Workout Wear... Athleisure

Thanks to an increase in fitness fans opting for an outfit that’s suitable for both the office and hitting the gym, many high street shops are now cashing in on a new fitness fashion trend… office-to-gym wear.

‘Athleisure’ (a combo of athletic and leisure in case you were wondering) has seen a growth of 42% in sales over the past seven years and is a £7 billion industry in the UK.

So popular is this fitness fashion that its become one of the fastest growing areas for high-street fashion chains. The trend has exploded from online fitness influencers sharing their stylish selfies and obsession with the “clean eating” trend.

Now a firm addition to the Merriam Webster dictionary, ‘athleisure’ is defined as “casual clothing to be worn for exercising and for general use”. Essentially, we’re wearing outfits that work just as well for a sociable lunch as they would in the gym.

Celebrities have already jumped on the fashion bandwagon with stylish collections including Rita Ora’s Adidas range and the Puma collection by Made in Chelsea star Lucy Watson. High street shops have also embraced the trend, as a previously struggling Levis created jeans with extra stretch, Topshop collaborated with Beyoncé on its Ivy Park athletic wear collection and numerous others including New Look, H&M, Gap and even Sainsbury’s have launched their own ranges of yoga pants.

It seems our focus has very much shifted towards health and fitness over the past few years. We strive to eat better, move more and make more time for wellbeing. At the same time, the way we see sportswear has evolved too. Gone are the scruffy joggers and t-shirt we’d only be seen wearing in the gym. There’s now a growing market of fashion-forward fitness clothing catering to all tastes and styles.

In a world where you can’t set foot in a gym without witnessing a fitness selfie, us Brits are increasingly more focussed on how we look whilst getting our workout done. And we feel better about ourselves when we’re kitted out well. This new sportswear being both stylish and comfortable means we’re only too happy to wear it out and about when we’re not in the gym.

According to research from Mintel* around half of Brits bought sports gear last year for non-sports use. Could this be a revival of the nineties trend for Fila tracksuits and Fruit Of The Loom sweaters? We’re just glad to see the world of fitness having an impact on the nation!

* Sports Goods Retailing – UK – July 2016


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