Remember the time when you would not even dare to wear running shoes outside the gym? How about wearing leggings as pants; not just the simple black LuLu Lemons, but real work out leggings with a logo as ready to wear pants? For the past few years the notion of athleisure wear being strictly for the gym has indefinitely changed. It’s more than a trend, it’s become an obsession.
The world has literally never been the same. We live in an era where it’s completely acceptable to wear athletic wear casually and even in the work place with the new “workleisure” trend. For instance, pairing an elegant white or black button down with a pair of leggings or Adidas sweats, simple accessories, and a Helmut Lang leather jacket makes the perfect “workleisure” outfit. Kim Kardashian West does a great job of dressing effortlessly in overly casual pieces sometimes relaxed and sometimes with an edge. You’re casual but still edgy. And if you don’t have Helmut Lang in your wardrobe, just head to Zara for something that looks similar, but for half the price.
However, it does make you think, how far can this trend go? Athleisure was made popular with celebrities like Rita Ora, Gigi Hadid, and the Kardashian clan, who all dominate social media as well as fashion. With more celebrities collaborating with brands to make more athleisure lines we love, (such Beyoncé’s Ivy Park for Topshop or Kanye West’s Yeezy for Adidas) the trend has catapulted into a way of life and has become synonymous with what we consider casual.
It could be said that athleisurewear is a glance at what culture is like here in America. Now that “workleisure” has become just as prominent as athleisure this statement could not be more true. Deirdre Clemente, professor at University of Las Vegas supports its longevity. “Many of the clothes that people now consider work-appropriate incorporate sports-inspired materials, like spandex, lycra, and other synthetic fibers. It’s combining two trends that have dominated American casual clothing — durability and comfort — in a versatile way.” In other words, when function meets versatility you get a trend that can shape a culture, especially here.
While in some places the trend is shunned such as in Paris, that has not been the case here in America. We can’t help but wait to see where the trend takes us. With big brands such as Todd Snyder and Tory Burch starting their own athleisure brands perhaps this clothing evolution will expand outside the states.