We may finally have a verdict on the whole leggings as pants thing: It looks like the athleisure trend is on its way out. Either that, or we’ve all stocked up on enough yoga pants to last us a lifetime.
According to Business of Fashion, athleisure pioneer Lululemon’s stock took a steep — almost 24% — dive recently, as did Nike’s and Under Armour’s, which may signal that people are done with this comfy trend. The BoF report also says that denim is making a pretty big comeback (did it ever go away?), with even fast fashion retailers like H&M making the most of the cheap, comfy jeans trend.
Athleisure has been booming for a number of years, branching out to all kinds of brands; even Alexander McQueen is selling $1,000 leggings. Jan Rogers Kniffen, who runs a consulting firm, told BoF, “There is no more the growth that was there before and there are way more competitors for [Lululemon] compared to when they’d started 10 years ago.”
So maybe people aren’t buying as many yoga pants and leggings, but the ongoing battle about whether leggings are pants will likely linger. Once you’re heavy into athleisure, it’s very, very hard to put on actual clothes again (we speak from experience).
Most recently, teenage passengers on a United Airlines flight were turned away at the gate for wearing leggings as pants, with the airline arguing that they weren’t dressed appropriately for business travel, since the two were using a free pass from an employee and leggings are against the employee dress code. It set off a whole new debate about whether it’s appropriate to rock yoga pants off the mat.
No matter where you come down on the issue, the numbers don’t lie. Your leggings and yoga pants just aren’t cool anymore, if the stock market has anything to say about it. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to wear them everywhere we go. Because come on.