Athleisure seems to be reaching its peak. We are wearing this clothing at work, on nights out, social and casual events and of course, of those of us who go – the gym. We are looking for practical, comfortable, multi-tasking outfits that still look polished. Much of this is becoming less relevant for the gym and more about keeping comfortable in everyday life. Puma are releasing new pieces including dresses and skirts in a polyester and elastane mix to create the comforting feel of active wear in the form of everyday clothing.
A huge emphasis is being made on trainers, Puma are running with this idea and producing many new styles. With bloggers and celebrities on their side such as Pamela Reif, Rhianna and Kylie Jenner there’s no doubt that these influencers will impact purchasing habits this year. Rhianna’s collaboration, fenty x Puma is a grungy take on Athleisure which will surely entice various other audiences. Last month saw the pre-release for her Spring collection, there are additional pieces to launch this Spring and an Autumn/Winter collection.
After the announcement in October 2016 we finally saw Beyoncé’s Ivy Park collection hit stores on April 14th, shortly after being on sale Topshops’ website crashed. People were seen queuing outside shops in the hope of purchasing these items which quickly sold out. Brands such as Dior, DKNY, Alexander Wang and Versace have all put their stamp on Athleisure and are heavily incorporating it into their collections. Other brands are developing in this area and branching out, creating new categories. Brand new companies are being established based on this trend.
Fitness as a culture is growing, and clothing is no longer reserved for gym bunnies. Influencer’s are working as fitness bloggers and some of the largest influencer accounts on Instagram are fitness fanatics and while most of their workout wear is for the gym, brands are definitely hoping to reach out to their following through the ongoing trend that is athleisure. Not all athleisure is for working out in, it’s comfortable and practical and for those who are used to wearing workout wear, and even those who aren’t, it’s perfect for every day. With more and more brands creating a fashion statement from this style it’s making more sense to wear it. As Birchbox’s PR director Jenna Hilzenrath states in an interview “Athleisure isn’t necessarily about working out; it’s the overall concept of being active, comfortable, and put together”.
We are much more open about fitness, a culture where previously we were likely to go alone and not so openly talk about it has changed. We’re now posting on social media about when we have been to the gym or about our work outs and making it a much more social experience.
As the fitness industry grows it’s creating gaps in the market – especially for cosmetics brands which are filling them just as quickly with new fitness related products, constantly adjusting to keep up and involved in the current market. They are catering to new audiences of gym goers. Tarte released their Athleisure line at the end of last year which includes a sweat-proof mascara. The increase of interest in fitness is down to several factors including a shift in attitude towards body shape which is reflected in the popular hashtag #strongnotskinny which has over 4,600,000 posts. We are generally becoming more accepting of all body types. Fitness bloggers such as Pamela Reif, Carly Rowena, and Tammy Hembrow reinforce the obsession by keeping active while looking good. These bloggers share everything from workouts to make-up tips, they’re sharing information about weights and busting myths. Celebrities are constantly releasing their fitness plans to keep up with the demands of the fitness industry.
Standards in fashion (and life in society in general) have always been high and they probably always will be however things are changing. As a society, we are becoming more laid back and accepting. Previously high heels were the most acceptable footwear for women and while trainers would have been relatively unacceptable to wear, they are now a major fashion statement. No longer are there any trends too risky. We have seen the pyjama trend, the time shell suits were brought back and now athleisure for all occasions.
Things are changing drastically, not too long ago it would be a blunder in etiquette if you were seen outside the gym in athletic wear. Now we are seeing celebrities such as Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner supporting and endorsing athleisure regularly.
Athleisure has always been around just previously not in so many categories, the 80’s was a time for leg warmers especially when featured in Olivia Newton-Johns’ music video, Physical. In 2016 cut-outs were introduced making active wear sexier and more worthy for a night out. As peoples’ lives are becoming busier their wardrobe reflects this, preparing them for anything the day might have planned ahead. Athleisure is here to stay, as keeping active is heightening in importance so is the need for suitably fitting clothing, along with cosmetics.
Carly Rowena, personal trainer and health & fitness blogger was kind enough to answer some questions I had regarding athleisure.
What do you think has led to the recent popularity of fitness?
I think the rise of fitness has been increased by the pressure to look good all the time, people want to look younger for as long as possible and when living in an expensive world the best way to take care of yourself physically without having to spend lots of money on cosmetics is to concentrate on your food and fitness. I also feel the rise of social media has pushed this, people are realising that you don’t need a gym, personal trainer or to be lifting weights, there are so many different ways to get fitter and so much information is out there for free.
What are your thoughts on wearing Athleisure on nights out, to work and other social occasions?
I live in gym clothes, it’s hard for me to feel as good in anything else. There isn’t a brand out there that hasn’t teamed up and created an athleisure line, the right pair of leggings can accentuate your curves and hold everything in while giving you room to eat or dance the night away!
What do you think is influencing the Athleisure trend most?
Previously gym wear was something you would only wear at the gym, it wasn’t sexy, now gym clothes are beautiful, they’re a comfy fashion statement, I get more comments on my gym clothes than I do my normal clothes!
Where do you think the trend is going next?
I’d like to think that the journey is going to take a more affordable route. I worry for young families and kids trying to spend all their pennies on expensive gym clothes. I also want people to remember that you can just rock up in an old t-shirt and leggings to work out. I think we’ll see more gym wear creeping into daily fashion and I’m super excited for it.