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What is Athleisure Clothing?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 23, 2024
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Athleisure clothing and footwear became quite popular in 2003-2004. Like all fashion trends, athleisure clothing is now on the decline, though many still enjoy wearing athleisure clothing and footwear styles. The goal of this type of clothing is to provide comfortable clothes while suggesting a sport-centric lifestyle.

One of the signature pieces of athleisure clothing is the two-piece jogging suit, often made from velour. Lighter cotton jogging suits might be worn in summertime. These jogging suits could have hoods, and might include a third piece such as a coordinated t-shirt. The velvety, stretchy pants, often bootcut style, are actually not all that suitable for jogging. Most athletes prefer a tighter fitting pant to avoid friction burns.

The overall effect of the jogging suit was to suggest that one was on the go. This style was enjoyed by both women and men, and marketed by many retailers. The jogging suit has actually been a style for years, but was co-opted by the athleisure clothing stylists as one of the must have items.

Since the jogging suit is so comfortable, it is doubtful that it will ever be considered completely out of style for any age group. One can still find the velour jog suit in departments for men, teens, and misses, as well as in plus size clothing. They are a frequent choice of busy moms ferrying children back and forth to school. As well, teenage girls seem to enjoy the style.

Clothing in this style might also include traditional wear for yoga, such as yoga pants. These tend to have an elastic waist with a boot cut leg. Some combine a tie as well as elastic in the waist for ease of adjustment. Some designers combined the yoga pant with a zip up top, similar to the jogging suit.

Athleisure shoes are all about style, and not suited for actual athletics. Major sporting retailers like Nike® often make such shoes. They look like one is ready to engage in almost any sport, however, they have little arch support or total foot support. They are really not intended for anything other than minor walking.

Women often combined athleisure clothing with athleisure shoes to complete a look. Athletic shoes are also frequently worn in place of flats with skirts or dresses. Talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, almost always wears athleisure footwear with nice slacks, button down shirts, and a casual sport coat.

For those who need good to great support for hours of standing in the workplace, it is probably better to invest in a shoe more designed toward athletics. Since these shoes often copy real athletic shoes, it may be better to stick with a shoe designed to give one more overall support, while still offering the athleisure look.

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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Sports n' Hobbies contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By mrwormy — On Apr 22, 2014

I remember when those old school high-top basketball shoes came back into fashion, and I knew I was too old to pull that look off. I didn't like those shoes back in the day, either.

By Inaventu — On Apr 21, 2014

I have been known to wear some athleisure clothing around the house, but I rarely go out in public wearing that stuff. I like to wear track pants and sweat shirts if I'm not planning on going anywhere. People who know me know I'm not all that athletic, so wearing things like jogging suits and designer tennis shoes isn't going to fool them.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Sports n' Hobbies contributor, Tricia...
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