Americans can’t stop buying yoga-wear and sweatpants. According to the research firm NPD Group, US consumers spent $2 billion more on clothes, shoes, and accessories in 2014 than they did the previous year, and women’s activewear drove that growth.
“Casual and ‘athleisure’ have taken on a life of their own,” said NPD’s chief industry analyst, Marshal Cohen, in the report. “This is no longer a trend—it is now a lifestyle that is too comfortable, for consumers of all ages, for it to go away anytime soon.”
That’s right: athleisure, the recently invented term for soft, structure-less, aprés-gym style clothing is just too comfortable for American women to give up. Sales of activewear items such as leggings and sports bras were up 8% in 2014, compared with the year before.
Perhaps it’s understandable that Americans are choosing comfortable “soft dressing” over more structured styles. You try putting on crisp, rigid blue jeans after a week in sweats.