Addressing the Leisure in Athleisure
The current trends of L.A. streetwear and popular wardrobe pieces of Instagram models can be nicely described by the term “Athleisure”. This conglomeration of words explains the donning of bike short or sweats without the intention of cycling or working out. It explains a sporty look that doesn’t require breaking a sweat. This seemingly new explosion of demand for joggers and leggings from Lulu and Adidas begs the question: when did it become not only acceptable but stylish to wear loungewear out and about in public? Can anyone remember a time when sweats were for lazy Sundays and not cute lunch dates with groups of friends? Well, first off, athleisure is not a new phenomenon. Derek Thompson’s article “Everything You Wear Is Athleisure” for The Atlantic recognizes that this athleisure craze is anything but a fad. The everyday man and woman have always indulged in the attire of athletes and fitness fanatics. Many Americans can say they’ve owned tennis shoes or yoga pants without actually having participated in either activity. Designers have made a habit of taking staples of an athlete’s wardrobe and stylizing them for celebrities and the fashion-conscious to popularize for all: Juicy tracksuits were donned by every It-girl of the early 2000’s while Balenciaga sneakers are boasted on rap songs. So athleisure has been a predominant trend for decades and doesn’t show signs of dying away. And in defense of those who would prefer to wear to bed what they wear to cute lunches; fashion does not have to be a sacrifice of comfort. There’s no question: leggings are easier to move around in than jeans and can do a better job of flattering your shape. You may not be preparing for a downward dog, but any movement like simply sitting or walking can be done comfortably. Some may argue that athleisure can seem too casual or too apathetic, but designers and celebrities have reinvented and revitalized the lazy look. Maybe there will be cause for worry when people start wearing Nike to weddings; until then, let’s not sweat it.