March 02, 2022
Athleisure apparel inherently breaks boundaries. It straddles the line between high-performance fabric and casual daily apparel. High-end athleisure goes one step further by combining the natural effectiveness of sportswear with the elevated standards of luxury apparel.
Understanding athleisure and understanding what makes it special are one and the same. The best athleisure works effectively as both athletic and casual apparel. The end result is sportswear with aesthetics at the core of its design.
Daniel Patrick believes in the power and essentiality of high-end athleisure. To that end, we’ve created a guide highlighting some of the foundation elements driving it. We’ll discuss the details that form its creation, from the earliest concepts to the final product.
What Is Athleisure?
Athleisure is a portmanteau of both athletic and leisure apparel. It captures elements of casual and performance clothes for gear suitable for any occasion. The term can describe clothing with a variety of functions.
Some athleisure apparel only has the style of sportswear but is purely casual apparel in practice. Other pieces elevate the style of sportswear to make it more exciting overall.
The difference between athleisure and sportswear apparel is a subtle one but also a significant one. Sportswear covers any clothing or accessory designed for use in exact sports. This includes tracksuits, running sneakers, and sporting equipment that otherwise wouldn’t be used in regular apparel.
Athleisure generally refers to clothing that is loosely wearable in a variety of active contexts without supporting a specific sport. This includes pieces that are ultimately useful in both fine-tuned athletics and casual days on the go. Sweats, comfortably designed t-shirts, and other pieces with an equal or greater focus on fashion all fall into athleisure.
Globally, athleisure is expected to reach an international market value of 574 billion dollars by 2024. That value is over one-third of that of the modern fashion industry. All signs point to athleisure continuing to be one of the defining forces behind the fashion industry, only growing stronger. It’s time to understand why this is the case.
Continue reading below for more on what constitutes luxury athleisure.
Athleisure apparel didn’t always have the broad spanning versatility it has today. A large part of that has to do with the way people wear athletic wear. Many modern pieces had their origins in the early 20th century.
Workout clothing was mainly used solely for sports purposes, and wearing them as daily apparel would be seen as surprising.
The propagation of fitness itself partially saw the movement of sportswear to daily apparel. The latter part of the 20th century saw an athletics boom in everything from running trails to sweating on the yoga mat, and fashion followed.
The emergence of streetwear also called for a wide range of new fashions. Streetwear apparel took inspiration from athletic apparel, creating versatile designs for active and casual contexts.
Clothing like iconic track jackets and tracksuits and retailers and labels like Adidas entered the popular lifestyle sphere beyond targeted athletes. NBA and celebrity collaborations influenced sneakerhead culture and luxury brands in a way that positively pervades fashion to this day.
High-quality athleisure is endlessly versatile. It can be worn on cozy days spent inside, either at rest or working from home. These essentials can be worn for activity, whether working out, competing, or going for coffee. The luxurious style allows you to make an impression going out, to wherever your night may take you.
Athleisure aspires to be the most versatile clothing in your wardrobe. The quality and merit of it are undisputed, with the international fashion world defined by closely-related streetwear apparel. This is just one way in which it has achieved that status.
Part of the benefits of luxury apparel is the design choices backing it. Designers from the best athleisure brands are able to take risks and hold themselves to higher standards but are also capable of sourcing better materials.
As you enter the high-end athleisure market, it is more likely that you will find specialty fabrics in designs. You will also find commonplace fabrics like cotton, nylon, and polyester used in the best version of themselves.
For an example of the former, examine our Tri-Blend Standard Tee. This style is named for its fabric mixture of 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon. Each component adds to the overall garment and creates something more than their sum.
Polyester provides quick-drying capabilities and enhanced warmth when worn. Cotton adds to the softness of the garment and makes it odor-resistant in the long view. Rayon enhances the light drape of a piece and gives a subtle, understated sheen that catches the light. The end result is a blend that does more than any individual fabric could achieve on its own.
For an example of individual fabrics taken to their pinnacle, consider the Loop Terry Standard Sweatshirt. One of a full line, this particular piece is constructed with lightweight, exceptionally soft loop terry. Rib knit at the cuffs, waist, and neck serves to shape the figure of this light garment. Our signature center is also represented here.
The materials a garment is made from define its capabilities from the beginning. The best materials offer the possibility for the best pieces of athleisure. This is something that only high-end athleisure brands that put in the capital are capable of utilizing.
The fashion industry has an ethos problem. This is not a trade secret, nor is it a new problem. The root source of ethical issues in the industry comes from detrimental cost-cutting measures.
One major issue facing the industry is underpaying workers. Many major fashion brands source labor in countries with lax labor laws. This allows them to cut costs by acquiring cheap labor, ideal when you need to create countless individual garments. It also allows them to underpay workers and not worry about any runoff or chemical byproducts fashion production can create.
High-end brands should not do this. Instead, they should source production locally or in countries whose strong labor laws and rich resources are beneficial.
The Daniel Patrick Difference
Daniel Patrick is thrilled to source the overwhelming majority of our garments locally in Los Angeles. The only exception is our footwear and some accessories, which are made in Portugal due to material availability.
Buying high-end athleisure also solves the issue of consumer culture in the fashion industry. Millions of tons of waste from disused clothing are created every single year. The answer is to shop for quality apparel in design and fashion to reduce the amount of clothing an individual cycles through.
There is always more progress to be made regarding ethical production. The only aspects that should be cut are those that benefit us all. We aspire to cut our environmental impact on our planet, eliminate wage inequality, and cut an impressive silhouette with our apparel.
The Champion of Boundless, Exclusive Style
The reason behind high-end athleisure is the same reason behind fashion as a whole. The way you dress says everything about you to those you know and those you don’t. It signals your style, values, and even the way you go through life.
Luxury apparel looks, lasts, and feels better than cheaply-made contemporaries. Through these elements combined, the end result is one that anyone can be proud of. The more a designer can put into particular designs, the more unique they end up becoming.
For one example of this, look at our Wool Drawstring Trouser. This loose-fit, wide-leg trouser features a black-capped drawstring and elastic waist. It also has a blackout Daniel Patrick sport logo on the left thigh.
The most surprising element of this trouser is one that’s not immediately visible. A hidden zipper at the ankles allows for an easily customizable look. The mixture of wool and polyester makes the piece luxuriously warm, whether staying in or going out.
Comfort materials and unstructured yet precisely manufactured designs make it a deliberately styled piece. It makes athleisure more than simply a versatile piece of clothing. Luxury versions of any item, by definition, means something that people want, but not everyone can have.
High-end athleisure pushes limits for those who are already pushing themselves. In that way, it creates a conversation and common ground between designer and wearer.
Why Is High-End Athleisure Essential?
Athleisure wear is everywhere, from home offices to runways, for a good reason. Your classic sweats offer supreme comfort, and athletic apparel is needed for ease in any sort of major activity. On a given day, you may bounce from sedentary to active or free-moving contexts any number of times. Athleisure understands that.
High-end athleisure understands that changing these contexts fluidly requires the highest of standards in apparel. The same clothes you take to the yoga studio or wear on casual days out should also be available elsewhere. Nights on the town can be aided with apparel where fashion and function coexist and elevate each other.
Athleisure is more than just a style of clothing. It’s a new way of interacting with the world around us. With a global interest in fitness, public health, and luxuriously comfortable, formidably strong clothing, it’s a way that will stay.