Workout Clothes: Essentials Vs. Fads
If you are one of the few people left who think that trendy workout clothes only belong in the closet or in the gym and not on the sidewalks, in coffee shops or roaming around shopping malls, you may be in for a shock.
Popular brands such as Nike, Under Armour, Lululemon, Gap’s Athleta, Urban Outfitters, and even Costco’s Kirkland brand, are out to extend workout clothing into every nook and cranny of life they can find.
Those keeping an eye on this industry estimate that the U.S. athletic apparel market could grow by 50% in the next six years, hitting $100 billion in annual sales. The denim manufacturers do not like this too much. The trendy look of gym and yoga clothing on the streets is being blamed for a decline in denim sales, which fell 6% in 2013.
This isn’t a fad where the novelty falls off in a year or two. No, this is a trend, growing for more than a decade with widespread popularity continuing to take hold among celebrities, athletes, CrossFit followers, bootcampers, everyday gym rats, at home workout folks, members of Silver Sneakers, and even the two thirds of American that struggles with “overbesity” (overweight and obesity) find comfort in “plus size” workout clothing.
Business casual in many companies has come to mean any variety of Lululemon’s Find Your Bliss Jacket, All You Need crops, Easy Breezy Pant, The Principle Tank, No Limits Tank, Pure Balance Sweater, a scoop back tank, a Vinyasa scarf, and maybe even a pair of Minnetonka Moccasins.
The trend, it seems, is definitely on a brightening trajectory, not just in bright, daring colors, but in technology as well. I’m wearing a pair of workout pants lined with antimicrobial silver and a compression shirt, both quick dry, odor controlling and moisture wicking. I thought about wearing those compression shorts but after a weekend of visiting (ok, eating our way through) the San Diego County Fair’s fried food extravaganza, the workout pants were a better choice. Oh, and a shirt I just ordered is all set to “talk with” my Apple Watch — only thing is I don’t have one of those. Yet. Accepting all gifts, however.
My wife, a personal trainer, loves the Gap Athleta line for everyday fashion and workout comfort, but also pulls out her Nike, Adidas and Under Armour head band when she’s really pumping up a new Les Mills routine. She just told me about a company called Naked Sports Gear that makes sports bras that promise that UV rays will get through to ensure an “all-over” tan.
While we aren’t seeing the legwarmers of the 80’s any longer, yoga pants and leggings have taken over and show up everywhere—literally, including in Houses of Worship, weddings, formal dinners, all with the latest fabric technology, of course.
Trends in Fitness: Sneakers