Athleisure in the Office
One look at our Facebook page or Instagram account and you’ll see that we like to dress comfortably. Whether roaming the halls or walking on our treadmill desks, yoga pants, synthetic-fabric tees, and comfy shoes or sneakers are the norm in our office.
While we by no means consider ourselves trendsetters, the casual fashion craze known as athleisure has spread to many other businesses across the country. Business Insider recently wrote a series of articles about the trend, calling athleisure ““a ‘weird hybrid’ of business casual and athletic wear.”
Fortune reports that new brands are entering the athleisure wave, as 2015 sales of athletic wear were up 12% while non-active wear sales were flat.
According to Business Insider, athleisure’s comfort and versatility has led to its popularity.
Much of the clothing that people now consider work-appropriate incorporates sports-inspired materials, such as spandex, Lycra, and other synthetic fibers. It’s combining two trends that have dominated American casual clothing—durability and comfort—in a versatile way.
While athletic wear was created for a specific use (sports or athletics, obviously), athleisure clothing could theoretically be for any use. And it’s this versatility that has attracted many consumers to the category. These days, it can be worn in most offices and social situations without causing anyone to bat an eye. It’s also generally more durable, with properties like wrinkle and odor resistance incorporated into its techy fibers.
“I don’t think athleisure is going anywhere, honestly,” said Deirdre Clemente, a professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told Business Insider. “It’ll only get bigger and more accessible to more people, and more acceptable in more environments.”