In this day and age, saggy spandex and oversized tee-shirts no longer cut it as workout gear. Women want their workout gear as fashionable as their ready-to-wear, and whatever the Lolas want, the Lolas get. And as fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle have been getting more and more en vogue, so too have the sales of fitness apparel increased. The Daily Mail reports, “spending on workout clothes jumped 7 per cent to $31.6 billion during the 12-month period that ended in August from the same period a year ago. That compares with a 1 per cent rise in spending for other clothing to about $169.2 billion.”
That spending isn’t at all limited to run of the mill jogging socks–we’re talking Lululemon, Stella McCartney for Adidas, and Alexander Wang workout gear, people. Big brands are capitalizing on the fitness trend–to much success. You can even buy the actual Hunger Games workout gear on Net-A-Porter. And it’s not just luxury fitness designers out there raking in the yoga pant dollars–Gap, Forever 21, Victoria Secret, and Macy’s got with the program, too–each store has its own fitness line.
Karen Houguet, CFO at Macy’s, said “Active has become an important part of what customers are wearing. Sometimes it’s for athletic endeavors. Sometimes it’s just to run errands.” (Editor’s note: Personally, my black Lululemon leggings are used almost exclusively for weekend coffee and bagel runs, but one day I’ll make to the gym. I’m sure of it…) Either way, women like to wear clothes that both perform and look good.
This rise in the need for fashionable yet comfortable active wear might have something to do with just how active today’s women are–they’re constantly running between work and play. And if women are running from work to the gym to the bar–they’re going to want to look good from morning till night. That desire for crossover activewear is what is making fitness blur with fashion. We’ve even seen it on runways (Alexander Wang and DKNY both had sporty Spring 2014 shows), and experienced it personally. Many of us have even been to the bar in workout gear–and guess what? It’s kind of great. Don’t act like you don’t know what we’re talking about…
Whether or not we’ll see Swarovski crystal-decorated yoga pants in the club still seems a bit far off, but the way things are going who knows? Maybe one day.