In the fashion world, trends come and go in a New York minute. However, one craze that continues to stand the test of time is athleisure. It has certainly come a long way since it was first introduced in 1998, when Canadian brand Lululemon launched their first pair of Boogie Pants. Fast-forward to 2019, and many retailers have claimed their slice of the athleisure pie. Now, brands both old and new have turned it into the billion-dollar industry it is today.
It's no surprise that athleisure is only predicted to get bigger from here on out. With that in mind, here are some trends driving the industry's growth in 2019.
Fashion is one of the leading contributors of pollution, coming only second to the oil industry. As such, the industry is starting to take notice — from the high streets of Paris Fashion Week, to the racks of your local H&M. Activewear, in particular, is guilty of producing stretchy fabrics made from synthetic materials. Fortunately, there are new players on the market who are setting the standard for ethical production. One such brand is Girlfriend Collective, which uses recycled plastic fabrics to make their apparel. Moreover, they encourage transparency by disclosing details about their manufacturing processes and factories. In turn, this poses a challenge to other existing activewear brands to re-think their own methods.
For the longest time, the face of activewear has been a bunch of slender athletes with six-pack abs. As a result, plus-sized customers are often left out of the conversation and left with the stereotype that only fit people can exercise. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Thankfully, Outdoor Voices' range of leggings and sports bras boast extended sizing. On top of this, they are also changing the narrative by highlighting curvier models in their campaigns. Unsurprisingly, more brands are starting to follow suit — even the likes of Nike and Adidas.
The fresh wave of athleisure isn't limited to sneakers and leggings. Now, people are mixing both couture and gym clothes. For instance, Carbon38 Takara's biker shorts are commonly paired with coats, jewelry, or even heels. This unique combination can really create a well-balanced look that is chic and still comfortable. And while you wouldn’t wear it during a weights session at the gym, this twill jacket by Woman Within is perfect for covering up after a yoga class or a barre session. Lightweight and easy to throw on, it’s another testament to athleisure’s laidback and versatile nature.
Lycra, spandex, and MicroModal are familiar fabrics when it comes to activewear. But today, there is a new generation of sweat-wicking and compressing fibers designed to support peak performance. For instance, Under Armour's Athlete Recovery Track Suit is made with mineral-lined fabric that reflects infrared light back to the body, thus helping muscles recover faster. And true to athleisure's nature, the clothes are designed to look super sleek.
In line with looking good while working out, even beauty companies have started to create their own lines of workout-friendly makeup. While it’s always best to exercise wearing as little makeup a possible, new products like waterproof cosmetics can withstand sweat and keep you looking fresh. CliniqueFIT's waterproof foundation, for example, creates a natural-looking matte finish with added sun protection to make those workout selfies look better than ever.
Like we said, the athleisure movement shows no signs of slowing down. Until fashion can create something equally comfortable and effortlessly stylish, people are sure to keep riding this bandwagon for years to come.