Fitness Fashion Trends to Follow
The line between fashion and fitness has been growing more and more blurred for the last few years, thanks to the rising trend of athleisure wear. Athleisure is defined as wearing clothing intended for working out in social settings like at work or running an errand, possibly with no intention of actually working out that day. The reason for the rise in this trend is due to the improved comfort of workout clothing like yoga pants and the added complexity of having to bring multiple outfits with you to change into during the day. With sales growing yearly, this trend seems to have no end in sight, and now the trends in fashion are blurring over into fitness wear with celebrities embracing the trend as well as high-end designer fashion brands. Below are a few current trends in athleisure that are seen most often with brands in the marketplace.
Office to Gym
Expanding on the original athleisure idea of wearing athletic wear at the office and the gym, brands are designing more fashion-forward fitness apparel that is more office appropriate than traditional yoga pants. Some of these brands include Lululemon, Athleta, and PrAna. They are developing crossover apparel like performance stretch relaxed-fit pants, tunic tops that cover leggings well and muted, technical jackets that look as good in the office as they do out on a trail. This continues the trend of only having to pack one set of clothes for the entire day, something that’s always been a challenge for women who want to work out near their office or during their commute. And with the increase in technical performance apparel features being implemented into seemingly standard fabrics, this concept is only growing.
Made famous by the brand Outdoor Voices, the idea of buying your workout top and pants as one coordinated outfit has been taking over in fitness social media with both celebrities and regular people alike. This trend also includes the popularity of the crop compression top, which is a long sports bra. Paired with long leggings, cropped leggings or 7/8 leggings, this trend is recent to the athleisure world but aligns with the overall idea. Coordinated outfits create the appearance of a more put-together and intentional look, which can easily fit in at the gym or running errands. Since Outdoor Voices, many popular fitness and athleisure brands have been designing athleisure to sell in a specific color and design-coordinated sets as opposed to traditional one-off sales.
Technical and Performance Fabrics
Traditionally used in technical outwear by hardcore outdoor apparel brands, performance-based materials have been exploding onto the athleisure scene. The main reason is that high performance allows for more extended use, so someone can wear clothing during their workout and go back to work without having to deal with sweat stains or odors. Some of these technical features include wicking treatments which pull moisture off the body, anti-microbial finishes which reduce the chance of odor, or materials that are naturally cooling. Pairing these technical fabrics with styles that are office and gym appropriate has created a market of awesome workout clothes that do the job and look better than ever before.
While trends are always changing in fashion, the overall direction of athleisure has been long-standing, to the point where large brands are designing into it, and small brands have sprouted, all to grab some of this $80+ billion business. With this competition, brands are producing more innovative products using the cutting edge of fabric technology and performance science, as well as the cutting edge of fashion design and construction techniques to create some exciting and genuinely innovative athleisure apparel, taking the industry to new heights.
Thomas Matthys a former world-class track & field athlete and the founder of Swol Headquarters. He graduated from the University of Fordham with a Master’s degree in Science. Matthys is a certified sports nutritionist and personal coach of several professional athletes. Matthys has been involved in various clinical studies within Track & Field including one on the factors associated with muscle recovery and HIIT.