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Athleisurewear - Windbreaker & Leggings

Athleisure is a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities is worn in other settings, such as at the workplace, at school, or at other casual or social occasions.[1][2] Athleisure outfits are yoga pants, tights and leggings[3] that "look like athletic wear" and are characterized as "fashionable, dressed up sweats and exercise clothing".[4][5] The idea is that gym clothes are supposedly making their way out of the gym and becoming a larger part of people's everyday wardrobes.[3]

Athleisure can be considered as a fashion industry movement, enabled by improved textile materials, which allow sportswear to be more versatile, comfortable, and fashionable.[6]


By some accounts, the athleisure trend grew out of women wearing yoga pants.[7] Another account suggests that the trend came about because people could wear them for multiple occasions without having to change, which meant greater convenience, since people did not have to carry an extra gym outfit on the way to the office, for example.[3] A decade ago, denim workwear uniforms were more popular, but today athleisure is increasingly popular in places such as public streets and fashion stores and fashion runways.[8] Sportswear which had been worn exclusively in gyms is now being worn elsewhere by young adults and fitness-conscious consumers, and has been accompanied by a relaxation in dress codes. Its popularity may have stemmed from its ability to fill a gap in the market, when sportswear was once merely functional rather than stylish.[9] Due to innovations in textiles and technology, improvements have been made in functionality, such that garments and footwear have become more breathable, lightweight, and waterproof. The new garments are performance enhancing, in the sense that they allow wearers to carry out everyday activities easily.[10]

Consumer trends[edit]

Athleisure buyers desire the active lifestyle that comes with each purchase.[11] The styles, colors, and fabrics of athleisure suggest a broader emphasis on fashion as opposed to functionality.[12]

Sales trends[edit]

Athleisure clothing frequently uses accents of brightly-colored fabric against a dark background.

Reports in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal describe the athleisure market as growing,[1] displacing typical workwear styles, and cutting in to sales of jeans,[13] with a market size in 2014 as $35 billion, representing an 8% increase from the previous year.[4] According to one estimate, the athleisure market, including footwear, was $270 billion in 2016, and was estimated to grow by 30% by the year 2020.[14]

Market size[edit]

In 2016, the global athleisure sector was valued at over $83 billion USD,[15] while the U.S. market reported a 16% increase to $44 billion USD. A 30% growth is also predicted in Asia and the U.S. by 2020.[15] Furthermore, analysts at Morgan Stanley, believe that global sales may therefore rise to over $350 billion USD.[16]

In spite of this, there is an arising issue regarding market saturation, due to the continuous entry of traditional luxury, and mass merchant brands, tapping into this trend.[8] The athleisure market for casual athletic clothing, which took off a few years ago, also has become increasingly crowded with big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, as well as fast-fashion brands joining the fray—often at cheaper prices.[13] An analyst estimated that the athleisure market was not slowing down, with much competition and pressure on various retail outlets including sporting goods stores.[13] Therefore, the best performing brands have proven their ability to withstand the emerging competition, as they sell clothes and a lifestyle as a package.[11]



Global shifts toward a rise in health and fitness trends has led to growing interest and participation in sports among the public. Many have actively joined clubs and competitions in order to fully adopt the characteristics of this lifestyle. Consequently, sportswear brands can utilize this opportunity to improve and introduce better quality apparel, footwear, and gear. By presenting their devotion towards a lifestyle, it thus allows brands to garner customer loyalty.[17]

Athleisure has been promoted by celebrities such as Beyoncé and Rihanna. [18] The athleisure market is characterized by continuous innovation and brand differentiation.[19]

Materials and technology[edit]

New fibers enable greater odor reduction, sweat-wicking, stretchability to conform to the body's shape, breathability to allow air in and out, and protection from dirt.[18][20] Some clothing designs permit selected parts of the clothing to allow more breathability while other parts can have greater tension, perhaps as a way to aid posture.[21] A type of athleisure is sometimes called "technical wear" which describes clothes that are more suitable for wearing to the office while being comfortable.[18]


There have been concerns that materials used in athleisure may have negative consequences for the environment; these chemicals include dyes and solvents and polyfluorinated chemicals which are used to make athleisure resistant to water and grease and stains.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Elizabeth Holmes, May 5, 2015, The Wall Street Journal, "Athleisure: A Workout Look for Every Occasion", Retrieved May 6, 2015, "...athletic-inspired, casual look..."
  2. ^ WOMEN'S FASHION BY NATALIE RIGG, SEPTEMBER 25, 2014, T Magazine, Athleisure-Appropriate Hair at Paco Rabanne, Retrieved May 6, 2015, "...clothes have a cool, sporty vibe, so..."
  3. ^ a b c Sam Sanders, APRIL 08, 2015, NPR, For The Modern Man, The Sweatpant Moves Out Of The Gym, Retrieved May 6, 2015, "...growing trend called "athleisure."... sales of athleisure apparel were more than $35 billion last year..."
  4. ^ a b Natalie DiBlasio, December 29, 2014, USA Today, "Retailers rush to tap Millennial 'athleisure' market", Retrieved May 6, 2015, "...Sales for 'athleisure,' a new clothing category ... comfy-casual-athletic action....Millennial women are flocking to athleisure clothing — fashionable, dressed up sweats and exercise clothing—for their casual go-to clothing for both leisure and work. For many of the Millennials, jeans have dropped to a distant second for weekend wear..."
  5. ^ Devin Loring, March 25, 2015, USA Today, What's 'athleisure'? Find out in Spring Lake, Retrieved May 6, 2015, "... worn during non-athletic, leisurely activities...."
  6. ^ Aktar, Alev (2014-11-30). "Active or Idle, Everyone Is Wearing Gym Clothes Now". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2017-12-04. 
  7. ^ ADAM TSCHORN, February 11, 2015, Los Angeles Times, New York Fashion Week: For men, athleisure gains ground on workwear, Retrieved May 6, 2015, "....athleisure is on its way in, with the trend that started with luxe sweatpants a year ago..."
  8. ^ a b "From Workout to Workwear, Athleisure Works a New Angle - Sourcing Journal". Sourcing Journal. 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  9. ^ Speculations, Great. "The Athleisure Trend Is Here To Stay". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  10. ^ Goodrum, Alison (2016-04-02). "The dress issue: introduction". Annals of Leisure Research. 19 (2): 145–161. doi:10.1080/11745398.2016.1169581. ISSN 1174-5398. 
  11. ^ a b "A Primer on Athleisure - Fung Global Retail & Technology". Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  12. ^ "Athleisure's Winners and Losers". The Business of Fashion. 2016-11-16. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  13. ^ a b c Anne D'Innocenzio, Associated Press, September 6, 2014, USA Today, Jeans face uncertain future amid yoga wear rage, Retrieved May 6, 2015, "...Levi Strauss, which invented the first pair of blue jeans 141 years ago, is among jean makers that acknowledge their women's business has been hurt ..."
  14. ^ Milnes, H., March 22, 2016, Digiday, Designer sneakers and $200 leggings: How luxury stepped into the rise of athleisure, Retrieved May 30, 2016
  15. ^ a b "Trendstop | The Rise of Athleisure". Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  16. ^ Speculations, Great. "The Athleisure Trend Is Here To Stay". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  17. ^ Fromm, Jeff. "The Lululemon Lifestyle: Millennials Seek More Than Just Comfort From Athleisure Wear". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  18. ^ a b c Chayka, K., Maxim, July 14, 2015, Technical Wear: The Better Athleisure, Retrieved May 30, 2016
  19. ^ "Athleisure: the emerging fashion statement that is becoming the new normal - WhichPLM". Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  20. ^ Kapner, S. (May 7, 2015, May 7). The Wall Street Journal, Luxe Meets ‘Athleisure’ in Techie Cashmere, Retrieved May 30, 2016
  21. ^ Mann, L., August 3, 2015, Knitting Industry, Athleisure and the Future of Fashion, Retrieved May 30, 2016
  22. ^ Westervelt, Amy (2015-06-02). "Sweat it out: could your sportswear be toxic?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-05-22.