Athleisure. Derived from athletic and leisure, this fashionable portmanteau has become a booming area of growth within the garment industry and in the hands of consumers. The past five years have shown an immense rise in clothing articles that are workout friendly. So what is it, exactly? Does this mean that the world is now filled to the brim with athletes? Turns out, it’s suddenly cool to look like you’ve been at the gym, whether it’s true or not.
Blame the paparazzi. Celebrities have been snapped in off duty, after-hot-yoga duds since the days of Juicy Couture. But given the current craze for joggers, there’s a precedent set for looking as casual as possible. Some say it’s a sign of wealth in very hectic times. “I’m too busy to try” they cry out. Sneakers are the new normal. It’s no longer a faux pas to show up in Nike Roshes or Stab Smiths. In fact, those New Balances that would have been cringe worthy outside the track are now being styled with everything from jeans to dresses. Instead of having strictly gym attire, millennials and boomers alike are building wardrobe that go from board room to spin class to happy hour. Life’s a little easier if you don’t have to switch shoes, ya know?
One cause for the new 24/7 “athleisure” is alternate modes of transport to work. Cycling is huge, especially in metropolitan areas. Eco-friendly, fast, and accessible many have given up AM gridlock for a quick cycle to their workplace. But a change in transportation can lead to some alterations in your daily outfits. Whether it’s a flexible Levi’s jacket or a pair of ultra stretch denim, brands are taking note. Who says you have to sacrifice your favourite blues just to cycle to work?
If you are looking for a simple way to blend athleisure into your closet, try an easygoing tee and slim shorts combination. The perfect set for warm weather, you can make it a little dressier with a waxed canvas coat, or relaxed and streetwise with a baseball jacket. You can wear a multitude of sneakers (or shoes) with shorts and a T-shirt, and you’ll be just as comfortable delivering a pitch to your design firm’s next client as you are in the park later that evening. Straight and to the point, it’s a great starting place for tip-toeing into this trend.
Whether you decide to go full athleisure with a sport top, joggers and sneakers, or you just wear a few more tees throughout the week, the choice is yours. It’s a great time to take advantage of clothing that swings between performance and style on the fashion pendulum.
– Lydia Okello