Athleisure on the Rise
The sportswear industry has been making waves in fashion over the last few years, and many people are choosing to rock more casual clothing while they're out and about. Sweatpants, leggings and crop tops are no longer just a home lounging look but a stylish combination you can wear while you go to work, attend school, run to the grocery store or hit the gym.
Clothing trends and fads typically rise and fall over time, but athleisure has made its mark for well over a decade. This trend continues to grow, and more people are filling their closets with these comfortable clothes that look and feel great. Learn everything you need to know about the rise of athleisure and how you can fill your closet with these cute and comfortable pieces from Perfectly Priscilla.
What Is Athleisure?
Athleisure describes comfortable clothing that works well for sports and exercise but is attractive and fashionable enough to wear for other activities. You can wear athleisure accessories and apparel to the gym and in non-athletic settings.
Athleisure clothing meets multiple needs. For example, you can wear athleisure tops or leggings to school, work or while running errands if you want to hit a workout right after without needing to change. You can still impress your friends and others by looking cute while reducing the clothes you need in your closet and saving money in the process.
Street style has played an essential role in the rise of athleisure. More women wear leggings, crop tops and sneakers during everyday activities, and men sport sweatpants and hoodies when they're out and about. This makes athleisure outfits perfect, regardless of where you're going or what you're doing.
Crossing Fashion and Comfort
Whoever said you had to choose style over comfort obviously didn't know about athleisure. This trend has been building for decades and doesn't show signs of stopping. Although athleisure looks a little different now than it did at first, it's made a promising impact on the fashion industry, and people are loving the cute but casual dress code.
The Birth of Athleisure
Although current street-style trends have played a part in the rise of athleisure, its rise has been a long time coming. The 1970s saw an abundance of workout videos in the West, and exercise became a favorite activity for many people. Athleisure was born, with the first known use of the word coming in 1976.
The workout craze grew, and people began filling their closest with staple pieces that allowed them to exercise comfortably. As people became more comfortable with their routines, they started creating a "coffee culture," where they would stop at cafes and shops after hitting the gym in casual clothing. Soon, it would become a new style that many people wear, regardless of where they're coming from or going.
How COVID-19 Affected Athleisure
The recent pandemic affected the fashion industry in significant ways. With many students and workers operating from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, comfortable clothing — like sweatpants — saw a sale increase of 80% in 2020. People weren't sure when they would return to work or if they'd experience another shutdown, resulting in less need for work blouses, school pants and flattering shoes.
Because many people experienced layoffs during this time, the demand for multifunctional clothes increased. These pieces could help people who weren't bringing home their typical paychecks save money.
Although there were many jokes about people attending Zoom meetings and virtual classes wearing their pajamas, this wasn't too far from the truth. Rather than dressing to impress, employees and students were choosing to stay comfortable while they adjusted to their new lifestyles.
During the pandemic, we also saw health and fitness rise again as the world realized the importance of living a healthy life and preparing our bodies to overcome sickness. Workout and exercise services spiked during the shutdowns and after, as many gyms and fitness clubs were closed or operating at limited capacity. This trend shows signs of sticking around, meaning more and more people are buying the clothes they need to feel the burn while staying comfortable afterward.
The Street Wear of Today
Today, our streets are filled with men, women, boys, girls and celebrities rocking the athleisure look. Although there have been many events and trends that lead to the rise of this clothing type, there is another reason they're gaining traction — brands are using influencers to market their products.
Influencer marketing is impacting the fashion industry. Millions of people use social media, and brands are building names and personalities through Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat. When companies dress well-known celebrities in their products or attach popular names to their clothing lines, it stands out to the millions of people who support and know them. Although celebrities were once known for their luxurious dresses, shoes and accessories, even they are choosing to hit the streets in sweatpants and sneakers.
Additionally, people are drawing connections between athleisure and health and fitness, inspiring many to hit the gym or opt for home workouts to stay active. Wearing these comfortable clothes encourages people to develop and build a healthy lifestyle and safely seek their body and health goals.
Athleisure is more than a combination of fashion and comfort. Within this trend, we're seeing many others. As brands are crafting new clothing lines and people are making lifestyle switches, we're noticing some new trends to look out for, including:
- Sustainability: Businesses are continuing to switch to more sustainable products and materials. The result is high-quality, durable clothes that are better for the environment while bridging fashion and innovation.
- Inclusivity and diversity: As with many brands, some women and men have struggled to find clothes that fit them while hugging the right places. Now, companies are finally becoming more diverse and inclusive, offering accessories and clothing that fit people of all shapes and sizes so everyone can feel confident in their clothes.
- Luxury: Big brands, like Gucci and Stella McCartney, are entering the athleisure marketing, leading us and millions of others to believe this trend is here to stay. From performance lines to activewear brands, we're seeing partnerships bringing luxury and comfort.
- Bringing classes to communities: Brands that have already made a new in the sports industry are starting to expand. Lululemon, North Face, Adidas and more offer wellness, yoga, high-intensity training and other fitness classes at home. These brands blend product with action, encouraging customers to get out and active.
Build Your Athleisure Wardrobe With Perfectly Priscilla
Athleisure may be starting to expand to people of all shapes and sizes, but Perfectly Priscilla has been doing it for years. We made our collection of clothing and accessories for plus-size beauties who want to find cute and affordable clothes.
Our exclusive styles and sizes are inclusive and diverse so that you can find the perfect dress, top, jeans and more for every occasion. Of course, we know all about the athleisure trend, too, and you can browse our athletic leggings and shop our stylish sneakers to kickstart your athleisure collection.