Athleisure wear – this hip, effortless and comfortable style is more than just a trend. It’s a multi-billion dollar market.
Why do we love it? Because we get to wear sweatpants, gym tanks, sports bras, hoodies, and sneakers to work or around town. Think Cotton Citizen or Kanye’s Yeezy.
It’s a fashion industry movement, blending sport and city wear in such a way that it can be worn for most day-to-day activities. Bliss, because you’re always comfy, and you always look super stylish.
So, ladies, this means you’re free to wear your yoga wear or pole dance wear with a denim jacket and a pair of kitten heels or boots and get away with it just fine.
Up until last year, athleisure wear was perceived as casual wear designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use.
Fast forward to 2019 and athleisure has evolved. Just search #athleisure on Insta and you’ll see what we mean. It has now shifted towards fitness inspired fashion.
Let’s take a deep dive into how it all started and why it’s not going anywhere.
Where it began
You can track it back to as early as the 70’s when the fitness lifestyle became popular.
People usually wore casual clothes to exercise in but then brands started to innovate, making clothes with extra stretch and comfortability.
Think spandex, lycra, nylon and other synthetic fiber material clothing made for athletes with the purpose of drawing moisture away from the body.
Because these clothes were made for comfort, you can easily see how people started to adopt spandex pants and sneakers as casual wear.
Athleisure on the rise
There’s nothing more comfortable than active wear or athleisure wear. Maybe being naked, but the chances of our image-obsessed world embracing social nudity are highly unlikely.
So, as you can imagine, with the trend on the rise, huge athletic brands like Nike and Adidas have now become more athleisure as opposed to athletic.
Their brands are now perceived as active clothing that can easily be turned into casual and leisurewear clothing.
Stats always tell the truth, just have a look at these:
- The athleisure sector has increased by 42% in the last 7 years reaching a total market worth of $270 billion.
- The same report states that athleisure will grow by another 30% by 2020.
The reason why the athleisure wear movement is getting stronger is that the health and fitness trend for adults and the ever-expanding sports participation for youths has gone global.
People are buying into the active lifestyle that comes with purchasing a pair of sneakers or yoga pants.
Athleisure’s social impact
This shift has naturally led to a growing interest and participation in sports among the public. Many of you would have joined clubs or competitions in order to fully adopt the characteristics of the athleisure lifestyle. The best part, it’s having a positive impact on our lives.
We’ve become more conscious of staying fit and healthy.
Because it’s being endorsed by major celebrities such as Beyoncé and Kylie Jenner, the youth have almost fully adopted this lifestyle too.
As a result, leading brands are innovating their products with new materials and technology to ensure that function meets form. So, you look good, but your clothes are made with odour reduction, flexibility, sweat-wicking and protection from dirt in mind.
It’s the perfect lifestyle for people in the modern age because we’re constantly on the move. Athleisure has made it easy to go for a run and head to work straight afterwards. That’s what is so appealing about it – it’s practicality.
Yoga and pole fitness
With this lifestyle comes the rise of two fitness trends; yoga and pole fitness. As long as the enthusiasm around these forms of exercise keeps growing, so too will athleisure.
Sure, celebrities sporting a new pair of flashy kicks, yoga pants and a sports bra is one thing, but many “ordinary people” are buying into this lifestyle because it supports a form of exercise that they love, hobbies that have a sense of community around them.
For those of us working day in and day out, belonging to a community of like-minded individuals is special to us. It’s an outlet. That’s why more and more ladies are taking up yoga or pole fitness class because it gives us a sense of belonging. We look forward to it.
We’re social beings; seeing our friends two or three times a week doing something we love brings real joy to our lives. Being able to blend our athleisure wear or a yoga top with what we wear to work is convenient and comfortable.
So, why is athleisure more than a trend? Because it’s practical.