Athleisure! What is this new trend all about?

Let’s start with the word itself

It must be the ugliest word to worm its way into the English language in many years. Not only is it difficult to articulate, (sounds better with an American accent) it even looks a bit odd, at least from the perspective of some people.

One of those is a guy who has sent a letter to an editor that got published. He wrote that only young women should wear yoga pants, cornerstone piece of athleisure clothing. As a result and in protest, over 300 women turned up in front of his house, all wearing yoga pants!

Athleisure has a bit of “athletic” stuck onto “leisure”. We can’t diss it too much though as it has formally entered the hallowed halls of language dictionaries and thereby acquired its own raison d’être. I believe there have been attempts to oust it with “active living” or “sportscore” – with no success.

In case you don’t know, it refers to the androgynous fashion trend that is presently making the most money in the clothing industry. It is the all-day look that suggests you are on the way to the gym and consists of spandex leggings, sneakers, a sports bra, shades and a capacious bag.

It has its origin in advertising and was first used in 1976, promoting comfortable shoes. It was born part of a general social shift to a healthier lifestyle meeting the shift away from formal dress codes for work. It makes sense in terms of people who perhaps work from home and have less face to face time with customers, as well as from a perspective of millenials, who are simply looking for clothing that has more usability than conventional clothing styles.

Oddly research done in 2014 shows that participation in sports is going down just as sales in sports wear is going up?

How does it work if you do go to gym dressed à la athleisure? After a high impact aerobics or spin class, do you just pull on your bomber jacket and hit the road or do you shower first and change into a clean pair of leggings, a second pair of sneakers, dry sports bra and a cashmere top, dump the sweaty stuff in the capacious bag… and then hit the road?

The infographic by Shoe Carnival will explain this trend and it’s popularity. Enjoy it!