Fashion is not forever. Thank God.
I am not one to claim expertise in the field of fashion, but that’s not to say I don’t notice trends. The trend at Carolina (which drove me totally insane) was to wear sweats to class. Girls would wear a pound of makeup on their faces, but an oversized t-shirt and Nike shorts were practically a dress code. You knew who was in Greek life and who was not because kids that were not in the Greek system would wear normal cute outfits to class. Anyone in a sorority would spend the same 30 minutes getting ready as non-Greek kids… but that meant perfecting hair and makeup and throwing on a t-shirt instead of outfit planning.
Carolina was also not the place for girls who enjoyed putting on a party dress and heels. Jeans with a silk shirt and wedges were the appropriate level of dress up for the Chapel Hill bars. The Chapel Hill way of dressing was hard for those who liked getting dressed up for class or to go out, but it was a place where perfecting casual was key. Big cities have historically been much dressier than towns like Chapel Hill. People wear workout clothes to the mall in North Carolina, which isn’t something you would see as much in places like New York. It’s totally normal to see a woman in heels at the grocery in New York, meanwhile in North Carolina seeing a woman in heels at dinner on Saturday night was still a little bit unusual.
In 2017, this dynamic is all changing. Brands like Under Armour are diving face first into women’s workout fashion, and the tables are turning. The new trend is to wear cool, hip workout clothing literally everywhere that you go. In fact, people in LA are saying you are even starting to see people in “trendy” casual workout clothing at the clubs. The store Old Navy was close to going out of business, and now with their women’s workout line, sales have completely turned around for the store. This is how much the new women’s workout clothing trend is affecting the marketplace! Departing are the days of stilettos and a small dress. In are the days of $150 sweatshirts and leggings, and the “casual cool” look.
Sweaty chic has also normalized crop tops being a part of the every day attire. Wearing a bra in public is totally unacceptable… however a fitness bra that covers a little more than your typical sports bra? Now that is totally acceptable. You will see people wearing outfits like the one below any and everywhere in New York City, whether that be at the mall or out to a bottomless brunch. Because fashion has found a way to merge showing some skin with comfort and style, traditional athletic wear brands have had to find a way for their clothes to be stylish and perform in the gym. It’s hard to know who is buying a workout top to work out in or to go out in these days.
Now that workout clothing has found a way to be hip, I am starting to like society’s push for comfort being fashionable for every-day wear. While I’m not sure you will ever catch me at the club in a sports bra, that’s not to say that the people around me won’t be wearing them. You can be sure of one thing though- I’m back to living in a world where people spend an hour on hair and makeup, only to throw on some gym clothes! Thank God the gym clothes no longer look like, well, gym clothes.