When Fashion Meets Comfort: Athleisure

Kate McKinnon wearing SNL’s parody athleisure “pro-Chiller” leggings.

Are you dressed to run eight miles on the treadmill or are you on your way to Elmer Holmes Bobst Library to study for finals? Your athleisure outfit might have others wondering the same thing. Celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are frequently photographed sporting cropped sports bras and sneakers for casual outings.

Walking through the streets of New York, you’ll means you’ll likely run into more than a few people sporting athletic wear. The trend has been sweeping fashion racks over the past two years, with brands like Nike, New Balance, Adidas and Lululemon racking up massive profits. Footwear News reported in 2017 that sport leisure styles accounted for the greatest portion of the athletic footwear market, with sales of 9.6 billion dollars. Among the leading brands: Nike, New Balance and Adidas.

The trend has received primarily positive feedback, most of which can be attributed to the wide range of celebrities who sport the look. SPS first-year Ellie Rothman said she chooses to wear leggings even on days when she’s not planning on going to the gym because they are far more comfortable than jeans.

“I have two-hour classes every day, and I’m honestly looking to be as comfortable as possible,” Rothman said. “Leggings are so much easier to style and I’m super happy the athleisure trend is sticking around.”


Not only does the mass-consumer market partake in the comfortable trend, Spring/Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collections were jam-packed with athleisure styles too. Fashion houses like Versace, Dior, DKNY and Vetements showcased this trendy style on the runway.

Some people choose to rock the athleisure look to showcase a sporty fit, while others choose to wear athletic styles for the comfort. Just this past week, Saturday Night Live released a mock Nike Women’s ad for “Nike Pro-Chiller Leggings” that are “designed for endurance, but used mostly for sitting on the couch.” The video pokes fun at the fact that women purchase leggings designed for high intensity workouts, but only wearing them around the house.

René Bennett, a LS first-year, says that there’s a specific time and place for sportswear, and it’s not everyday.

“I think athletic wear should be saved for workouts,” Bennett said. “Sure, some individual pieces are nice, but as a whole, I think athleisure outfits are far too casual to be sported anywhere other than a gym.”

Whether you save your athletic wear solely for trips to the gym, being comfortable or just because you like the style, there are some key brands to get athleisure pieces from.

KITH sells men and women styles that work great for the gym, but also make for great streetstyle. Varley is another great brand that offers chic gear that looks great and performs even better. Carbon 38 offers an array of sporty brands including their own label, as well as those from Sweaty Betty and P.E Nation, all in one place. Pair your fit with your favorite pair of sneakers and a sleek pair of sunglasses to complete the look.

Email Marisa Lopez at [email protected].




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