The days of the “Mad Men” era, with separate attire for work, dinner, and a night out, are long gone. We’re living in modern times where “casual Fridays” are becoming a daily occurrence. Close to 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is freelancing and style has officially been paired with comfort.
As the workforce continues to change and high-fashion consistently transforms activewear into fashionable, yet functional pieces—the need for the suit-and-tie is decreasing. Instead, people are opting for more versatile clothing, such as athleisure options, that allow them to be ready for whatever. In fact, the style that was once thought to be a trend has become a multi-billion dollar market.
Athleisure is expected to reach $83 billion by 2020 in the U.S. and the Global Activewear Market is projected to reach $567 billion by 2024. Marshal Cohen explains the phenomenon best, “When you have comfort and function combined with fashion it’s difficult to go back to anything else on a regular basis.” Simply put, athleisure is here to stay.
A Style Evolution
From Casual to Fashion Statement
Over the last couple of years, athleisure has shifted from “casual wear” to “fashion statement”. Even A-list celebs (like Kim Kardashian West) and prominent fashion influencers can be seen flaunting the style at various occasions. Its growing popularity can be attributed to an increasing amount of people embracing healthy lifestyles (or wanting to be seen as healthy), and the versatility of the style that can easily take you from day-to-night.
The New Athleisure Trends
The new trends of color-blocking, earth-tones, and a focus on the surfer/skater lifestyle give the fashion an every-day appeal. This, combined with technological improvements to synthetic fibers, used to make activewear (making it more flexible and durable), has created endless wardrobe opportunities.
While the initial athleisure style exuded a more casual approach, recently we’ve seen athleisure paired with fashionable pieces—taking a formal but comfy approach. The popular pairing has aided in more acceptance of athleisure in the workplace.
Growing Acceptance in the Workplace
In the early ‘90s, corporations started including “casual Fridays” in the dress code policy as a way to boost office morale in a cooling economy. However, it always begged the question that if you could be casual on Friday, why not other days too? After all, suits and heels were never really comfortable.
As athleisure first began to grow in popularity, there was (and still is) initial skepticism about what’s “professional” to wear to work. However, by wearing athleisure in a “fashionable” way (i.e. leggings with a nice top and blazer), it satisfied the employee’s need to remain comfortable and the company’s wish to have professional balance. The growing acceptance for most businesses is really all about how the outfit is styled.
It’s also important to note that the workforce itself is shifting with more people freelancing and working from home, at least half of the time, thus creating a much greater need for multi-functional apparel in the office.
One company making waves with their stylish athleisure fashion is Badger Sportswear. We’ve listed three of our favorite pieces from the brand that can easily be transformed from work to gym to play:
This Badger Ultimate Softlock™ quarter-zip is a must-have at your business. The sleek color-blocking provides a stylish element that can be dressed up with slacks for work or a night on the town. It can also be worn with a pair of athletic shorts for a gym session and checks all the comfort boxes by using The Softest Fabric In The World.™
These fleece joggers, in the earth-toned color ‘graphite’, are extremely comfortable and trendy. They can be paired with a t-shirt or hoodie for running errands or grabbing a drink at the bar.
These women’s performance fleece pants can be dressed up with heels for a high-fashion brunch look, dressed down with your favorite sneakers for exploring the town, or with slippers for a lazy day at home.
Badger Sportswear creates stylish activewear that goes through rigorous testing to ensure garments of the highest-quality that keep your customers ready for whatever. You can view the full Badger Sportswear line for your fulfillment needs on the S&S Activewear website.