2016 has been the year of active wear, rising in popularity to the point where athleisure has now secured it’s spot in the dictionary.
A poll by Verdict retail completed in February 2016 found that:
- 53.7% of consumers purchased activewear over the last 12 months, with the highest penetration among 25 to 44 years age group.
- 43.3% of consumers prefer to wear activewear over other clothing.
Athleisure is defined as casual clothing designed to be worn for both exercising and for general use, and this is exactly what makes it so popular, it’s a fashion trend that easy to adopt and there’s something for almost every body type. The wide appeal of activewear has spread across consumers because they can manipulate one trend for almost every situation, from grabbing coffee, to training in a gym, grocery shopping and even at work in the office.
It is becoming more and more acceptable to wear your gym apparel for both physical activities and social events, particularly since retailers have invested in making ranges far more fashionable and trend-led. Just a few years ago I remember saving my eldest, tattiest T shirts for gym sessions. If I spilled dinner down a top, it would then go into the gym pile - after all, I was only going to sweat in it anyway, but nowadays I wouldn’t dream of it, what would people think!
The past year has seen a significant rise not only in the popularity of gym wear, but of fitness wearables, from heart rate trackers to watches which measure your water intake. There’s been a shift of focus since the 2012 Olympics and the gym is only one part of the overall picture of health and fitness we’re striving for. Fitness clothing is designed to be worn outside of the gym, as we strive for a healthy lifestyle which continues away from barbells and treadmills and runs into our everyday lives.
This prioritising of health and fitness has spread into the office as well, offering a more relaxed dress code which allows for lunchtime workouts, or a quick dash from work to the gym for an evening workout.
We’re more conscious of the dangers of sitting, being constantly reminded that we’re not doing enough to move, and so it’s become more popular to dress so we’re ready to be active when the opportunity arrives.
Are Gym Outfits The New Trainers?
There was a time, where you wore trainers if you were training, or a laborer. Today, with fewer jobs requiring men to be suited and booted and the catwalks full of relaxed tailoring and sportswear, trainers are more popular than ever, from casual converse to Adidas Yeezy’s. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t own at least one pair of trainers. Are gym outfits heading the same way? It’s becoming more and more acceptable to be seen in your gym gear outside of the gym, so perhaps our activewear will become the new trainers.
The rise of activewear has been accompanied by a rise in fitness technology, with gadgets developed to monitor everything from your sleep to your water intake. Due to this constant consciousness of our physical state, we’re more likely to worry about wearing fitness wear which enables us to be more active throughout the day. One in 6 consumers currently wears wearable technology.The UK market for activewear is predicted to rise over the next 5 years to surpass 8 billion, according to new research by Key Note.