It’s official, athleisure is here to stay. With the recent release of Ivy Park, Beyonce’s much anticipated collaboration with Topshop, and its latest inclusion in the 2016 Merriam-Webster dictionary, athleisure is not going anywhere. It is no longer a mere buzzword in the fashion industry, but can be officially defined as “casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use”. Wearing exercise gear in public used to be the ultimate fashion crime. Remember those Juicy Couture velvet tracksuits we mocked and shamed? Now they’re acceptable because it’s “athleisure”.
It truly is athleisure’s time to be in the fashion spotlight. The gym-to-the-streets look is so in right now because of its versatile, stylish look and feel, and every company is eager for a piece of the cake. It has gone beyond traditional active-wear brands and are now appearing on designer runways, such as Chanel and Alexander Wang.
Athleisure is more than just simply throwing on an old pair of sneakers or track pants, but finding key statement pieces that incorporate athletic silhouettes and fabrics. Nike’s CEO Mark Parker even made a brave statement that “Leggings are the new denim”. Although many have mocked the notion of athleisure as people typically sporting this style are doing anything but athletic, the trend is not going anywhere. So what side are you on? Are you a guilty of parading this athleisure paradox or do you believe leggings should just stay at the gym?