Athleisure in Fashion: How athletic apparel has made its way into the mainstream fashion world

Leggings, sweatpants, and sneakers, are no longer exclusively worn to workout, they are seen in everyday fashion. Athleisure is a term created in the United Kingdom, meaning casual and comfortable, suitable for exercise as well as everyday wear.

Athleisure has taken off to become one of the most adapted styles to date. This is because in a time where individuals are always on the go it is necessary to find a style that suits those needs. Sophomore athletic training major and track athlete Kaylee Soboleski finds herself in athleisure most days when she has classes and rotation. “I’m always on the go, between classes, working, and other activities, I like to make sure that I am comfortable, as well as look good,” Kaylee said.

On Eastern’s campus, many student athletes have brought athleisure into everyday styles. It is not uncommon to see lacrosse team members sporting their lacrosse sweatshirts and sweatpants during the colder months as they sit in the Dining Commons, or the softball team wearing their team jackets on their way to the library. Non student-athletes can easily buy team apparel at the bookstore or at Wayne Sporting Goods on Lancaster Avenue.

Companies have really started to capitalize on the new trend. According to Forbes the athleisure industry is worth $44 billion in the US. Lululemon was considered the birthplace of Athleisure when it opened for business in the late 1990s. Since its birth, it has taken over the American market of fashion. Fabletics has created it’s own unique platform by marketing a leggings subscriptions for those who especially love athleisure in their closet.

With the surge of athleisure in mainstream fashion, this has brought other companies to incorporate athleisure into their inventory. Companies like Victoria’s Secret, Fashion Nova, Old Navy, and American Eagle have introduced highly rated leggings and sweatshirts, despite not being known as “athleisure brands”.

On the opposite end, athletic brands like Nike, Adidas, Champion, and Under Armour have become big name brands in the mainstream fashion world. Popular celebrities have partnered with these companies to sell high priced shoes and apparel. Rapper Travis Scott recently partnered with Nike to sell a limited edition $175 pair of basketball shoes.

While atheisure is not new in the world of fashion, it has certainly found it’s place in the mainstream. Whether a celebrity wear leggings to the gym or an Eastern volleyball player wears a team hoodie, athleisure is here to stay.

Sources: Forbes, Nike

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