Even if you’re the most tuned-in and focused yogi on your mat, what happens when you’re outside the yoga class? Because yoga is more of a journey then a destination, it’s normal if our ”yogi behavior” doesn’t always follow us in every other aspect of our lives… But can we say the same thing about our yoga gear?
Yoga is a lifestyle. By taking a quick look at your Instagram feed (or any other social media for that matter), you will see that the yogi lifestyle is clearly trending right now. ”Yoga is an ancient discipline, but it seems to get hotter all the time”. We can definitely feel its presence in our day to day lives, apparently even in today’s fashion, both inside and outside the classroom.
∞ From the mat to the streets
We could talk all day about the do’s and the don’ts of your yoga attire in class. In the end it all comes down to comfort and fit in order to keep focus on doing the poses. Luckily, choice in that department is not something we’re running out of! From crop tops to side-stringed shorts; flowy fabrics for a light Yin & Meditation session or skin tight flamboyant leggings for a dynamic Vinyasa class, we’ve come a long way from the old-school Indian ”diaper-shaped” dhoti men used to wear back in the days ; or the 1960’s white cotton tunics the first western classes were taught in!
Times have changed!
To begin with, ”Activewear is at an exciting point. Customers are interested in finding pieces that can keep up with their workout and be aesthetically-pleasing’‘. From what I’ve gathered, you don’t just walk into the doors of Lululemon today with the same expectations as you did a few years ago. It seems like yoga-wear is no longer intended just for the yoga room; in this very moment, people around the world are embracing their rainbow leggings all over the city streets. As a matter of fact, ”the increasing casualization of society has led to ‘ath-leisure’ apparel, where yoga pants replace sweats–not just on the couch, but also out in public. People are going for a run and then running errands. ” – Some skip the run entirely.
So, is fashion affecting the yoga world or is yoga affecting the fashion industry ?
Any person, business or brand looking to understand – and lead – cultural shifts can turn to the fashion industry as a bellwether. Fashion not only shapes culture, it acts as a mirror to society, reflecting important cultural shifts that may otherwise be imperceptible.
In fashion slang, there used to be such a concept as the trickle-up, trickle-down effect. Trickling-up was when top designers took inspiration from street style or any type of initial trendsetting-type phenomena, and trickling-down was ”the movement of a trend from catwalk to high street. […] Comparable pieces may be released by high street stores at a cheaper price to meet the demand of the perceived lower classes, who seek to imitate the fashion behavior of the affluent”.
In Lana del Rey’s words : ”Life imitates art”. But the truth is, art imitated life first! Therefore trends are never a one way street! The seed of inspiration grows in unexpected places, hence fashion being this eternal cycle, in constant movement like the flow of the ocean with trends as its waves!
∞ Wellness is taking over the world one legging at a time!!
These days, I’m not entirely sure the trickling up/down concept remains relevant, as there is now a middle-man I like to call the Social Media Effect. More influential than Hollywood celebrities or models, social media celebs are more approachable. If you’re following a trainer or any type of Instagram persona, it is most probably because this person inspires or even motivates you in real life.
Naturally, big brands understand this:
In terms of marketing, Nike made a big splash in the women’s market with its “#BetterForIt” digital marketing campaign featuring everyday women rather than the supermodels and professional athletes seen in most advertising for athletic wear”. It’s all about making this trend more approachable than it already is. Consequently, people that don’t necessarily do yoga, will wear yoga gear for comfort, for an active lifestyle or just for style. Because like most fashion statements, it visually gives a way for people of a like-minded lifestyle to socially express and recognize their affiliation.
When all is said and done, we are truly living in an era of self expression and this can be reflected in our personal style ; athletic wear included! To be ”Active has become a complete lifestyle shift for consumers” as customizing your fitness wear is now a common thing. Besides, who doesn’t get excited when ordering their favorite limited edition leggings online? With all the colorful prints and whatnot to choose from and all the affordable brands offering their take on the Ath-leisure trend. ”More companies than ever now understand that women want both fashion and function in their gym clothing, and affordably-priced alternatives are everywhere’‘.
Today, being healthy and fit is trendy. I’ll admit, it might seem superficial or phony to dress up as though you are the most active person on earth, but this behavior makes me wonder if perhaps the mere fact of wearing athletic clothing is making people feel more athletic, therefore helping them engage more often in athletic activities… For once, it is a healthy, active lifestyle we seek to imitate and have a desire for wellness, something we could all use a little of! If being trendy today equals being fit and healthy looking, then strictly speaking about trends, I guess we could do worse!