There’s a good chance sparkly leggings and luxe velvet hoodies will be part of your holiday gift gains this year: According to market researchers, the athleisure category is only growing from its current status at $44 billion in annual sales.
Big brands like Lululemon and Athleta aren’t the only players in the game anymore: Aside from sportswear brands like Nike and Adidas claiming territory athleisure space, the trend is also making its way onto racks at your typical work-wear stores across the country, even if the garments aren’t expressly labeled as such.
“You can buy a dress shirt today, or even a suit, that has stretch or is anti-microbial. That is a performance characteristic we typically see in activewear. The world is really blending here.” —Matt Powell, retail analyst
“We’re starting to see more and more performance fabrics entering into what I would call classic apparel,” Matt Powell, a retail analyst with NPD Group, told Yahoo! Finance. “You can buy a dress shirt today, or even a suit, that has stretch or is anti-microbial. That is a performance characteristic we typically see in activewear. Yoga tights that look more like pants. The world is really blending here.”
And with athleisure’s lucrative popularity, so many major players want to get in on it: Amazon is launching its own line, and there’s also been a rise of celebrity partnerships to draw even more people into the category—from Jessica Biel’s Gaiam collab to Selena Gomez’s collection with Puma and Victoria Beckham’s line with Reebok.
Basically, all the buzz around athleisure is great news for you: The supply of cool, comfortable, and functional new items to choose from (that will look just as chic in the office as at the gym) seems to be constant, if not growing. And if your entire wardrobe just so happens to turn into an amazing, colorful display of spandex in the process, even better.