Denim has been synonymous with casual wear in America for many decades now. But these days, everywhere you look, women especially are re-purposing casual workout clothing for all occasions – the stylish Lycra is eclipsing the humble denim cotton. Comfort seems to have trumped all other criteria when it comes to shopping, running errands, and even going to work. Several articles lamenting the decline of denim sales have been surfacing time and again since 2013. The sale of women’s denims fell 8% from 2013 to 2014. And the trend isn’t picking up anytime soon.
The Indix Product API indicates that there are more than 9,500 yoga pants and leggings (including size variants) available on the market today. These are available across approximately 56 brands and more than 38 online stores. They are categorized under both “Active Wear” and “Casual Pants.” “Athleisure” clothing has replaced denim for activities like running errands or picking up kids from school and is also usurping stuffy office clothing to be paired with a button-down shirt or tunic.
Predictably, the major players in the market remain Etsy (4359 products), Amazon Marketplace (2760 products), and Rakuten (683). The interesting addition is that of seemingly unconventional retailers like Hanna Anderrson and Allheart.com, the latter being a retailer specializing in scrubs. Check out these yoga scrubs in different colors!
Hanna Andersson is where women go to shop for their kids, so having clothing that appeals to them makes sense given their intent and motivation for being on the site. Among the brands, trendy names like Aeropostale, Wet Seal and Steve Madden are also riding the athleisure wave. So it’s not just the Lululemons of the world that have the monopoly. Brands like Lucy and ALO carry stylish looking yoga wear upwards of $90 that is meant to be worn outside the gym. This is in addition to crowdfunded stores like Betabrand that are actually specifically making yoga wear for work.
Living in Seattle and working in the tech community, I witness this shift all the time, on the street, in a coffee shop or at the bus stop. My own wardrobe has seen depleting number of denims over the past few years. This is an extremely interesting trend to follow, especially given the conventions that it upsets. Watch this space for more!