Athleisure is a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities is worn in other settings, such as at the workplace, at school, or at other casual or social occasions. Athleisure outfits are yoga pants, tights, sneakers, leggings and shorts, that “look like athletic wear” and are characterized as “fashionable, dressed up sweats and exercise clothing”. The idea is that gym clothes are supposedly making their way out of the gym and becoming a larger part of people’s everyday wardrobes.
Athleisure can be considered as a fashion industry movement, enabled by improved textile materials, which allow sportswear to be more versatile, comfortable, and fashionable.
By some accounts, the athleisure trend grew out of women wearing yoga pants. Another account suggests that the trend came about because people could wear them for multiple occasions without having to change, which meant greater convenience since people did not have to carry an extra gym outfit on the way to the office, for example. A decade ago, denim workwear uniforms were more popular, but today, athleisure is increasingly popular in places such as public streets and fashion stores and fashion runways. Sportswear that had been worn exclusively in gyms is now being worn elsewhere by young adults and fitness-conscious consumers and has been accompanied by a relaxation in dress codes. Its popularity may have stemmed from its ability to fill a gap in the market, when sportswear was once merely functional rather than stylish. Due to innovations in textiles and technology, improvements have been made in functionality, such that garments and footwear have become more breathable, lightweight, and waterproof. The new garments are performance enhancing, in the sense that they allow wearers to carry out everyday activities easily.
Global shifts toward a rise in health and fitness trends has led to growing interest and participation in sports among the public. Many have actively joined clubs and competitions in order to fully adopt the characteristics of this lifestyle. Consequently, sportswear brands can utilize this opportunity to improve and introduce better quality apparel, footwear, and gear. By presenting their devotion towards a lifestyle, it thus allows brands to garner customer loyalty.
Materials and technology
New fibers enable greater odor reduction, sweat-wicking, stretchability to conform to the body’s shape, breathability to allow air in and out, and protection from dirt.Some clothing designs permit selected parts of the clothing to allow more breathability while other parts can have greater tension, perhaps as a way to aid posture. A type of athleisure is sometimes called “technical wear” which describes clothes that are more suitable for wearing to the office while being comfortable.
There have been concerns that materials used in athleisure may have negative consequences for the environment; these chemicals include dyes and solvents and polyfluorinated chemicals which are used to make athleisure resistant to water and grease and stains.