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.
43% of people prefer to wear activewear over regular clothing.
Wearing your onesie all day is no longer the in thing to do (thank goodness), now we’re all about health and fitness and gym clothes as daywear is the not only normal - it’s on trend!
All day activewear trousers
A study by Verdict Retail discovered that 53.7 percent of UK consumers bought activewear in 2015.
Shoppers between the age of 25 and 44 reached the highest percent of sales with 61 percent.
52.3 percent of UK consumers were found to wear activewear more than once a week.
43.3 percent of the consumers surveyed said that they preferred to wear activewear over other clothing items in their wardrobe.
The healthy-living industry is now worth $3.4 trillion globally which is nearly three-and-a-half times more than the worldwide pharmaceutical industry, according to figures from the Global Wellness summit last year.
Reasons to adopt the activewear as daywear trend
Let’s face it, this trends a lot better for us than wearing onesies all day!
Naturally because of it’s purpose, sportswear has been designed to provide maximum comfort, using fabrics which are soft against the skin when it’s in motion and during times of intensity when you get sweaty. The higher waistbands and supportive tops are far more comfortable to wear than jeans and underwired bras, whether you are working out or going for coffee.
Activewear is designed to be functional and support your sport in the toughest of times, when your body is being pushed to it’s limits. So, equally when you want the freedom of movement to be able to lift your shopping, pick your kids up or run to catch the train on your morning commute, activewear performs.
It could help to encourage you to meet daily exercise requirements
Being dressed ready for working out can help encourage you to actually exercise. Wearing gym wear all day allows for your workouts to be spontaneous, pass a pack bench and fancy doing some plyometrics on and off the bench? No problem. Want to do a quick blast on your lunchbreak at work? You’re covered. What’s more, most people would feel far too guilty to dress in their gym gear unless they’re planning on going to the gym at some point that day. Get in the gear and you’ve got one foot in the door.
Save time getting changed
Fitting in gym classes and your work schedule can be tough, do you find you always end up missing your favourite class if you're so much as a few minutes late out of work, or your trains delayed? Shave minutes off your time from work to working out without having to get changed and you could make that class!
Wearing activewear all day encourages you to have a more active lifestyle and shifts your daily focus on health and being active. Even just this gentle change in wardrobe choice can affect your subconscious into making more healthy decisions during the day, whether it's passing up the office cupcakes to getting off one station early on your train ride to walk the last bit home.
One Outfit a day
Wearing activewear that is multi-functional means you only have to pick one outfit a day. So no need to try and fit an extra bag with a change of clothes into your compact commute space and no need to worry about dashing off to get changed before working out.
Less washing is always nice, but it’s also better for the environment. At Sundried we recommend washing activewear on a cool heat and letting it dry naturally.
You’ll never look out of place
A fitness clothes have become increasingly stylish and popular on the catwalk. You’ll no longer look out of place going to do your food shop in gymwear, whereas you might have looked out of place trying to wear your office uniform to the gym. Now there’s a style that can suit all your daily tasks.
Whilst sports luxe is more expensive, you get what you pay for. Technical fabrics which last are expensive to source and create. We easily part with large amounts of money for fitness events and yet when it comes to our gym wear we’re more reluctant. A dress you may wear once, as you can never outfit repeat, or a gym outfit you could wear every day of the week, the choice seems rather obvious when you think about it.
It hints about your lifestyle approach
Wearing gym wear during the day is more a lifestyle approach, it creates a positive image of yourself. It sends the message “I take care of myself”, “I workout” and “I care about my health”.
Tip: Don’t be one of those people who wear gym clothes but have never set foot in a gym. You’ve got to walk the walk if you talk the talk. Make sure you break a sweat in your activewear, let your body and your clothing perform how it’s intended. If you're wearing activewear and haven’t done anything active, it’s time to up your game!
The sports clothing industry is about feeling good about yourself, wearing clothing that fits and makes you feel comfortable.
The feel good factor of your workout wardrobe can now stretch into your daywear, encouraging and allowing you to move more, unrestricted by clothing.
Activewear has to be fashionable and trend-led as well as functional and technically advanced.
Sundried delivers activewear which meets these demands. As all the staff are personal trainers with full time office jobs, Sundried knew their collection had to be multi-functional and able to transition from office to active, the new collection has a sophisticated style, with sports function.
View a day in the life of our Ortler trousers, where performance wear meets an active lifestyle.
Did you know Merriam-Webster have added “athleisure” to their Words To Watch for this year?