When & Why Did Athleisure and Sportswear Become Such A Trend?

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When & Why Did Athleisure and Sportswear Become Such A Trend?  Contrary to popular belief, activewear has been trending since mid-1970’s! Bruce Lee made matching tracksuits infamous and made sportswear an appropriate dress code for even the most unathletic of activities.

grailify / Pixabay

That being said, it does seem that recent years have put gym wear on the pages of Vogue and made yoga pants about as go-to as a pair of blue denim Levis. So when did this all happen? When exactly did it become appropriate, much less trendy, to turn up to brunch in a Lulu Lemon matching set and pristine white Nikes.

FYI, we know you’re not rocking up to lunch post-pilates – you’re not fooling anyone.  Nevertheless, this is the world we live in.  Gym bunny or not, the expectation is that one has a section of their wardrobe dedicated to activewear. But why?

If it looks good, it looks good.

Perhaps first and foremost, sometimes activewear is just great fashion. The iconic names of athleisure are taking up more and more space on our fashion-house websites, and pretty much all brands now have their own take on an activewear collection. These clothes are built to flatter, and how can we say no?

Plus, everybody’s doing it. When Kim K rocked bicycle shorts for the first time, brands all over the world followed suit. And can we blame them?  Don’t forget about the shoes! Don’t even get me started on the shoes.  Anyone who says they haven’t scoured the internet for a good Nike discount code is probably lying, or a fool for paying full price.

Shoes Sport Shoe Colorful For You  - NickyPe / Pixabay

NickyPe / Pixabay

I’ll admit my wardrobe has a section dedicated purely to white trainers, and I’m no runner let me tell you.  Apart from the fact that they go with everything, perhaps part of the reason this trend has come about is due to a search for motivation.  I’ll be the first to say that I feel more inclined to go to the gym if I’ve got the threads for it.

Dress for the job lifestyle you want.

You’ve heard it before: dress for the job you want. Well, this is true for the lifestyle you want also.  In fact, a recent study tested this theory by putting participants in doctors coats and asking them to take a quiz.

Those in the doctor’s coats were found to have higher and prolonged concentration and better quiz results than those who remained in casual dress.  Now, I’m not saying that fashion is everything but it absolutely has an influence on how you feel.  If you want to become a world-class Yogi, having the right leggings is half the battle… right?

Perhaps one reason for this growth in the activewear trend is that we’re all trying to be healthier.  Put on some gym wear and you might just find yourself in the gym! But what about those of us who don’t end up in the gym? And what about those of us who never even intended to?   Well, activewear is also very comfortable.

Comfort, comfort, comfort.

Sweatpants Legs Fashion Young  - Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay

Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay

I have a theory that fashion is a little like nature, it’s survival of the fittest.  When it comes to clothes, the fittest is often the comfiest.  Oversized. High-waisted. Stretchy. Comfy.  All of the above are at the forefront of my mind when I’m shopping for new garms. And, all of the above can be found in the activewear section.

At some point in the not so distant past, there was a shift. A shift from what looked good to what felt good.  I know corsets were abolished many moons ago but some elements of modern fashion were still designed without even a nod to the comfort of those who would be wearing it. But now, comfort is everything.

The majority of fashion brands are promoting loungewear (which is pretty much activewear but just a fleecy version) with sweat pants taking over from tailored trousers and oversized t-shirts taking the place of button-down shirts.

So are you for or against?

While for some, the growth of sportswear is a dream come true, for others it lacks couth and should be worn for its primary purpose only.  Personally, the fact that athleisure and sportswear are trending hard isn’t something I’m mad about.

Let’s face it, between the fact that it looks good, it feels good and it might potentially almost motivate us to break into a light jog now and then, it seems like a pretty good thing to me.

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