The Rise of Fashionable Athletic Apparel

Fashionable athletic apparel has changed everything about the way we buy athletic clothes and think about our exercise where. The rise of the coordinated yoga outfit, private label swimwear, and even eco-friendly swimwear has surprised even the fashion industry and driven change throughout the sector. Here’s what’s happening in the world of fashionable athletic apparel.

Fashionable Athletic Apparel Is Not Just for Women

Previously, fashionable athletic apparel was something women were more likely to buy, with men more interested in comfortable athletic apparel that was serviceable, but not necessarily fashionable. These days, both men and women are searching out private label sportswear and rejecting the big brands. In fact, fashionable athletic apparel consumers are only 60% female these days. An enormous 40% of modern buyers are male.

Fashionable Athletic Apparel Is Popular Among Older Millennials

It is millennials between the ages of 25 and 34 who are buying the lion’s share of fashionable athletic apparel. This is the most engaged consumer segment, but the only reason for that seems to be cost. It’s perhaps not surprising that fashionable athletic apparel is preferred by those who have a bit more money, and younger millennials often don’t have the resources to fully engage with this fashion segment, but it does suggest that younger people are interested in arriving at the point where they can afford fashionable athletic apparel.

Yoga Is Driving Trends

The increase in interest in yoga has been nothing short of amazing. In the past five years, spending on yoga apparel and other yoga products has increased by 74%, and in the spring of 2017 a survey showed that nearly 29 million Americans had done either yoga or Pilates in the previous year. Yoga is now practiced by 20% of the population living on the West Coast and by 30% of those who live in the Northeast.

Digital vs. Brick-And-Morter

When speaking of millennial shopping trends, the default position is to assume that they buy everything online. While it’s true that fashionable athletic apparel sales are highly digital and that millennial buyers of athletic clothing are almost 40% more likely to buy online than in person, it would be a mistake to underestimate the pleasure derived from shopping in person for fashionable athletic apparel. Of all those who buy clothes, those who are buying athletic wear are 44% more likely to spend a long period of time in a store browsing. This suggests that the process brings them a special pleasure or fulfillment in a way that buying other types of clothing does not.

Relevance And Influence

Those who wear active wear or other fashionable athletic apparel have a strong interest in how they present themselves to those around them. Most see themselves as influencing fashion, particularly amongst friends and family. Those who buy athletic apparel are 31% more likely than those who buy other types of clothing to say that people around them copy their style and clothing choices. They are 50% more likely to say that people come to them for advice on clothing purchases.

Swimsuits Ascendant

There has been a marked increase in interest in private-label bikinis and other fashionable swimwear in recent years. Swimming is the favorite athletic activity for people between the ages of seven and 17, and 15% of adults are going swimming a minimum of six times in a year. In a year, 91 million Americans over the age of 16 will go swimming in rivers, oceans, and lakes. Swimming is hot, and people want a swimsuit that reflects their style and speaks to their personal interests. The one-piece, also referred to as a tank suit, is currently the most popular swimsuit option.

The rise in fashionable athletic apparel is changing the way the fashion industry thinks about clothes, as well as the way society sees itself and what clothing choices are appropriate for any activity. Athletic wear has evolved from baggy sweatpants to fashionable athletic apparel considered appropriate for everyday wear. Only the future will tell where things can go from here.

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