Thinking back, workout clothes used to be defined as a pair of old sweats and a baggy t-shirt, the kind you’d never wear outside of a gym. This was mainly due to the fact that access to a clothing category dedicated solely to activewear simply did not exist. However, in recent years, activewear has evolved into one of the most popular clothing and lifestyle trends seen both inside and outside of gyms today.
The rapid growth and so-called obsession can be attributed to advances made within the quality and functionality of the garments, but also due to innovative designs and increased wearability. The favorable combination of comfort and a cool aesthetic is what has attracted not only consumers, but companies all over the world, leading to a market surge that no one could’ve predicted.
“The move towards fashionable activewear came about in part because people are becoming more focused on wellness and leading an active lifestyle. When you put the clothes on, you’ll start to feel more active and when you’re able to be comfortable and look great, you feel great,” explained Jen Russo, founder of luxury activewear company JUJA Active. Russo started her company in 2015, and since then, has opened three storefronts throughout the country. Inspired by the lack of independant brand recognition amongst retailers, Russo believed in bringing body-positive clothing to women everywhere, encouraging feelings of self-confidence and empowerment. In comparison to years past, these clothes no longer have a direct correlation to “being fit”, but rather confirm the notion that everyone lives a busy life and multifunctioning clothing can be both chic and appropriate for day-to-day tasks.
Whether it’s because the fashion industry has softened its ready-to-wear standards, or because fitness has become a way of life and not just something one does, the workout apparel boom is what has allotted companies such as JUJA Active a unique opportunity to thrive, as opposed to past years. This high demand for activewear has progressed far beyond just a well-known trend, and has become a wardrobe staple.