With the winds and the weather, fashion has always been in a parallel sway. Accelerating its gear to fast forward and then returning back in time, the ups and downs of the fashion world is all pervasive in human life. Joining the winds of change is the new emerging trend called Athleisure, specially customised for sports persons that upholds a promising stature in sync with an athlete’s comfort.
The ’70s ushered in the hippie-bohemian look and the ’80s kicked off girly punk. The ’90s gave us combat boots and grunge and these trend have influenced the fashion industry since forever. The phrase “athleisure” was first used in 1976 on an advert for trainers but its sudden rise saw the word officially enter the US Merriam Webster dictionary in April this year, defined as “casual clothing to be worn for exercising and for general use”. The term – a crowbarring of the words athletic and leisure – caused many analysts initially to sneeringly dismiss it as fad. Sportswear as casual wear was popular in the Nineties and died down again, but now people are wearing it because it fits in with their busy lives . ￼ There was a time when women never wore trousers and now the westernised sports look is well accepted in clothing line. Sports apparel for the youth has become a very attractive market inspired by some of very famous athletes. Gifting this decade with another such style, Athleisure – the fashion trend where clothing designed for workouts and other athletic actives is taken as a casual daily wear. Interestingly, Athleisure can be considered as a turning point in fashion industry movement, enabled by improved textile materials. With comfort and style embedded in its unique form, it is considered as both sporty and stylish whereas less maintenance and maximum comfort becomes the foremost reason for its increasing demand.
While athletic wear was created for a specific use – sports or athletics, obviously – athleisure clothing isn’t. And it’s this versatility that has attracted many consumers to the category. It can be worn in most offices and social situations without causing anyone to bat an eye. It’s also generally more durable, with properties like wrinkle and odour resistance incorporated into its tech-infused fibers.It seems that every major retailer is trying to jump on the movement that was once thought as just a passing trend, but is now seen as a radical shift in what Americans demand from their clothing. “It was around 2012 and the London Olympics that this way of dressing progressed beyond the yoga studio became a new way of dressing in the UK,” said Mr Hill-Norton. “Since early 2015 active wear has definitely moved from the studio to the street, and if the US is anything to go by, we are only at the very beginning of a big change in the way women dress”.
Luxury fashion online retailer Net-a-Porter launched a separate site dedicated to athletic wear, cunningly called Net-a-Sporter. Meanwhile, upmarket department store Selfridges opened in April its “Body Studio”; a floor dedicated to athleisure, complete with changing room “bum mirrors” and a café by Hemsley & Hemsley, the sisters synonymous with the healthy-eating craze.
Being a part of everyone daily comfort and fashion Athleisure is said to be” the new Classis”.