fitness wearThe trend for sportswear is huge right now, and is arguably bigger than it has ever been before. Fitness Wear can be stylish, comfortable and practical, but when did we first start incorporating gym wear into our everyday wardrobes and what is fueling the growth behind this latest trend? Read on to find out…

A look back…

The ‘80s is the obvious place to start – with bright leg warmers, leotards and leggings, the ‘80s was the era of fitness chic. In addition bomber jackets and shell suits were the height of fashion in the ‘80s, all inspired by the fitness trend, that embraced fun and functional fashion.

In addition, trainers as everyday wear made their debut in the 1980s, with Nike Airforce launching as well as Vans and New Balance being popular choices. The ‘80s style was dramatically influenced by celebrity culture, with the likes of Run D.M.C and Marty McFly making trainers big news, and Madonna, Cher, Cindy Crawford and the fitness queen herself, Jane Fonda, all embracing the sportswear look.

Fitness wear continued to be popular into the ‘90s, but in a more subtle way. Bright colours were no longer big, instead it was all about muted tones and stylish staples. Adidas tracksuit bottoms are one of the most well remembered styles of the decade, with poppers up the side the style was unique but a big hit. The track top, windbreaker trousers, combat trousers and mesh tops all represented the sportswear look and were hugely popular.

21st century style…

Fast forward almost 20 years’ and sportswear is bigger than ever, but in a very different way. Today yoga pants, sports bras, Nike trainers, cropped hoodies and vest tops are the height of the athleisure trend for women, and for men it’s all about skinny fit tracksuit bottoms, Nikes, vest tops, gym t-shirts and hooded tops.

Clothing that was initially designed and sold with the intention of being worn for the gym, is today worn both for fitness use and for general day to day wear. Part of the reason behind the growth of the activewear trend is due to the fact that today we want to feel and look good at the gym, and because we invest in our fitness wear and choose brands and styles we love, we are no longer shy about stepping out of the gym to do the food shop or go for coffee without showering and changing first.

Whats more is that is is now more fashionable than ever to be healthy and workout. The health and wellness trend has taken over the nation, with sales in health products, superfoods and gym kit skyrocketing, with no sign of slowing. The likes of Joe Wicks and Lucy Mecklenburgh make the healthy lifestyle look glamorous, and teamed with the rise of the fitness blogger, suddenly wearing sportswear day to day is fashionable.

Sports Vs Fashion…

There has been a shift in the way in which well known sports brands have been designing and creating their products. Today our sportswear shouldn’t just be functional, it needs to be stylish too. We expect our fitness wear to get us through an intense 60 minute workout, but also through the school run or a lunch or coffee date.

This has created demand for a fusion of fashion and sportswear – today fitness wear needs to be functional and it needs to be fashionable, anything else in between just doesn’t cut it.

One brand that is achieving this so brilliant is Nike. Nike were there in the ‘80s and one of the first to step up to the demand, and once again Nike are a market leader, creating designs that use high-tech materials, clever finishes and that reflect the latest trends.

Offering stylish and functional designs for men, Pursue Fitness clothing another brand that is really hitting the mark. Taking into account the demand for muted tones and marl materials, Pursue Fitness effortlessly blend functionality and fashion.

Looking forward…

As the popularity of fitness bloggers, platforms and gadgets continues to increase, it looks as though the trend for sportswear as everyday wear is set to continue to grow also. With plenty of choice online from niche websites like Anax Fitness and mass market sites such as JD Sports. The increasingly relaxed attitude towards everyday fashion and the increase in the health conscious means that it is becoming more and more acceptable to wear sportswear day to day. Fitness wear is even starting to emerge in the workplace, as more relaxed offices encourage and embrace their staff to live a healthy lifestyle.

Athleisure is set to become even bigger in 2018. Those of us on the inside of this trend, such as those than embrace it themselves, or work within the fashion or fitness industries are already in the knowledge that it’s totally acceptable to wear sportswear outside of the gym, but that knowledge is spreading, and we are due to see more and more people embracing this practical trend in 2018.

More and more brands are set to invest in collections that reflect the athleisure trend, and it is starting the trickle down further into mainstream fashion, with everyday styles never intended for the gym using key principles and design ideas from fitness wear.

If you’re someone who loves working out and feeling stylish, but would also like to embrace the practicality that wearing your gym kit all day offers, you’ll be pleased to hear that this is set to continue to become more acceptable for the year ahead, and actually even encouraged.

Celebrities, bloggers and influencers are regularly photographed in fitness wear when out for coffee or on the high street, making this trend increasingly popular and finally acceptable among the mainstream.


  1. Great Post Carolyn! Women now prefer comfort with fashion. I must say “Activewear is now Streetwear”. The evolution of Women’s activewear need, has made the Sportswear industry huge in past few year.

  2. It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hey, awesome post and blog!

    My company just posted a new video with some similar content that you may be interested in.. about an awesome female health coach who wears everyday fitness gear!
    We’re expanding our female fitness line and would love to know what you think about our products.. we have some of the softest everyday fitness tops ever!

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