Fitness + Fashion: Why Athleisurewear is Everything!

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A few years ago, spending the whole day in sweatpants was a fashion no-no. These days, though, the right athleisure clothing is considered in style and fashion forward. Athleisurewear, a hybrid of workout clothing and loungewear, helps people go from the gym to the office and even out for evening!

Over the last few years, especially since the pandemic, athleisure has quickly become a natural part of wardrobes almost everywhere, and the future looks even more promising for these versatile pieces. In the U.S., the athleisure market is projected to grow from $326 billion in 2021 to $548 billion by 2028. What started as a trend for active people to dress more comfortably while still looking stylish is still going strong. Everyone from bloggers to celebrities to athletes are incorporating function and style into their everyday life. Major brands such as Lululemon, Nike, Adidas and Under Armour are tapping into the booming wearable trend, while smaller, independent companies and high-end fashion designers are vying for a piece of the market.

Combining activewear with trendy streetwear, athleisurewear is designed to go from daytime activities such as work and exercise to evening dinners or casual events. Athleisure takes traditional sporty clothing made from technical materials and integrates it into the daily wardrobe. While there was a time some people wouldn’t have considered eating at a restaurant or going to a party in activewear, athleisure clothing is now being sported at a variety of social gatherings or work functions. Since our culture has become increasingly casual, we have more of a need than ever for clothing that is comfortable yet stylish.

What wardrobe pieces constitute athleisurewear? Some of the most popular and widely purchased items include leggings, sweatpants, tights, sporty jackets and hoodies. Because of its popularity, athleisurewear is offered in many retail outlets by a variety of manufacturers, can be easily ordered online and can fit almost any budget.

Who can wear this cool but comfortable trend? Anyone! Regardless of gender or age, athleisurewear is about function and comfort. The workout world is catering to a more relaxed fit for school, work and play and men and women both admire the look of leisure. Popular pieces for men are casual pants, travel clothing, bomber jackets, polo shirts, crew-neck sweaters and trendy sneakers. Athleisure’s particular combination of style and comfort is one of the main factors pushing the increase in demand for the product among men and young men.

Women may have been the driving force behind the popularity of athleisurewear, as their products have witnessed the most rapid growth. Some of the most popular women’s products include leggings, chic hoodies, yoga pants, layering shirts, bras and tanks.

Kids are also enjoying the benefits of the comfortable clothing choice. Children’s designers are creating athletic-inspired apparel such as joggers, hoodies and sneakers that are fashionable and functional for active kids who love to just run around and play.

Aside from the gym, athleisure can also be worn in most situations in everyday life including workout and fitness classes; airports and other travel situations; running errands; casual lunch with friends; shopping; going to work (with a smart casual dress code); and working from home. The athleisure look generally consists of the same materials found in traditional fitness and sportswear but many modern brands fuse technology with fitness to create clothing, from socks to shirts to caps, that possess some sort of performance-boosting technology while still staying in line with fashion trends. The options are seemingly endless and are being worn by professional athletes and everyday exercisers. Athleisurewear materials continue to evolve, so everyday activities such as workouts and Zoom calls can often be done in the same outfit.

What’s the best way to style athleisurewear? There’s really no set standard, and personal creativity can often be key to comfort and fashion. While the emphasis of athleisurewear is style, people still desire a good level of comfort. Choosing slim-fitting items will give a more polished look and buying shirts and pants in neutral shades such as tan, beige, white and black that can be easily mixed and matched is a good start for an athleisure wardrobe. Items with athletic features that offer good breathability, four-way stretch and moisture-wicking technology are smart options as well. This easy trend is meant to let us enjoy soft, flexible materials with a variety of fits while still experimenting with colors and textures that might have not been options before.

The world’s love affair with athleisurewear will continue to evolve, and fashionistas everywhere want to stay trendy while feeling good in their clothes. It is not just about fashion; it is active clothing that consumers of all ages and genders appreciate more every day.