Elizabeth Entenman
January 03, 2016 11:18 am

Now that 2015 has come to a close, we’re reflecting back on some of the year’s biggest trends. Crop tops, chokers and tying your shirt around your waist were definitely up there. In fact, the overall born-again 90s look was totally on point. But arguably the biggest clothing trend was athleisure—and it’s showing no signs of stopping.

Let’s back up and talk about money. Because without money, there is no athleisure to purchase. Young people have started spending in different ways. One study shows that Millennials are spending more on expenses like rent, cell phones and services like Netflix. This means they’re spending less on clothes. Priorities have shifted, and clothing is just not as important to 20 and 30-year-olds as it used to be.

But interestingly, when Millennials do spend on apparel, they’re spending smarter. They now buy Nike more than brands that once ruled the roost like Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch. Nike has been the top teen brand since 2011, and is the top apparel retailer in the U.S.—which explains how athleisure has become so popular.

Of course, athleisure isn’t just dominated by Nike. Stores like Lululemon and Athleta have sprung up to cater to the look. And many other stores, from Forever 21 to Victoria’s Secret to Tory Burch, have shifted to offer more clothing in line with the athleisure trend.

What does it all mean? It could mean that by investing in nice athletic clothing, young people are investing in their wellness. That’s definitely in line with the rise of healthy menus and boutique fitness classes. Or maybe, they’re just investing in comfort. How many times have you donned some leggings and thrown on your trainers to run errands? Or bought a flowery sports bra to wear around the house? (Maybe that one’s just me.)

Maybe 20 years from now we’ll look back on photos of ourselves from 2016 and laugh at how tight everyone’s leggings were, or how it seemed like a competition of who could own the most neon-y sneakers. Athleisure could just be another trend that fades in time. We’ll see how long it lasts, but for now, you’d better double knot your Nikes—because it isn’t going anywhere.

Featured image via Shutterstock

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