a sports bra + loungey top are now acceptable at all these places - why would you ever go back to changing for every little thing you need to do? Even if the workplace isn’t quite as casual as one would like, a pair of black or neutral colored leggings can be dressed up with a pair of heels or covered flats and a blazer. Athleisure delivers on versatility.
Athleisure Transcends Age Groups
Retail fashion has traditionally segmented different fashion genres by age groups. When you explore a little girl’s clothing section, you’ll see cute and fun prints and plenty of color; the juniors’ section will be full of very trendy clothes made for adolescents and young adults while the women’s section will feature more conservative cuts, professional silhouettes and toned down colors. Athleisure breaks the barriers of age. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5, 15, 35 or 55 - everyone wants to look cute and comfortable. Athleisure is a trend that is preferred and flatters every age group. A pair of cute leggings can be worn by mother, daughter and even grandma! It is all fair game in this era of athleisure.
Athleisure Conveys a Healthy Lifestyle
Another important societal value at the moment is health. The internet has allowed our society to become very well informed on a variety of topics including what it means to be healthy. There is no doubt that being healthy means eating nutritional foods, exercising and staying active, among other things. What you wear says a lot about you and wearing your jogger pants, sneakers and cute printed sports bra as you go on a quick supermarket run, for example says “I just came from the gym,” or “I am going to the gym.” It says “I care more about my health and happiness than I do about dressing up for strangers.” Athleisure has become an expression of a happy, powerful woman’s lifestyle. Women are wearing their prioritization of health proudly - and it’s a great thing, too!
We love athleisure and look forward to seeing how it continues to develop and grow!