You probably wear your yoga pants to more than just the studio. If not, you may be in the minority. As our society darts from one task to the next, we often do not have time (or the desire) to change clothes. Plus, yoga pants can be darn comfy. But at the office?
The journey of office attire, from pantsuits in the 80s to the current trend of menswear-inspired digs, has seen its share of changes. But the latest in business wardrobe shifts involves the very clothes you change out of before you get to work—yoga pants.
A new high-end line of sweats and yoga pants, referred to as “athleisure,” is popping up all across the country. Once only deemed appropriate for yoga classes and the treadmill, active wear is now journeying into boardrooms and business meetings—at times costing as much or more as more formal office wear.
Wardrobe Change for the Office: Pricey, Yet Comfortable
There is a reason athleisure is labeled “high end.” Bloomberg Business recently reported on the rise in sales of premium yoga pants, which cost anywhere from $80 to as much as $800. Brands are quickly jumping in to create their own version of comfy office attire, including Nike, Lucas Hugh, and Lululemon. This is a style for the masses: young, old, men, and women. Comfy office clothes are in big cities and small towns, shared by bosses and lower-level managers alike.
When it comes to office wear, some fashion experts are giving the go-ahead in certain settings and with some limitations. Others are saying no way, opting instead to stay on the side of professional dress and traditional business wardrobe styles. No matter the view, it looks like this may not be just another trend.
All About the Style
Fortune.com talked to some experts in the fashion world who shared some tips on pulling off this look at work. They include:
- Pairing your fancy sweats with heels and a dressy blouse.
- Taking a look around your office at what others are sporting to gauge if it’s okay for your workplace.
- Choosing yoga pants with clean lines and matching it with a simple t-shirt.
- Throwing on a blazer and some high-end sneakers.
Athleisure as the New Uniform
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the United States had a spike of almost 8% in sportswear. That equates to over $90 billion spent across the country on sport clothing and shoes in 2014 alone. Big name companies have seen sales double. As jean sales decline, sportswear sales are skyrocketing with no sign of slowing down.
There is a wide range of opinions on the topic of casual clothes at work. No matter your view, we all can agree that a little more comfort in our business attire is always a nice feature. As one retailer’s website tells us, you can go straight from the yoga studio to the office. Just do us all a favor—take a shower first.