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Have you embraced athleisure?

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Athleisure helps transition us from working to working out without sacrificing style.

Athleisure helps transition us from working to working out without sacrificing style.

Long retired are the sweat-stained T-shirts and shorts suitable only for a trip to the gym – and good riddance! “Athleisure” will officially be added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2016, but have you added it to your wardrobe? Women are comfortably jumping for joy now that it’s socially acceptable to wear sneakers and leggings instead of high heels and pencil skirts when out on the town.

How did this trend start?
You know how it began. You purchased your first pair of Lululemon yoga pants and it was all downhill from there – or uphill, depending on your running route. Vogue magazine explained that this sudden movement of wanting to look stylish at the gym was spurred by the need to streamline our busy lives. These clothes help transition us from working to working out without sacrificing style.

This lifestyle has made its way from the gym to the workplace, with designer brands like Chanel creating everything from clothing to couture sneakers, reported InStyle Magazine. However, Chanel isn’t the only company capitalizing on the trend. Retail giants from Kate Spade to American Eagle have created athletic lines to offer customers. Even the rebellious brand, Urban Outfitters, jumped on this mainstream bandwagon seeing its money-making potential. But it’s not just stores driving the trend. Celebrities like Kate Hudson and Beyonce are creating their own designs, said Vogue.

However, it’s only fair to acknowledge that this fashion isn’t just targeted towards athletes. In fact, fashion designer Alexander Wang recently discussed athleisure with The New York Times.

“I live in gym clothes. When you go out on the street, it’s the uniform now,” Wang admitted despite not being an athlete himself. It’s simply an all-encompassing style.

But is it just a fad?
Doesn’t look like it. Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of the NPD Group, unveiled statistics from a recent consumer research study.

Cohen reported, “This is no longer a trend – it is now a lifestyle that is too comfortable, for consumers of all ages, for it to go away anytime soon.”

While this seems like a bold statement, the proof is in the sales. In fact, there was a 1 percent increase in consumer spending on apparel, footwear and accessories that was largely due to the sales of athleisure styles this past year. Keep in mind however that this seemingly small percentage stands for $323 billion.

As athleisure is becoming a permanent staple of fashion in our society we have to ask, what style would be complete without accessories? Pair your favorite outfits with a BABY-G watch which is functional for both lounging and exercising.

 

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