Category clothing has gone through the same transformation, and the most prominent among this group has been the tremendous growth of gym/fitness clothing, or more popularly known as athleisurewear.
Previously fashion used to be an exclusive thing, made to appear extravagant, lavish & uber appealing, but come today, fashion is not just the demand of the ultra-rich or incredibly stylish, it’s a phenomenon that pervades every sphere of our lives. We are a more conscious generation who wants to look good where it be.
Athleisure took the world by storm. It is a comfortable, stylish clothing that can be used for exercise and be worn casually as well. We didn’t think that yoga pants could make it to Vogue, but they have.
Consumers have responded to Athleisure so positively that it has prompted designers and big fashion brands to release their Athleisure lines. Brands such as Lululemon Athletica are spearheading the movement, and consumers love it!
(BTW, men are loving Athleisurewear too… as per Dai’s IG post below!)
Millennials have emerged as the most health-conscious generation, so it’s no surprise that they make up the majority of Athleisure sales.
Athleisure is thought of as clothes primarily for women, and even though 40% of consumers are men; women do spend significantly more on athleisure products – hundreds and thousands of dollars’ worth.
You see, Athleisure doesn’t come cheap, an average cost of branded yoga pants from one of the major Athleisure outlets can cost between $75-$100 dollars.
Are women wearing all these Athleisure outfits that they buy? It turns out they aren’t – but what is it that’s keeping them hooked?
Athleisure is comfortable
The biggest reason behind the growth of Athleisure is the fact that these outfits are incredibly comfortable. Maybe we just desperately need to get out of our skinny jeans and to slip into something breathable that lets us move freely, which could be the reason why Athleisure is accepted with so much veracity.
The comfort and practicality of Athleisure cannot be matched with those of our favorite jeans – combine that with some cute styles, and you have outfits that you don’t want to take off.
Pressure to stay fit
Psychologists and sociologists have delved into the matter and come up with their answers that can explain why women continue to invest in Athleisure.
Over the years there has been a shift in what is considered the ideal body for females. Earlier, thin bodies were seen as perfect for women – this has now changed.
Today, it’s not just to do with how slender you are; it has to do with how toned you are. Michelle Obama’s toned arms made headlines for a reason. Celebrities are posting videos and photos of themselves working out on social media for the same reason. There’s an evident shift in attitude when it comes to fitness and health.
Those that adopt healthy lifestyles are deemed as successful individuals, who’re making good choices in life. Being fit is ‘trendy’ at the moment, which explains the emergence of modern diets (gluten-free, organic, veganism, etc.) and the diversity in the types of workouts people can choose to do.
Women are expected to be fit; just a thin body won’t cut it. Due to this pressure, women are drawn to Athleisure for what it represents. Just being in the clothes makes them feel fit, even if that’s not the case.
Since women assume that they will be perceived as more attractive if they project themselves as someone who stays in that condition of fitness, they buy athleisure outfits.
Your clothes reflect your lifestyle, therefore, being in workout gear suggests that you are someone that looks after their health. Through Athleisure you are letting people know that you’re healthy. You could be a lazy person, but that’s not what people see.
The term “enclothed cognition” was coined in 2012 by scientists who found that clothes could influence your psychological processes.
Their studies revealed that people who put on white coats they believed belonged to doctors, would pay more attention than those who thought they were wearing white coats belonging to a painter.
This phenomenon was then tested with different types of clothing, and it was found that wearing proper gym attire enhanced your performance at the gym.
Further research showed that our physical experiences affect our thought processes – leading to what scientists are calling “embodied cognition.” Dr. Galinsky, who is conducting studies on embodied cognition, explains that our brain responds to physical experiences and putting on types of clothes counts as an experience.
We are more inclined to take up the role of whatever the clothes represent when we slip into particular outfits; wearing the correct attire for the gym leads to you performing better as well. In the past gym clothes just symbolized the hours we spent at the gym but now they signify a lifestyle that most people idolize.
Buying and wearing Athleisure, helps us embody a fitness enthusiast and in turn, leads to us performing better during our workouts. We take pride in our workouts when slipping into this type of clothing, and we’re motivated and willing to push ourselves harder as a result.
Fully committing to workouts is still a struggle for most people. Therefore, the boost in motivation they get from athleisure outfits can make them much more productive.
With Athleisure making its way onto top fashion magazines and to the ramps of all Fashion Weeks, there is no denying that Athleisure is stylish and ladies do not want to miss out!
If funky yoga pants and stylish sports bras are all you see around you, then you’re going to want to get in on the trend.
Even though Athleisure fulfills the purpose of regular gym clothes, it has become a fashion statement today. It’s no longer just known for just its functionality which is why its target audience extends beyond just those who are passionate about working out, to those who wish to be comfortable and stylish at the same time.
The wealth factor
Branded Athleisure clothing has become a bit of ‘status symbol’ representing that you are wealthy and can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on it.
Today Athleisure may not be purchased for its primary function, but it has secured its position as a category in the fashion industry and more importantly, in the fitness world.
Athleisure will enhance your performance during your workouts and keep you comfortable when you’re out of the gym as well.
Judy Robinson is an enthusiastic blogger who spends her entire day writing quality blogs. She is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with her friends and followers.
Her forte is Fashion, Fitness, and Lifestyle, keeping a keen eye on latest trends in those industries. She is currently associated with a Florida based women clothing store Sophie and Trey for their blog operations. For more updates follow her on Twitter @judyrobinson