As the fitness craze has worked itself into our everyday and the term ‘athleisure’* has crept its way into our vocabulary, high-street retailers are turning their attention to fashionable sportswear and we couldn’t be happier for it.
Granted, Sweaty Betty have been way ahead of game, bringing fashion fitness to the plate since 1998, however the competition is now hotting up as many big name retailers are embracing the fitness craze and designing for a new fashion market; born not out of the catwalk but from the desire of active and inspired women that demand more than a faded old tee they have to dig out of the deep depths of the pyjama draw as their motivation to kick butt in the gym.
And our argument…
If we take pride in expressing our style when we’re walking down the street then why not when we feel most empowered and alive whether that be running a marathon or, might I add an intense, 10 minutes on the cross-trainer?!
Well fashion retailers are beginning to answer our long awaited prayers, no longer willing to sit back and let likes of fitness giants Nike and Adidas steal all the glory. 2014 saw big name retailers H&M, ASOS, Primark and Next being of the first to launch refreshingly trendy own-brand sportswear ranges at affordable prices. And customers have embraced it with open arms with the value of the British sportswear market growing by 9.5pc to £5.9bn in 2012, driven by an 11pc increase in volume sales of female athletic attire.
It’s not just working up a sweat on the high street.
Luxury fashion designers are turning their eye to sportswear with the likes of Chanel and Dior releasing couture trainers earlier this year, fuelling the growing trend of athleisure – a trend we can safely say has made our life a lot happier by taking away the dreaded choice of style v comfort.
Keep an eye on this one…
More high street retailers will be keen to cash in on the trend and if they don’t will miss out – this is not one to be ignored! River Island have recently released a more basic line of sportswear with great potential if they were to create a range in line with their fun, bold and distinctively daring brand which will appeal to the fashionably fit experimenters.
So bring on the racer backs, yoga tanks and stand-out leggings; anything to give us that extra bit of motivation to drag ourselves to the gym and ‘just do it’ – not least with style.
For those of you who didn’t make it one of the most googled words of 2014…
*Athleisure – the trend of wearing gym clothes as everyday attire