It’s not just a passing trend, but a lifestyle choice now. Athleisure — a combination of athletic and leisure wear — requires a balance between comfort and style, and is making waves in the fashion and fitness world. More number of women and men are moving out in their workout wear.
“Athleisure could be the next big thing as most or all of us want to be in the most comfortable attire while at work or otherwise. I am almost always in my workout gear and even go for meetings in it,” says Shwetambari Shetty, Zumba educational specialist and master trainer India.
Comprising of leggings, sweatshirts, jerseys and jackets in breathable and innovative fabrics, athleisure is all about casual comfort. The fitness industry has truly evolved today with everyone aspiring to look good and slim.
“Exercise wear is made from special materials which allows the body to breathe while sweating, making one a little more comfortable during an intense workout. Most exercise wear is made from stretch fabric which allows full movement and flexibility. This trend is increasingly getting more fashionable,” says Bollywood celeb fitness trainer, Reema Sarin.
Reema adds, “Workout wear is meant to be comfortable, else it beats the purpose. If they can add some style, cuts and colours that would be the icing on the cake. Many big brands today are creating stylish workout wear that make exercising comfortable and fun. For a lot of women, it’s also a big motivation. The colourful training tops, printed tights and sexy training shorts make exercise exciting.”
It appears athlesiure is here to stay. Shoppers are ramping up their purchases of leggings, hooded jackets and sweatpants, especially when one can wear such versatile styles for everyday activities as well as to the office.
“Looking forward to going to the gym and making it a daily routine takes mind strength. But wearing stylish and comfortable stuff not only makes you look good and feel confident, but it also motivates you to be fit,” says Sandhya Raju, Kuchipudi danseuse and a fitness freak.
Training shorts, sports bras and loose vests are very light on the body, making movement very easy. Actress and yoga expert Sanjjanna Galrani admits, “I mostly go to the gym directly from the sets, so I would rather wear something I’m comfortable with in the gym.”
Designers and brands are constantly innovating in this area of fashion. Companies that make and sell sportswear are facing a tough competition as their gear is too sporty.
Fitness apparel brands, meanwhile, are stealing the market share. Recently, actor Shahid Kapoor launched Skult, an athleisure fashion brand. American singer, songwriter and actress Beyonce has also launched a women’s fitness clothing line, Blue Ivy.
At the Amazon India Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2016, designer Anamika Khanna showcased her ethnic take on athleisure.
Nainika of label Gauri & Nainika says, “I am not one for giving into trends excessively and think that a trend could be adopted into your wardrobe in your own unique way. Knowing what suits you and your personality and making your own style statement as opposed to blindly following trends is important. Fashion is a powerful tool to express who you are.”
Fitness expert Dinaz Varvatwala and model-turned-entrepreneur Shilpa Reddy, feel workout clothes should be used only for the gym or casual wear. “We do not get the seriousness of work if we wear gym clothes to office. Office wear needs to be semi-formal or formal to be able to get the right mood and respect,” says Dinaz while Shilpa adds, “If you are a sporty person and your lifestyle demands to be functional, you can opt for this fashion trend. It must go with your personality.”
“Exercise gear has always been about comfort and sweat absorbent materials. If the same gear comes in beautiful colours and style, we will embrace it. Maybe these colours and style will motivate some people to hit the gym,” adds Shwetambari....