Knowing the difference between the two could help you to redefine your products and increase sales.
The sportswear industry is clearly still on the rise in the aftermath of the pandemic, as consumers continue to prioritize their health and spend time exercising. Activewear and athleisure brands continue to flourish and their growth reflects consumers’ interest in a healthier lifestyle.
Is Athleisure and Athleticwear the same?
The quick answer is no. However, many people, mistake athleisure and athleticwear/activewear for the same thing and the lines can be easily blurred. This can lead to decreased sales opportunities as shoppers may not find what they’re after in search results. In order to make sure their message reaches the right audience, brands need to understand the difference between categories to implement the best sales and marketing strategies.
While they can both function as workout clothing, athleisure are trendy, fashionable, relaxed, and comfortable clothing, particularly popular among office workers, celebrities and social media influencers and young students.
Athleticwear/activewear on the other hand, is less about glamour and more about meeting the necessities of one’s body during physical exercise. Clothing that falls under the athleticwear category are typically more enduring, wicks moisture and is comfortable to wear.
Whatever the differences are, it is clear is that both categories are unique to our time and serve different functions. Let’s delve a little further into these two different entries:
What Is Athleisure?
Athleisure was born out of compromise. It tends to be a mix of sporty and trendy clothing, combining fashion and function and can be worn casually all day long. It has nothing to do with technical athletic wear. Athleisure has become the new trend, especially during the pandemic, with most of us stocking our closets with clothing that can be worn while working or playing. It takes traditional sporty clothing and integrates it into your every wardrobe.
Some athleisure clothes such as leggings or yoga outfits for example, can be worn during exercise, but the primary purpose of athleisure is to provide both good looks and comfort. Athleisure clothes are also great for traveling and walking, when you want to be comfortable and still look stylish or trendy. Some examples of athleisurewear include yoga pants, crop tops, high-waist leggings, tights and stretch chinos.
These days, athleisure tends to be more popular because it combines the aesthetics of both fashion and sport, and its versatility makes it an easy outfit to dress up or down depending on one’s purpose.
What Is Athleticwear?
Outdoor activities such as sports and exercise call for athleticwear. Athleticwear, which is also synonymous with Sportswear or Activewear, was created so that the person wearing it can move around freely and actively. The primary aim with athleticwear is its functionality. It is what you wear for your morning run, to play a game of tennis or to hit the gym for a good sweat session.
Athleticwear has been around longer than the athleisure industry and generally include items such as running gear, cycling apparel, tracksuits, workout clothes, sports bras and more. Because it is worn during more vigorous workouts and movements, athleticwear is typically constructed of airy, quick-drying, figure-hugging material that makes the athlete feel comfortable as well as to handle workouts better.
Some key fabrics used in active wear include fabrics with softer profiles such as Spandex, Polyester, Nylon and Tencel. Patented performance fabrics also exists that employs specially-engineered fibers to improve ‘breathability’.
So don’t confuse athleisure clothing with just athleticwear anymore. Knowing the difference can help you to style and market your products more successfully, and will prove to be highly valuable in the long run as you run your business in this niche.
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