‘Athluxury’ looks to take over sportswear market

Athletic wear is not what it used to be. The days of your workout wardrobe being strictly worn for breaking a sweat are gone. Since brands like Lululemon stormed onto the scene, gym dress code has gone from purely functional to streetwear staples.

Yoga pants for Saturday morning brunch? Definitely. A cropped workout top for a day of window shopping? Absolutely. Throw a leather jacket over your gear and you can even take your gym look straight to happy hour.

This type of transitional workout wear has become so widely popular that it has earned a formal title: athleisure.

While perfect for going from the stairclimber to the streets, it doesn’t quite cut it for more formal events, such as meetings or late dinners. Thankfully, the fashion gods recognized our plight and bestowed upon us athleisure’s chic sibling: athluxury. Heading up this trend is none other than the queen of everyday luxury wear, Tory Burch.

In fall 2015, Tory Sport was first introduced to the world, ushering in the athluxury trend.

The collection unveiled an array of perfectly pleated tennis dresses that could conquer the court or, with a proper blazer, the conference room.

It also included items for a variety of other popular sports, like performance merino chevron sweaters that could keep you warm on the ski slopes and be worn to evening cocktails at the chalet.

The way that such athluxury items adhere to stricter dress codes while still maintaining the functionality of athleisure wear is what truly sets them apart.

“It is effortless and comfortable, yet sleek and presentable,” SMUStyle blogger Sarah Smith said. “It is something that you can wear … and not look like a slob.”

As the athluxury trend has picked up traction, brands have started vying for a piece of the market. Monreal London, which boasts Victoria Beckham and Pippa Middleton as clients, offers plisse tennis skirts and white tuxedo track pants that will set you back around $300.

Monreal London athleisure wear Photo credit: Pinterest

In an effort to brand out from their successful athleisure and sport lines, Under Armor recently signed up-and-coming Belgian designer Tim Coppens to produce a more chic collection than their normal performance wear.

Given the competitive nature of the athletic wear market, Smith foresees that more brands will try and copy these frontrunners’ success and enter the athluxury race.

“I look forward to seeing what luxury houses dip their toes in the athluxury pool next,” Smith said.

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