If you’re a gym junkie, this lovely trend has been a long time coming. For those less into working out, this has become a strange blend of haute couture and casual dressing, one that exudes comfort and vigor. However, in addition to being one of the most beloved style approaches of today, athleisure has a long history and a background worth understanding, and it has made a more profound impact than merely changing our wardrobes.
Some of the oldest sports brands in existence, and ones that are still considered the most influential and have always loved the spotlight. However, this spotlight has mostly been occupied by professional athletes and for the sake of the minority of workout-loving fans. Today, on the other hand, designers have brought it closer to the general public with their athleisure collections that aim to fit the modern person’s lifestyle needs.
So naturally, you’re no longer surprised to see a professor teaching college classes in his hoodie, a startup owner in high tech running shoes instead of basic ones at work, and a business meeting held by executives in t-shirts and trendy sneakers. Why? Because many brands have embraced the athletic vibe, and now more people are happy to not just infuse their style with sport but to infuse their lives with it.
Focus on comfort
Fashion hasn’t always been famous for choosing the most comfortable items available to the human imagination. Just look at your average high-heeled shoes or synthetic blouses. The former makes certain torture methods seem like a vacation, while the latter may cause very smelly consequences after a long summer meeting with clients.
Now, athleisure has pushed forth a more comfort-oriented idea: why shouldn’t we look fabulous and feel fantastic at the same time? Of course, there will always be designer collections with items that look as painful as they are pricey and popular, but athleisure has risen above and remained true to its primary purpose.
Healthy lifestyle choices
With more awareness of fitness trends, the dress-code included, and more celebrities and influencers offering their pro workout tips and tricks, it’s no wonder that the world has decided to give this healthy vibe a go. In the spirit of all things fitness, more people are rushing to find gym classes nearby to head to a workout as soon as they leave the office or first thing in the morning. They are also the ones more likely to pack a healthy snack instead of opting for the vending machine candy.
Overall, being able to dress like a sports star has inspired many to take up a healthy activity. After all, we all remember the studies that proved that when you look the part, you’re more likely to give your best to fit the role, or at least to exude the traits you’d expect for the person in said role to have.
Form meets function
Few people with a love for sophistication or glamour would gladly put on a classic pair of workout sneakers with a famous brand name. However, while these pieces have always been made to serve a purpose, now brands are beginning to blend the modern look and feel with the contemporary lifestyle needs. Running shoes are no longer just for a jog, but for errands, meetings, and coffee dates.
The traditional sporty form of gym attire has gotten an edgier, more versatile appearance to fit the variety of people who wish to wear such garments. Think power and modern cut tights, sporty tops that carry a note of elegance, and compression fabrics turning an ordinary piece into a work of art.
Taking a stand
Last and perhaps one of the most important changes athleisure has inspired, is our ability and willingness to make a statement by choosing a sporty item off the shelf. As brands become more transparent in how they do their business, work with social media influencers, and support different social movements – so do we begin to take a public stand by wearing a brand.
Much like the power suit has done for the women in the workplace, athleisure is doing its absolute best to promote values that are above and beyond trends. From delivering empowering messages for women in sport, all the way to Nike’s pro athlete contract with Justin Gallegos who has Cerebral Palsy, the world of sportswear has indeed made a difference.
From raising awareness of a wide range of social issues, inspiring people to make healthier choices, making us all feel far more comfortable than any pair of heels ever could, all the way to giving us more confidence, athleisure is rightfully here to stay.