Defining athleisure

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports, has given it a more colloquial definition: “It’s the type of gear you can use in the gym and walk to the pub in.” It’s positivity begetting positivity. When one starts to live healthily, one’s mental health steadily improves, leading to a better life – athleisure is merely the appropriate armament for this healthier lifestyle.

Reigning Champ

It has become the glue, fusing sports and fashion for millennials looking to spend money on better experiences rather than on materialistic things. With athleisure designed for outdoor experiences, the trend has long since surpassed being a fad. It’s become a movement, a force majeure spearheaded by the younger generation looking to break free from binary clothing. It’s about the utmost comfort whilst maintaining style.

Three quick facts about athleisure

  • The athleisure market will be worth more than $100 billion by 2020, according to Barclays.
  • There are over 726,000 “athleisure” posts on Instagram.
  • Levi’s revenues have sagged by over $2.2 billion in the past couple of decades as millennials switch from classic denim workwear brands to athleisure specialists such as Nike and Lululemon.

Three athleisure brands you need in your locker

Reigning Champ

Reigning Champ Slim-Fit Loopback Cotton-Jersey Sweatpants £125 >
Loopback Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt £125 >

Founded in 2007, the Vancouver-based brand is renowned for designing and engineering signature fabrics, emphasising rugged construction and unrivalled comfort.

Their ringspun jerseys and pullover hoodies are developed to flatter your body shape, leaving you feeling comfortable, confident and poised – whether you’re in or out of the gym.


Sunspel Cotton Loopback Track Pant in Navy Melange, £110 >
Cotton Loopback Zip Hoody in Navy Melange, £155 >

English heritage brand Sunspel not only appeals to sycophantic James Bond fans, thanks to their Ian Fleming collection, they’re also one of the unsung heroes in the athleisure market due to the development of advanced fabrics that wick away sweat.

Their ‘Loopback’ sweatshirts are a literal description of the fabric construction that was purposely developed for sports garments. Conversely, their loopback fabric is designed to trap warm air inside, providing an insulating layer that’s ideal for day-to-day wear.

James Perse

James Perse Loopback Supima Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt in Pink, £135 >
Loopback Supima Cotton-Jersey Drawstring Shorts in Charcoal, £115 >

James Perse was launched in 1994 in Los Angeles with a mere T-shirt line. In the late 1990s the brand’s eponymous founder outlined a men’s collection inspired by his passion for minimalist architecture and warm West Coast living. Since then, the label has opened its first retail store and has concessions in top luxury retailers such as Barneys New York, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The reversible sweat hoodies can cost up to £300, which is unfailingly premium, although justified by the high-quality Fine Gauge Cotton used to manufacture the garments.