It's official: It's socially acceptable to wear your sweats out in public. What makes this possible, you ask? The word "athleisure" will be added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2016, Quartz reports.
The term refers to "casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use." Most recently, athleisure has appeared on models like Gigi Hadid, not to mention the entire Kardashian-Jenner crew. The active/street-wear hybrid has become a focus of many higher-end labels like Mara Hoffman, Rebecca Minkoff, Tory Burch and Derek Lam. If you're having trouble picturing it, think pants with some kind of stretch, a comfortable convertible top and a pair of sneakers.
A recent report from Morgan Stanley predicts the activewear industry will add $82 billion in sales globally by 2020.
And yet it's not a completely new concept -- athleisure has some roots in the past. Merriam-Webster told Quartz that the word first appeared in a 1976 ad that ran in the El Paso Herald Post: “Athleisure Shoes by Dunham. One of America’s largest boot & shoe manufacturers,” it reads. “Nylon with suede trim, traction sole.”
The enduring style complements the health and wellness lifestyle that's also been adopted by trendsetters in recent years. The look, which is one that can be achieved affordably, is one we're glad is here to stay.
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