I’ve started to notice something lately – more and more sports brands are embracing the era of fitness fashion, especially for women. In fact, “active sports” is the quickest booming fitness category on the market.
The term “enclothed cognition” describes the idea that aspects of your clothing can actually have a psychological effect on you. Not only does throwing on a new workout outfit you recently purchased get you excited to hit the gym, but you also may actually perform better at the gym. So hey, I’ll do anything to increase my motivation to wake up at 5:30am and work out.
The other element to this is the gym-to-lifestyle trend. Four years ago, my friends teased me for not only spending so much money on workout clothes, but also for wearing my workout clothes out and about outside of the gym. Five years later, these same friends can be found rushing to the store to buy the trendiest pair of leggings, whether they work out or not. Workout clothes have become more stylish, but more importantly, more widely accepted and even desired as everyday wear.
An article on FASHIONISTA, a fashion news site, recently addressed this trend, “which we’ve seen as a fast growing theme on the runways for the past few seasons,” says Sheila Aimette, VP of North American Content at trend forecasting firm WGSN. “With more consumers adopting this trend, it’s natural for many labels to create product that speaks to what consumers want and are wearing.”
Lululemon used to be one of the only options for “fashionable fitness wear.” In the past couple years, other sports brands have picked up on the popularity of this trend, and have begun to market to it more effectively.
Many of these brands’ websites are featuring women’s clothing to address the “sport-as-style” look, and you can find more and more photos of people lounging, in addition to the high-impact photos. And it’s not just the usual players that are taking part (Nike, Under Armour, Reebok). The competition keeps coming (Well + Good’s 11 Hot New Fitness Brands, May 2013).
Social media certainly hasn’t hurt the evolution of this trend. Fitness-focused accounts have been the rising stars of the Instagram world.
Personally, I love this trend, and I’m happy more and more brands are embracing what Lululemon knew years ago. It’s also a lot more comfortable than wearing a crop top and heels.