Gym clothes are no longer clothes you merely were wear to the gym. In fact, you don’t even have to enter a gym in order to be wearing them.
Over the last couple of years, activewear has become so acceptable that it’s passing off as casualwear now. A sort of hybrid fashion that can be worn to go shopping, have lunch, pick up kids from school, hang with friends – pretty much anything you normally do during the day.
And it even has an official name – `athleisure’ – that is now part of the dictionary. (Merriam-Webster defines athleisure as: “Casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use.”)
The crossover style is so uniquely suited for busy, modern American men and women that trend-watchers have decided it isn’t just another passing fad. It’s here to stay — possibly until we go so madly Matrix with the technology thing that we’re all going about our daily business wearing tin foil, sci-fi suits.
Celebrities and street style icons likes Kendall Jenner, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid and Selena Gomez are running around on Instagram, looking fresh and fashionable in their everyday athleisure outfits. High-end brands like Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton are jumping onto the athleisure bandwagon with couture sneakers, while Fendi, Chloé and Hermès are showing capsule collections that validate this crossover, smart-casual category of clothing as a thing of luxury.
“Fashion designers like myself strive to make garments that appeal to our customer base, and if these customers are clamoring for trend-worthy athleisure wear, who are we to say no?” says Tony Vincente, Founder/Designer at Rossario George.
“Style shifts according to generational demands, and millennials have created an environment that allows for more flexibility in what they wear, even in the office. When designing Rossario George’s spring/summer collection, I used our signature patterns to create pieces that people could wear to the gym and yoga classes, and also look great in when hanging with friends on the weekend.”
Indeed, fashion has rarely become so ubiquitous, or enjoyed such mass adoption up and down the price scale since the invention of denim.
But what’s it about athleisure clothes that we’ve learnt to love them so much?
# 1: Our Romance With Athleisure Started With Yoga Pants
• Remember the time when you first tried on a pair of yoga pants and felt so comfortable you didn’t want to struggle into your jeans anymore? That’s where it all began for most of us. Athleisure pants are so easy to wear and pair, that everyday comfort took on a whole new meaning once we discovered them. And the more popular they became, the easier it got to be seen in them throughout the day without raising disapproving eyebrows about our choice of outfit.
In fact, athleisure is directly responsible for poaching into the denim market and making big denim brands like Guess and Levis re-think their product and marketing strategy.
And luxury athleisure pants – like Free X Rein’s riding-inspired leggings with patches of suede on the inner thigh ($ 235 up) and Offtrack’s leather leggings made from machine-washable, stretch lamb leather from a French tannery ($ 550 up) – are always adding interesting innovations so you never get bored of wearing them.
# 2: Athleisure Is A Convenient, Practical, And Non-Emotional Purchase
• Because of it’s versatility, athleisure is sparing us the agony of having to choose amongst the latest styles in casualwear and they’re streamlining our wardrobe like never before. If anyone put a clock on it, athleisure would surely prove to be the quickest wardrobe decision we ever made – with full confidence that we’re looking good!
# 3: Athleisure Creates A Vibe Of Health And Fitness
• For people who are uncaring or vaguely defensive about the fact that they don’t exercise to stay fit and healthy, athleisure is the easiest way to buy into the active lifestyle. Just putting on some stretchy, shaping athleisure-style clothes fills us with enthusiasm and energy for the day ahead. They help to create a slimmer silhouette and give the illusion of being several pounds thinner too.
# 4: Athleisure Clothes Takes Most Advantage Of Technology
• Technology helps us live better lives, and that applies to our fashion choices as well. People want less maintenance hassles with their wardrobes these days. They want their daily clothes to be wrinkle-free and odor resistant. And nothing does all that better than athleisure wear that is manufactured with tech-infused fibers that keep you warm, keep you cool and take away moisture.
# 5: Athleisure Can Be Sporty AND Feminine
• Gym make-up is very much a `thing’ these days with long-lasting/waterproof cosmetics being created to keep women glamorous before, during and after a workout. (Check out Tarte’s line of Athleisure Essentials.) Simple jewelry, such as a pair of hoop earrings and a luxury watch, adds just enough bling to give ahtheisure an attractive dose of feminine oomph. True, the style is primarily functional, but you can customize your athleisure is so many different ways to make sure that function does not trump over fashion!
6 Luxury Athleisure Brands You Should Check Out Right Now
• Collaboration between legendary Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas Originals. Tank tops, warm-up jackets, sweatpants, floor-length tank dresses, neon-colored track suits…always sharp, always singular and mind-blowingly edgy!
F.C. Real Bristol
• Created by Japanese menswear designer Hirofumi Kiyonaga in collaboration with Nike. F.C. Real Bristol is supposed to be the official uniform of Real Bristol football club, a fictional team that’s the undefeated world champion.
• The philosophy touted by this brand takes a less competitive, more recreational view of living an active lifestyle – whatever that activity may be.
• This athleisure brand is so `boutique’ that it merely sells a handful of very select products. But with unique material blends and unexpected apparel constructions, this label has become a must-have in any athleisure enthusiast’s wardrobe.
• Highly-technical athleisure gear with waterproof zips, taped seams, ergonomic panel constructions and premium fabrics. All tied up in an irreverent, delightfully badass attitude to life…
Human Performance Engineering (HPE)
• An industrial-sounding label that uses enough apparel construction technology to streamline, mold and give shape to the Pillsbury dough boy.