Jeans and a t-shirt used to be the quintessential casual outfit in our society, but lately it seems to have been replaced by luxury sweatpants and high-end yoga leggings. It seems that everywhere you look, people are running around in activewear. Even the stay-at-home moms have replaced ‘Mom’ jeans for their Lululemon yoga pants (which may actually be a good thing). Some critics in the fashion community refer to it as the casualization of America. At first glance, it appears like we have become a more physically active society, but unfortunately, that is not the case. People have decided to perpetuate an active lifestyle without putting in the work which in my opinion, defeats the purpose of wearing body-hugging attire. Isn’t the point of doing a million squats to show off your great ass?
The innovation of designer athletic wear is largely to blame. Brands like Lululemon may have led the way but now many other designers are getting into the activewear game. Some of my favorite brands Beyond Yoga, Alo, Splits 59, and Koral activewear have beautiful clothing that can easily go from the gym to lunch. Even brands like Urban Outfitters, Loft, and Gap are making luxury athletic wear more accessible to the masses. Kate Hudson’s Fabletics, I believe, is going to be a game changer as far as creating high-end activewear affordable. You can get an entire Fabletics outfit for less than a pair of leggings! It’s so tempting to spend all day and evening in some of these clothes because designers are now using such irresistbly soft fabrics. I feel kind of guilty that my many pairs of $200 jeans are going unworn but they just feel so uncomfortable compared to my leggings (and I have NOT gained any weight).
I have travelled all over the world and have been slightly embarrassed by the sloppy reputation of American travelers. You can spot us out a mile a way with or cut-off jean shorts, tank and flip-flops. We tend to lack the sophistication of many of the other first world nations and this yoga pants epidemic is not helping our case. I am just as guilty as everyone else. If you had told me even a year ago that I would wear a pair of workout leggings and an off-the-shoulder top out to dinner, I would have said you were crazy. But I have and I probably will continue to do so. Why? Because it’s cute and comfy, and I even feel a little sexy. So, maybe we are not the most chic country in the world, but we are innovators and I think the rest of the world will soon follow our lead. Do you think we have taken this look too far?