Not long ago few women would have dared to be seen in active wear outside of the gym – associating ‘trackies’ and leggings with the world of ‘WAGs and Chavs’. Now, just two years after Chanel’s catwalk featured couture dresses with trainers, ‘athleisure’ has, for many, been fast-tracked to wardrobe-staple level, with sales in the sector predicted to reach £7 billion this year. We’ve used our 5Drivers model to examine this trend and shed light on the emotions that underpin athleisure’s rise.
Dailling up #Freedom through empowerment
Perhaps the most potent element driving this trend is its ability to enhance consumers’ emotional wellbeing – making them feel healthy, fit and confident. Women report that just by wearing this style of clothing in public they feel more energised and self-assured as they undertake their daily errands etc. – any sense of being ‘caught in your loungewear’ having dissolved.
#Control through relaxed confidence
For once, feeling good hasn’t come at the expense of ease of wear. Athleisure allows people to feel fashionable, empowered and comfortable. It makes a confident statement about taking a break from killer heels and skin-tight bodycon etc. Also, there are no real rules to athleisure – anyone of any age can pull it off and if you want to be part of it just get your trainers on!
With the casualness of everyday life gaining pace we can’t see athleisure going anywhere fast. It’s a core category that we predict will infiltrate other areas of women’s wardrobes. If this means we can continue to wear our trainers to work, we’re happy it’s here to stay!