by Jesse Holth –
It’s everyone’s dream: a single outfit that takes you from the gym, to errands, to a night out, all while looking and feeling great. It’s no wonder that “athleisure” – clothing you can wear during both athletic activities and leisure activities – has become so popular. The recent phenomenon has been dubbed a fashion revolution, and it’s easy to see why: leggings have almost ubiquitously replaced pants; sneakers are no longer just for running; and casual, athletic-inspired streetwear is the new norm.
So what athleisure trends will we be seeing more of in 2020?
Eco-conscious sportswear. We care about our carbon footprint, and what we’re doing to the planet – and want to make sure our fashion choices reflect that. People are increasingly calling for sustainable options, in response to decades of “fast fashion” and unethical labour practises. Clothing produced with fewer resources, a lower environmental impact, and the use of recycled or natural materials will continue to thrive. Fabrics like organic cotton and bamboo are trending over synthetics, and people are demanding transparency in the production chain, including human impacts like paying workers a living wage. Some companies are even turning to recycled plastic to create leggings, footwear and other activewear while cleaning up the earth and its oceans.
Size and gender inclusivity. There is a wave of new companies specializing in gender-neutral activewear, as well as a wider range of sizes. Some actually base their sizing on body shape or type, instead of a specific gender. This reflects a movement of body positivity that has gained ground in recent years. Embracing who you are and what you look like is a message that anyone can get behind. Even existing companies like Nike and Lululemon are catching on to the idea: retail is finally becoming less gendered, and they want to stay ahead of the curve. Athletic wear continues to be one of the least gendered types of clothing – sporty and casual can look the same regardless of gender. So find something you feel comfortable in, that feels like “you,” and run with it.
Wearable tech. One of the top fitness trends for 2020 will be wearable tech – gadgets like smart watches, specialized earbuds, digital insoles and other fitness trackers. These devices monitor everything from heartrate to calorie consumption to number of steps taken, reflecting a global movement to take charge of your own health and wellness. These tools can be empowering – knowing your metrics can help you increase your quality of life. Some wearables even include environmental sensors, which can tell you about pollution, UV light, noise, temperature, humidity and more. Others help with relaxation, meditation or improving the quality of your sleep.
Retro style. Classic retro styles are back – and they’re here to stay. Think high-rise leggings, looser silhouettes and a relaxed fit. From high-top sneakers like classic Reebok, to neon windbreakers, to oversized logos and branding, expect ’90s-era fashion. Other trends you might see in athleisure this year include bright colours and patterns; pales and pastels; and animal prints. The popularity of retro styles is also thanks to a growing number of people wearing vintage or secondhand – re-using garments that have already been produced is a much better choice for the environment. Many brands have committed to using recycled materials or up-cycling from previously loved pieces.
Athleisure is ultimately a blend of comfort, style, and function – something we can all appreciate.