Sneakers and jeans have always been part of my style. And denim is pretty clearly not gear. Athleisure felt a bit phoney to me as someone who isn't currently working out and has never been truly sporty. But I see sneakers as something that's always around. Maybe just enjoying a strong moment or maybe the Stan Smiths will become as classic as Cons.

I don't even like seeing athleisure at the gym ( too many wearing it stretched too far and tops not covering much), but I enjoy the comfort and dressy fabrics of sportylux. Thank you for pointing out the difference.
I read recently that denim is returning to 100% cotton (so no stretch) . I don't know if it will actually happen but hope for more 100% cotton Jean choices.

I'll be the dissenting voice in favor of athleisure. Part of it is that it does fit my life. I've almost written a post (and I may still) about how I bought a bunch of new "real" clothes this summer since becoming active on YLF and then have hardly had a chance to wear any of them. I spend at least 50 hours a week, including commuting time, in scrubs, and this summer all the rest of my waking hours have been spent at the gym or hiking or at the beach or at Red Sox games. Even when I go out to eat for breakfast or dinner with friends, it's usually super casual on the way to or from a hike, beach day, or game. I can go weeks at a time without needing (or being able!) to wear "real" clothes. Cute, stylish athleisure wear at least allows me to feel somewhat fashionable and attractive as I go through my super casual, active, sporty life. (The 50+ hours in scrubs are still killing my soul, however )

But aside from all that, I've just always loved the athleisure (or maybe sporty luxe, I'm still confused) look. I was recently watching old Ab Fab episodes and Eddy wears a ton of the 1990s version of the trend. It brought back memories of one of my favorite mid/ late 90s outfits: a grey DNKY short-sleeved zip-front pique hoodie with matching grey jersey maxi skirt. I have always loved me a hoodie.

I own one pair of sneakers - for exercise and walking the dog. Safe to say I haven't adopted athleisure. I do own black leggings but tend to dress them up with tunics, not down.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out with teens, some of whom have rarely worn what I'd call "real clothes". Amongst my university students, I think around a third wear gear on any given day, a third denim and a third something else, often short floppy skirts. I wonder if that will change?

hmmmmm....i think this is where "fashion" and "retail" will diverage this season.....

Kkards, I thought the same thing. I think a lot of women in my area will be hard pressed to give up their Lululemon and Athleta. I'm a little surprised to read so much disdain for it. I'm not going to wear it every day, but it has its use.

Personally I hope it does not change for youth - I've commented elsewhere that black leggings strike me as a great equalizer for teens - almost like wearing a uniform. Not just in terms of cost, but also fit and maybe even flattery for different body types. I'd be quite happy if my 10 yo DD can "get away with" thick leggings paired with cute tops and shoes for the next several years. Much easier than jeans to fit and less label-conscious.

Athleisure fits my lifestyle, and I own Zella pants and wear them probably once a week, but it's never felt like "me." I'm veering away from athleisure and into boho/maximal with a rock n roll edge.

I honestly don't see it going anywhere because "fashion" says its out -you can't put that genie back in the bottle! Perhaps on the coasts and in more fashionable cities but most of the country wants to be comfortable above all else and to have their wardrobe fit their lifestyle. Additionally so many more people work out these days with the proliferation of boutique classes that its just so much easier wearing athleisure rather than worrying about changing clothes just to run errands/lunch etc. I will also go as far to say that I would feel like wearing a dressier outfit to do this would be aging for me.

I have never been into sporty luxe and athleisure clothes are work out clothes to me. Having said that I do own black leggings and wear those in the fall with long tunics but feel as though I never get the look quite right !

I have a pair of black leather track pants from Vince. I think Una has the same pair. I got them a year after they came out in stores, on eBay. I think they fall more into the sporty luxe quadrant. The leather is gorgeous, very soft and comfortable. But I fear this look may be somewhat tired. I could cut them short into ankle pants or cropped pants to give them a bit more life. What do you think of track pants Angie?

One last thought: If I fully embraced the athleisure trend, I'd no longer be able to consider Gear as a separate expenditure from Clothes -- and I much prefer my current system, where I have two budgets to work with!

At TJMAxx yesterday , a small section of rack was actually marked " Athleisure"!
Too funny- have never seen that til now.
Also the items seemed to be just a bit of hodgepodge from other areas, mostly the sections they mark as " Activewear"- some things like yoga pants, quilted vests.

Trend or not, I will continue to wear athleisure and sporty luxe - it's perfect for my lifestyle and environment!

completely off topic discussion but on a related note......

i love it when Angie writes " it's all good" ------ I do not know she says it but the energy of a smiling and seasoned zen master comes to mind.

i smile when i read it at screen and say... ahhhhhhh

thank you Guru Angie

I'll fess up. I just scored a really nice lightweight windproof on clearance. I'm not a fan of sportswear head to toe but I can't deny the appeal of good quality performance gear. And who would dare argue with Una in an anorak?

I enjoyed a bit of sporty luxe and still do. Athleisure itch is scratched by great evening loungewear that stays in the house, though I confess to having fantasies about wearing it on overnight flights.

I somehow missed this thread -- it must have been when I was dealing with my friend -- but thanks for clarifying, Angie. I wear gear to work out in and like it for its functionality, but Athleisure is not me. Apart from sneakers and one pair of silky track pants, I don't own items in that class that aren't strictly for workout purposes. I do understand the appeal for some, but for me, wearing my gym clothes to go out is kind of like wearing my pyjamas. Just not comfortable.

Having said that, a lot of my clothes are as comfortable to me as athleisure. Tube skirts, knit tops, most of my jeans...really, these are not uncomfortable to wear at all!

I'm still collecting my thoughts on this. I've tended to see this trend as another sign of global fashion culture in decline, but now I'm wondering if we've yet to reach Peak Athleisure.

There's always space in fashion for gear, always has been, and I don't think the current trends are particularly new in that respect. That said, it's been a major area of technical innovation over the last twenty years, and a creative goldmine for a generation of designers who were raised in the 90's on Stussy and sneakers.

It works as fashion, but it doesn't work as clothing. Even the best quality leisurewear by its very nature tends not to last very long and isn't easily modified. But what I find most interesting is that it doesn't perform as a signifier of status in the same way that other clothes do. It's a leveller in that respect.

To counter this, I suspect the next development will be a general improvement in quality, as well as the formalisation of athleisure for the working wardrobe. You can already see this happening in the use of technical fabrics for career wear. Meanwhile, the kind of traditional quality we grew up with will become ever harder to buy at a reasonable price.

Suz, I love this quote: "Wearing my gym clothes out is like wearing my pajamas. Just not comfortable." Because comfort is exactly why I try to get away with wearing clothes that feel like PJs (see yesterday's outfit). To each her own!

Also on another note, add me to the list of people who want your harem skirt!

Interesting thoughts, Liz.

In some cultures and contexts I think it is a signifier of status, though, no? I mean...for years, the thing was to have the *right* sneakers and to some extent I think it remains true in some sub-cultures. Manufacturers cottoned onto this and came up with distinctive logos and also raised prices higher and higher. The footwear is arguably not as functional as it claims to be. (Do we really need all that padding? -- it's not clear, for most sports...).

And then the look sort of filtered up from the streets. There's a sort of two-way thing going on with it.

Also -- another slight disagreement. My gear clothing wears harder and lasts longer than almost all the rest of my clothing. True, I own very few super high end garments but I'm not shopping fast fashion all the time, either. And neither is my gear highest-end, for the most part.

I'd agree that it is not easily modified and it's also not the kind of thing you would pass down to anyone. A bit like underwear in that respect, which might be part of the reason I prefer not to wear it as streetwear, come to think of it. However, like you, I'm not averse to a high performance raincoat (or puffer) for city wear. And if the design is great, so much the better.

I, too, dislike athleisure wear. The ubiquitous yoga pant drives me nuts. Especially when they are see through or have a visible cotton crotch. They look like pantyhose. It breaks my heart when I go to my kids school and that is practically all I see the girls wearing. This year though there is resurgence in jeans ! Yay !

I basically feel about athleisurewear as I do about people in the stands at the school football games who need to drink Gatorade while they sit and watch the kids play ! LOL

I shouldn't have let it slide but my husband wears his casual oversized gym/athletic shorts and warm-ups for day to day living, errands, etc. Ugh.
He does dress nicer if we are going out.
I told him if I die first and he starts to date, he will need to dress better.

Suz, I don't disagree with you on either point.

To qualify what I said about status, historically sportswear is most important as a signifier among groups that don't have access to the status of the genuinely rich and powerful. It becomes more important among young people, or in marginalised communities where something like a business suit is mostly irrelevant.

That's changing with celebrity culture and Silicone Valley, where the deliberately casual becomes a status symbol in itself. For instance, remember what everyone said about normcore: the only people who can pull it off are the young and beautiful, or middle aged white men.

As for the wearing aspect, I've had some very hard-wearing gear and I've had some massive disappointments too. In general, I must say I've found that technical fabrics degrade rather quickly and are pretty much impossible to repair. But maybe I've been unlucky, or just very hard on my gear

Thanks for chiming in again, Liz. Yes, I agree with everything you say about the status indicators. That makes sense.

Though I suppose the truly rich and powerful also had their status sports -- most of which demanded expensive gear and equipment, like horseback riding, sailing, golf, and tennis. But the person's status was indicated more by the fact that he or she was doing that than by the make of the clothing, I expect.

I think you're right that technical fabrics are tough to repair. Mainly because so many are knits, I guess .But even rain shells...there's not much you can do when they start to wear out except get a new one.

Suz, I'd say there's always been a fair amount of status attached to the clothes one wears for riding/hunting/sailing -- upper-class sports in general. You wear "gear" to distinguish yourself from people who do these things for a living, right? Like, someone going fox-hunting feels he ought to look different than the guy poaching quail in order to eat dinner, right? And we still have a lot of this today in the gear world: the Neon People vs the Camo People. What you wear speaks volumes about why you're participating in a given activity, to what degree you participate, etc.

Good points, La Pedestrienne.

I find this an interesting discussion... NZ as a very new country does not have an established elite class, and in a way wearing your athleisure (especially if it is new and cute) is a sign that you are wealthy enough to work out, and have the time to do so.

In Jon's running and cycling circles there is also an element of snobbery around different brands and different types of gear. And I know some tweens and teens are very choosy about the labels and the look in their "gear".

I find my gear very long lasting in the most part, considering what it is put through and the numbers of washes it gets.

I don't mind seeing people running around in their gear or tights as long as they are decent (no holes, not see through, not indecently clingy).