In recent years, a few specific fashion trends have risen in popularity and secured a spot in mainstream fashion—one of them being athleisure. This style’s seamless blend of athletic function and leisurely comfort is an appealing concept, especially in a COVID-19 reality where everybody is spending more time exercising at home than at their local gym. Besides being sportswear, athleisure is often worn by those looking to sport a comfortable yet chic casual look.
To better understand athleisure clothing’s appeal and the magnitude of its success, take a deeper look at this seemingly new trend.
Athleisure: A Low Maintenance Revolution
Athleisure is defined as sports performance clothing and footwear that people can wear in both athletic and non-athletic settings, but it is also more than that. It symbolises the decompartmentalisation of sportswear by way of enhancing its technical design and visual appeal to become everyday wear.
By many accounts, athleisure is the signature fashion trend of 2020 and 2021. The US’ sports apparel market was valued at a whopping $105.1 billion in 2020, and is expected to reach $113.4 billion in 2021.
Undoubtedly, athleisure has gained significant traction over the past few years, but this demand for simple, casual clothing is nothing new. The fitness mania that occurred in the 1970s and 80s was the first time that athleisure was thrust into the spotlight. It caused a shift in people’s demand for apparel and soon, casual yet high-quality sports performance clothes were on the rise.
The novel pandemic brought about athleisure’s resurgence—an emphasis on healthy living became more prevalent, and dress codes became increasingly undefined. Before the era of COVID, leggings, shorts and pullovers were merely clothes that we changed into after work—clothes that we typically would not dream of wearing in the “outside world.” Now, we spend entire days at home, the cradle of comfort and languor. Suits and smartwear have no place here, and we find ourselves wanting to stay perpetually cosy.
Naturally, consumer demand has shifted to reflect this reality, and multi-seasonal and multifunctional clothes are now increasingly sought-after. In fact, apparel that is both sporty and casual has become more acceptable for use in a wide variety of social situations, even those outside the realm of sports and exercise.
Athleisure: Redefining Fashion through Instagram and Influencers
Let’s face it: social media has changed the game for all industries, not just athleisure. Instagram was at the very forefront of transforming this sporty trend into a mainstream lifestyle. The app’s photo- and video-centric framework has granted users access to a massive online lookbook. Thanks to Instagram’s format, brands are able to deliver copious amounts of polished, kinetic details through visuals alone, alongside “behind-the-scenes” content that make audiences feel like brand insiders.
And when it comes to social media, it is only natural that influencers and celebrities are included in the picture. Celebrities like Beyoncé and Kate Hudson have endorsed or established their own lines of sportswear. Famous athletes often double as celebrities and influencers in their own right as well. For instance, Serena Williams and Cristiano Ronaldo have become role models for healthy, active lifestyles that many are keen to follow. As such, brands work directly with them and other athletes to promote their products.
Now that athleisure has bled into the fashion and entertainment space, numerous celebrities and fitness influencers have begun to mix and match sports leggings with regular non-sportswear to make their outfits more versatile. In turn, this has motivated their millions of followers to adopt a more laid-back appearance, further amplifying athleisure’s acceptance and popularity among the masses. If you’re looking to incorporate athleisure into your own lifestyle, minimalist sports tops are a good canvas to start with. Our Aura Toga Bra and Back to Basics camisole, for example, pair perfectly with all sorts of casual bottoms. To create a slightly more elevated look, simply throw on a blazer, kimono or even a button-up shirt over your ensemble. Similarly, leggings are versatile enough to be worn everywhere, at any time of the day. Whether you’re just lounging at home, going to the gym or brunching at a chic café, you can always fall back on athleisure for both comfort and style.
Activewear Brands: Championing Inclusivity and Authenticity
The athleisure industry is currently dominated by powerhouse brands whose demographic is largely made up of product performance-only seekers. This leaves a gap for new activewear brands to fill. By opting for more client-centric designs, merchandising working and expanded offerings, they have managed to clinch a percentage of this mammoth market. These brands place embracing different types of bodies as their priority, effectively winning the hearts of their consumers.
At Anya Active, we take pride in being one of the smaller brands that continuously champion self-improvement through inclusion and diversity. Our extensive range of activewear is designed thoughtfully and with only the highest of standards, ensuring that women of all sizes are comfortable no matter what type of physical activity they engage in. Browse our online female sportswear catalogue for yoga attire, female gym clothes, or casual everyday attire. Shop online or visit our store in Singapore to try our clothes in person.