Athleisure has been an ongoing trend for nearly half a decade, and it’s completely changed the fashion industry. It seems that athleisure may finally have run its course—but not without leaving a transformation to fashion in its wake.
What has been the impact of athleisure, and what’s taking its place?
What is athleisure?
Athleisure refers to the fashion style of “athletic leisure” wear—aka wearing workout clothes as everyday fashion. It’s that “on my way to the gym” look that started to permeate everyday dress. This includes leggings, tights, workout tops, sports bras, and fashion and sports sneakers.
Athleisure was so popular that designers and celebrities even adapted the “workout look” for high-end fashion. Everyday street-wear turned to the leggings. Companies started selling clothing that looked like gym wear, even if it wasn’t made for the gym. Athleisure took over every facet of fashion and lifestyle. It held such an impact that it may never fully leave our closet, similar to blue jeans or white sneakers.
How did athleisure impact fashion?
Persistent fashion trends transform the entire closet. Athleisure became an important staple of fashion in 2015, persisting strongly through the beginning of 2019. Lasting for over four years, athleisure completely changed women’s wardrobes. Sneakers replaced heels, leggings replaced jeans, and sports bras replaced lace blouses. Even headwear changed, with more sweatbands and ponytail holders. Makeup began to emphasize the more natural, neutral glow to pair with the casual style of dress.
More women started wearing what made them feel good, rather than whatever was just on-trend.
Women have entire wardrobes that live and breathe athleisure. It has permeated every area of style. So there’s no way it’s going to leave overnight. And even with its slow progression out of trend, we don’t expect that athleisure will ever leave in its entirety. It’s leaving behind important breadcrumbs that will impact fashion trends for at least the next decade, if not longer.
A huge draw for athleisure was the comfort aspect. People loved being able to slip into something casual, no matter where they were going or what they were doing.
Athleisure legitimized comfortable fashion. It became the norm and reduced the stigma around wearing casual clothes, even to major events. It also allowed for flexibility: you could go to the gym, the grocery store, the house, and drinks with the girls in one simple outfit.
This helped shake off the harshness and unapproachability of fashion and get more comfortable with the clothes we put on our bodies.
Now that we’ve had a taste of comfortable, we’re going to keep it. In 2019, though, women are beginning to demand comfort withmore fashion sense and style.
Why is athleisure on its way out?
Whether or not athleisure is still in vogue depends on who you ask. Some say it’s still a relevant staple of everyday dress, while others are saying it’s making room for more classy and elegant styles in everyday wear. We’ve noticed that women are still wearing athleisure in some cases, but its popularity is heavily slowing down.
We have officially moved athleisure to the “acceptable” column of dress but not necessarily the “hot topic” column. For example, jeans are always in fashion to wear. Different styles of jeans—rises, cuts, and washes—will change with the season, but jeans are always good to go. A classic mid-rise blue jean will always be “acceptable,” while ripped, light, high-rise jeans may be a “hot topic” for the season.
There are two main reasons athleisure is losing its place in the industry:
- It’s not sustainable.
- The pendulum is swinging to the opposite end.
People are becoming much more aware of how the fashion industry impacts the environment and our personal health. Fashion is one of the most destructive industries when it comes to chemical-ridden materials, air pollution, and poor labor practices.
We’re not sitting idle anymore. Conscientious consumers are recognizing that fast fashion isn’t healthy, and they’re moving towards more sustainable and ethical options.
Not only are a lot of athleisure companies using unhealthy practices, but a lot of athletic clothing is made of synthetic fabrics. Spandex and polyester create that stretchy, breathable fabric we know and love with athletic clothing—but the production of these is horrible for the environment and for your skin. Athletic clothing is arguably one of the least sustainable aspects of an already unsustainable industry.
That’s why preloved designer clothing has become the hottest new craze. In fact, it’s anticipated that “secondhand luxury” will be the “new athleisure.” Consignment clothing will completely change the kinds of clothing you see on the streets—and even the way the fashion industry operates on the whole.
Learn more about how sustainable fashion is taking over the world here.
It’s fun dressing up! We miss that. Lots of women do. There’s nothing better than getting dolled up—for no reason other than to look and feel great.
Fashion lives on a pendulum. When one style is in fashion, the trend usually swings in the completely opposite direction. We went from low rise to high rise jeans and neons to neutrals in the span of a year. Now, the pendulum is swinging from casual and comfortable to sophisticated and tasteful.
It used to be cool to look like you were headed to the gym. And it actually made the wearer feel more athletic and fit. In a period were personal fitness and health reigned supreme, wearing athletic clothing helped us mold ourselves into that lifestyle.
Although people are still focused on their health, especially with regards to the chemicals in their daily lives (and in their clothing), the “big topic” of conversation isn’t going to the gym anymore.
The big topic of conversation right now is self-improvement. We’re all trying to learn more, grow more, and be more. We’re taking in information at an incredible rate, looking for accomplishment in multiple areas of our lives: work, health, relationships, family, friends, and more. (Read: 5 Ways To Find Success As A Working Mother)
How clothing makes you feel
Leggings, which used to be a sign of athleticism, have now started to become a sign of laziness. In our ambitious society, laziness goes against everything we believe and the persona we want to portray with our clothing.
The clothing you wear signals your brain what to think and how to feel. Athletic clothing makes you feel athletic. Bold colors make you more adventurous. Elegant clothing makes you feel classier. There is a psychology of clothing that impacts how we think about ourselves and one another.
That’s why more people are moving towards the “dress for success” sort of style. A lot of companies that were formerly all-athleisure (like Lululemon) are starting to come out with comfortable work clothes, like soft editor pants, flexible pencil skirts, and breathable blouses. The “comfort” of athleisure hasn’t left—but more and more people are moving towards quality pieces that support a sophisticated, driven lifestyle.
Transitioning To Success
Athleisure has introduced casual dress into everyday society, and we couldn’t be more thankful. But now it may be time to retire the daily leggings that could be holding us back from truly achieving all of our potential.
It’s time to revolutionize the beauty of fashion. It’s time to bring back timeless, quality pieces that make you look good and feel great. And it’s time to reintroduce clothes designed for the successful woman.
Pre-loved fashion has become the answer to this. You can get designer pieces that look and feel expensive—at a fraction of the price. You can fill up your wardrobe with gorgeous, sophisticated pieces without breaking the bank. Start shopping Current Boutique