The Athleisure Trend – Now a Lifestyle
By Chelsea Jones – Guest contributor and shoe designer
Have you noticed walking down the streets, at the airport and even inside many workplaces how casual everything has become? Fitted sweatshirts, yoga pants and white-soled shoes paired with everything. It’s been labelled ‘NormCore’ and now ‘Athleisure’ as a way of saying: things just aren’t as dressy as they once were. This athleisure trend look crosses every age group and demographic in cities around the world. It’s all about feeling good. Looking good, yes, but feeling good has taken precedence and showing up more and more in our everyday lives. There are books, podcasts, websites all about listening to how you feel and working to feel your best.
Athleisure is more than a trend
The other day at the park, I stopped in my tracks to witness and admire this older couple each wearing gorgeous fitted athleisure apparel with edgy white-soled shoes and thought:
“Yes. There it is. This athleisure trend isn’t just a trend, it’s a lifestyle!”
It’s understandable given that we demand comfort while on walks, going for coffee or hanging with friends and we want to translate that feeling in more areas of our lives. We want more stretch in our pants and a cushy swing in our step. It’s more laid-back looks and “casual Friday” every day of the week.
Of course, we still have those special events, charity galas, weddings, and important meetings – reasons to wear a dress or a suit. Gorgeous glam dresses and tailored suits also feel quite good in the sense that we feel more put together and fierce. Clothing has a way of influencing your persona, your exterior role, helping you play the part of whoever it is you want to play. It also feels good to see people dressed up, looking snazzy in great textures and fabrics, put-together and ready for the world. It’s a showing of respect for oneself and the world around them to dress well.
What does the Athleisure mentality mean in other areas of our lives?
So the question is, if it feels different to dress casually versus dressy, and our society is dressing more casually than ever before, are we more casual in the way we live our lives? I think in many cases, the answer is yes, and that can be a good thing. In the workplace we see more business casual or even no dress codes at all. Workplaces with open-concept layouts, open-door policies, horizontal management and people working more collaboratively.
We see CEO’s becoming more visible and relatable, less buttoned-up and up behind-the-curtain. Feeling more relaxed and relatable in our work can help us build better relationships and create better solutions. Think about the times you’ve come up with your most creative ideas, it might have been on a walk, in the shower, through a great conversation, often a setting where you felt free and relaxed.
Athleisure has been in the making for some time
This new term, “Athleisure”, combining athletic + leisure, is a nod towards urbanized cities where people go from one activity to the next and need versatility to go with it. On the style scale, athletes perform in athletic clothes and we drink wine in yoga pants, so athleisure falls somewhere in between!
If you look at style over the decades, from about the 1920’s onward, the styles have been moving in this casual direction for a while. Every decade had its look and each seemed to get more casual than the last. Shift dresses, to bell-bottoms, to lycra, to platforms, to ripped jeans. You can see it all taking shape. Depending on your style, your career, and your general day-to-day, casual can work…when it’s done well. The key is the quality, the fit and the fabric. Great fitting t-shirts, sweaters, jeans and leggings in high quality fabrics can look effortlessly put-together, yet laid-back, whether it’s with heels, flats or trainers.
Top designers are doing the Athleisure thing
Luckily more brands are loving it too and coming out with new innovative approaches to what can work for our 21st century laid-back lifestyle. They are mixing form + function, style + sport in ways that bring more versatility to our closets, items we can wear in more ways than one. Look at Spanx's foray from shape-wear into active and structured leggings that you can actually wear as pants or “jeans”.
Or, look at how Tory Burch’s line (called Tory Sport) is morphing from a classic sportswear brand into a sportswear brand. These designers are not just riding the athleisure trend, they are contributing their look to this modern-day way of dressing.
Being a big fan and (most of the time) dressing this way myself, I couldn’t wait to add our version of the athleisure shoe. I launched with our new TUCK and TRAIN travel shoes.
Each style brings a mix of luxe leather, printed mesh, elastics, cushioning and traction to your life. We call them ‘Travel Shoes’ because they’re meant for your morning commute, airport travel, running errands and getting to yoga class. Form + function, style + sport!
And, you can sport them yourself, with an extra 30% off using promo code:
THESUCCULENTWIFE (now through June 30th).
This trend is definitely becoming more of a lifestyle, and for good reason. It allows us to feel fresh, free and ready for anything. What are your thoughts – are you fully on-board, or just “casually” trying the trend!?
Editor’s Note: We are big fans of Chelsea Jones shoes and pretty much in awe of what this young lady has accomplished. See what we wrote about Chelsea here.
About the Author: Chelsea Jones is founder of Chelsea Jones Shoes, designing women’s dress shoes to feel more like running shoes. Shop the shoes online at ChelseaJones.com and see them in action on Instagram@chelseajonesshoes. #runninginheels