How Athleisure Has Revolutionized the Fashion Industry - Pretty and All

How Athleisure Has Revolutionized the Fashion Industry

To see how athleisure has revolutionized the fashion industry, all you have to do is look around. Everywhere you go, you see women in sneakers and matching sets. Athleisure has taken over the fashion world. Though (hopefully) the pandemic will be going away soon, the athleisure trend in American fashion is staying put. We love athleisure because it allows us to have a multifunctional wardrobe. 

We used to have a wardrobe with different outfits for work, working out, and the weekend. But now, athleisure can encompass all three! With athleisure in our closets, there is no need to figure out how to transition a look from day to night, from the office to drinks: your athleisure looks can do it all. Athleisure complements our busy lifestyles and lets us be comfortable while we go about our day. 

What Is Athleisure? 

Athleisure wear

Athleisure is a type of casual loungewear (think leggings and matching sweatsuits) designed to be worn for exercising and general use. The word “athleisure” actually combines two seemingly opposite words, “athletic” and “leisure.” Some of the most popular athleisure outfits include yoga pants, leggings, joggers, sweatpants, sports bras, hoodies, and sneakers. 

Sure, athleisure is a type of clothing that *maybe* you’re supposed to wear to the gym or yoga class...but let’s be real, most of us just wear it to go pick up a coffee and run our errands! Though athleisure looks like it’s ready for the spin studio, it is actually made mostly just to resemble activewear, not to serve as actual athletic garments. Athleisure is simply too comfy to only wear to work out. 

And athleisure isn’t just for Sporty Spice anymore! Particularly during the pandemic, athleisure became more and more common. Why put on a blazer when all of your meetings are over Zoom!? The pandemic really boosted Americans’ love of comfort wear. 

It’s not just you who loves wearing athletic clothes every day of the week, whether you’re doing any athletic activities or not. The U.S. sports apparel market is expected to reach $113.4 billion this year, according to Statista. 

The History of Athleisure 

It’s safe to say that women’s clothing has not always been created for comfort. (Anyone remember learning about corsets in school?!) The “athleisure” of today is actually just the latest version of a long history of American sportswear. It began in the late 19th century, when sportswear began as the interchangeable separates worn by players and spectators.

In the 1970s, fitness routines became extremely popular. This prompted sports brands to begin manufacturing clothes specifically for physical activities. The athleisure of the 70s was produced with Lycra, spandex, nylon, and other synthetic fibers. 

Athleisure became increasingly popular in the late 1990s when Lululemon came about and started the yoga pants craze. However, the brand’s price tags (upwards of $100 per pair of pants) and other controversies marred its reputation

Other brands, however, were all too happy to start carrying athleisure items. As it became more popular, companies became more focused on material and function. These innovations in the fashion industry are one of the main reasons why athleisure became so popular. 

Once the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the U.S. in 2020, sales of formal attire plummeted, while matching loungewear and athleisure sets skyrocketed. This only increased the popularity of the athleisure movement. 

Why We Love Athleisure Wear


Athleisure clothing is multifunctional and fits perfectly into any busy woman’s lifestyle. Plus, it's comfortable, and now is accepted in various social settings. It typically doesn’t wrinkle, has anti-odor properties, and is actually breathable and durable. 

It is also typically suitable for any type of weather, which means it’s the ideal outfit to put on when you’re running errands in the summer and worried about sweating through your clothes, or you’re headed out in the city in the middle of the winter and want to be protected from the elements. 

Wear our Leopard Jacquard High-Waisted Leggings and the matching Leopard Jacquard Sports Bra from your yoga class and straight to brunch with your friends. On cooler days, pair it with a sherpa jacket or a shacket for an especially on-trend look! Or, try our Snake Foil Print Leggings and Snake Foil Print Sports Bra for a look that goes with truly everything. Add a Tessa Tortoise Hair Claw Clip to complete your outfit, and you’re done! 

How Athleisure Has Revolutionized American Fashion

Though most American fashion trends come and go (hence the term ‘trend’), athleisure is not a typical trend. Though the types of athleisure trends you wear might change, athleisure is here to stay. 

Even some of the biggest celebrities have created their own athleisure lines, like Kate Hudson’s Fabletics, Rihanna’s Fenty Puma, and Beyonce’s Ivy Park. Some major fashion brands, like Tory Burch and Stella McCartney, are even adding athleisure items to their regular collections. In fact, almost all major (and smaller) retailers and brands have maximized on opportunities to profit from this growing trend. 

As we head back to a more normal existence after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely that athleisure will become even more prevalent and socially acceptable in additional settings, like the workplace. Add a pair of heels and a leather jacket to an athleisure set and you’re ready for the office! The athleisure “trend” is here to stay. 

Get Your Athleisure at Pretty and All! 

Athleisure is the main component of many women’s wardrobes these days. To stock up on all the athleisure fits you need in your life, check out Pretty and All’s Athletic Collection! From tie-dye pullovers, to sleeveless tanks, sports bras, and leggings, we have all the athleisure items you need to fill up your wardrobe. These items are timeless staples that you can wear anywhere! Layer a flannel button-down over a matching sports bra and leggings set in the fall for a complete outfit you can wear to get coffee, to the gym, and the store. And unlike Lululemon and many brands, our athleisure is reasonably priced and still perfect for any size woman.