As we make our way into a new decade, we’ve noticed a huge change in fashion. For decades people have had specific clothing for specific occasions. Outfits for dinner, or for the theatre, or for whatever, but those barriers have been tumbling down as we witness the boom in activewear. This trend has also been named “athleisure.” Although it’s become a new fashion trend, it saw its first boom in the 70’s. Since then, people have been prioritizing comfort into what they wear at the office, the bar, or in general. And by the turn of the millenium, with new materials and technology available in clothing, athleisure has become a hit with a 660% increase in sales from 2016 to 2020 according to NPD group’s data. In just 4 years there will be over a $300 billion increase, that amazing. People have become so fond and comfortable with wearing their workout clothes in public and while doing normal everyday things such as going to the store, getting gas, and in some cases even going to work in active apparel.
A Booming Trend
It has been completely normalized and promoted that many big brands such as Nike, lululemon, and Adidas have been making collaborations with other popular trendy brands such as “supreme” and champion in order to get the attention of all demographics. Pockets and zippers have also been added to womens yoga pants to promote the versatile everyday use of them. We’ve seen a significant increase of women wearing leggings or yoga pants instead of jeans or shorts. Also, skin tight workout tops have been a huge hit with women allowing them to feel and look good about themselves. These workout clothes have become a lifestyle. It’s become a fashion statement that says “I have an active lifestyle.” It’s a great thing that has happened with the latest fashion trends because mens and womens apparel although different due to body differences, have a specific niche in common. This is good for sales and overall fitness influence.
Fashion & Functionality
With mens clothing, there is actually 47% more men’s activewear than women’s. Surprisingly even with this gap, men’s activewear is still priced higher as well. It’s a fashion choice that has become a statement of wealth and an active lifestyle. Just how lululemon and Nike have made leggings and yoga pants a part of womens everyday attire, Nike, Adidas, and UnderArmour have done a fantastic job at combining fashion with functionality allowing attire like mens workout shirts to become popular everyday clothing as well. No longer does being comfortable mean wearing baggy, pyjamas type clothing. Choosing between aesthetic and function is now a thing of the past, clothing like this is probably one of the best things that has happened to men. Most of us are pretty lazy when it comes to fashion, especially compared to women. But what “athleisure” does is allow us to look good, feel good, and instill a sense of inspiration to actually get fit and become more active.
Also, a huge plus is that these types of clothes can actually be worn to sleep in for they are designed to allow full range of motion and comft for whatever workout position it was designed for. When we sleep, we move around so there’s another field where these clothes have dominated. I’m not saying it’s replacing PJ’s but it’s definitely another option. A huge article of clothing that has become more mainstream is mens workout joggers. We’ve all seen the classic 3 stripe adidas track pants, how many other brands have taken notice at how well these are sold because of their versatility. Depending on your workplace and what your boss wears on the daily, you must still be a bit careful on just how freely you wear athleisure. Baby boomers and Gen X demographics are more likely to be against this new wave, but millennials and Gen Z’s are likely to say the opposite. It’s a time where old beliefs and trends are packing up and making way for a more free and liberal lifestyle. Not to say that Wall Street and law firms will go from suits to track suits, but in every other work environment it has been and will see an increase in athleisure. Joggers are an alternative to jeans that offer a bit more mobility and leave plenty of more room for designs and graphics to be printed on them.
It’s still sort of crazy to think that athleisure is now becoming preferred over denim. Especially in the US where the athleisure market dominates. The USA has always been proud of their Denim jeans having a rich history involving denim. Denim saw its major debut during the 1800’s in the gold mines, later on to be worn by cowboys, and eventually teens in the 50’s & 60’s who wore printed denim as self-expression. Another popular denim feature that also boomed later on in the 70’s was flared legs. Leading into the 80’s denim started to be produced by big luxury brands such as Calvin Klein, Gucci, Michael Kors, etc. It’s interesting to see nowadays that these brands survive by their adaptation to athleisure. Across multiple blogs relating to fashion and/or fitness, you’ll notice suggested brands and content promoting this new trend. With an expected 30% growth in 2020, denim is slowly but surely getting out of the way, because athleisure is here to stay.