Activewear aka athleisure was once shrugged off by major retailers as a fleeting trend that allowed Millennials to essentially wear sweatpants and hoodies as professional attire. The activewear industry grew to an impressive $44 million last year alone. Instead of viewing stylish activewear as a convenient trend, most retailers have now come to the realization that this is how consumers approach their casual clothing. Activewear is no longer considered gym clothes and worn just for trips to the gym and back. Yoga pants, designer sweatshirts, and creative sneakers are fashion staples for most women when they are not at work. Workout clothes are now worn for pretty much anything other than work, and it is easy to see no signs of change in the near future.

The Appeal of Athleisure

Women have latched onto fashionable gym clothes as a way to avoid the high maintenance of casual wear and increase their comfort in everyday clothing. Yoga pants, pullovers, and jackets can all be found in figure-flattering and durable styles so that wearing workout clothes does not mean that you are confined to the gym.

One of the ways that women have been embracing this relaxed look without coming off as too sloppy is to pair a looser fitting top with tighter bottoms. A shrug or wrap top that has some movement is a nice contrast to form-fitting leggings or compression pants. Longer tops are also a convenient way to cover up over leggings to be able to go about your day without feeling self-conscious.

Crop tops have also become one of the more popular casual staples of this new direction in casual wear. One of the ways to make a crop top appear a little less revealing is to pair it with high-waist pants. This makes for a sophisticated and figure-flattering look that women of all shapes and sizes can embrace.

Not all Athleisure is Created Equal

When it comes to pulling off this casual look without appearing as if you are passing off ragged gym clothes for a street ensemble, choosing quality women’s activewear brands is crucial. Given that this look is on the more casual side, choosing women’s activewear brands that combine expert tailoring with cutting-edge fabrics and styles can take an athletic look from sloppy to stylish.

While some women’s activewear brands cut corners by using thinner and less expensive fabrics, others are setting themselves apart by making sure that their yoga pants and leggings are constructed from the best compression fabrics and are built to last. Along with extending the life cycle of workout clothes, these premium brands also elevate an entire outfit’s look by creating an image of chic yet casual perfection.

One of the high-quality brands that have been taking the athleisure market by storm is Ellie. Instead of having to pay top dollar for some of the most innovative and fashionable finds, Ellie offers a monthly subscription service to its customers centered around a certain theme each month. This lowers the cost of complete workout outfits for women on the go and gives them a chance to try out styles that they might not otherwise have considered. So far, Ellie has stood out as a welcomed alternative to the sky-high prices and a limited selection of other premium brands. Women also love that they can try out these styles at home without having to make the trek out to a store.

The Future of Casual Wear for Women

Aside from the gym-inspired workout clothes that many female brands are now stocking, this fashion and lifestyle movement is inspiring changes to other categories of clothing. Sweaters, tops, and wraps are now being designed with the modern woman in mind and offer a degree of flexibility and freedom that women have been longing for in their non-professional clothing. This is also true for dresses, which women can now find in sweatshirt material and in baggier fits so that they can slip them on without worrying about squeezing into Spanx.

Even if the unthinkable happened and this category of clothing no longer existed on its own, the mark that has been left on women’s casual apparel seems to be fairly permanent. There is very little chance that today’s women will retreat back to feeling obligated to wear a heeled shoe instead of a funky fashion sneaker for their weekend events. The naysayers of 2010 have been sufficiently put in their place that this fashion revolution is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

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