Ease is the New Luxury
As I sit down at 1pm in my workout gear I wonder why this type of clothing has morphed into day to night attire. Workout gear used to be just that, worn for a purpose. Within the last decade it became Athleisure and more recently the term has evolved and the lines have blurred. Athleisure is now trendy workout wear, casual day wear, and transitional, able to adapt with us.
This “casual everywhere” attire is a reflection of a change in lifestyle. Technology influences the way we live, work and communicate. The traditional work model is being disrupted and our schedules are now mobile, and flexible. We can work from home, internationally, remotely. We are defining what work means and how. This means social norms are changing along with our dress codes. Comfort and ease are the new black.
During the last Ready to Wear season in Paris I saw many pairs of sneakers worn by the guests of the runway shows. In Dior’s time this would never have happened.
In a recent interview, Li Edelkoort of Trend Union noted that Athleisure: “… has been developing since the 1950s, and now it includes active elements you really use to go running, to do yoga. And you see girls go to the office in a yoga outfit, to a bar, to a party. It’s become a whole new system.”
While living in Paris a few years ago It felt strange to be jogging around the Tuileries Gardens and did it once, however I did notice that groups of joggers were starting to become popular. A couple of times I saw people wearing workout gear on the Metro. In the city of chic this was an anomaly and at the same time a significant sign that "casual everywhere" apparel has taken hold. It is more than a trend, it represents an evolving mindset and shift in culture.
Could this casualist movement also be a response against technology? As our minds are switched on more of the time, always activated, perhaps we are wanting to feel at ease, looking for the balance. This would make sense of the wellness trend and the movement towards not only looking great but making sure it feels effortless. Ease is the new luxury.
Lalita Lowe Personal Fashion Curator