The old saying “look good, feel good” applies to almost all areas of life, but when it comes to fitness apparel, there is not a more fitting statement. No matter the workout, sport or hobby you are into, step number one to finding fitness success is to dress for it. And the current trends in workout apparel are designed for you to do just that—reach your goals—whatever they may be.
Saline County offers a variety of fitness opportunities for its residents and has just the right retailers that are ready to dress you to the nines. To help you be on point at the gym, yoga studio or golf course, a look at the current fitness industry fashion trends will help you understand why certain items are so popular right now.
The first and most important factor in fitness apparel decisions for both men and women is material. Even the most timeless pieces such as shorts and tank tops are now being made in lightweight, breathable, sweat-wicking fabric cut and styled specifically for each type of exercise.
Another key is freedom of movement. An active lifestyle has you moving in countless ways, and the last thing you need is restrictive clothing. The clothing is flexible yet supportive when needed. Whether your favorite brand is Nike, Adidas, Under Armour or lululemon athletica, each brand has the right fabric to keep you dry and moving.
The second biggest factor to be aware of is the rise of the ‘athleisure’ segment of the market. Athleisure is a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for workouts other athletic activities is worn in everyday settings, such as during work, trips to school or other social occasions. This is considered one of the biggest shifts clothing retailers have seen in a long time and does not look to be going away anytime soon.
For men, fitness apparel trends don’t change too drastically each season, and the trends seen in and around Saline County are very much the national norm. Basic athletic shorts and shirts are always a safe bet for men, and comfortable pants are consistently popular. Where you start to see a shift in the trend in the last few years is when technical sportswear is mixed with cotton lifestyle basics.
According to Dustin Blankenship, Store Director of Academy Sports + Outdoors in Benton, “Men’s athleisure wear including jogging pants, short-sleeve hoodies and French terry pants and shorts are top sellers for us here in Saline County and across the nation. And a lot of men are replacing denim with woven active bottoms. These continue to be popular and our top sellers.”
For Marietta McClure, owner of McClure Fitness and a local expert on fitness apparel, one of the items they can’t keep on the rack is the lululemon athletica Warp Stream men’s pant. The four-way stretch fabric and the ability to wear it as a casual pant that is stretchy and light weight adds to the appeal. “Customers are buying this to play golf in as well as wear to the office along with a sports shirt or button down. The fact that it is multi-use is appealing to customers,” shares Marietta.
For women’s fitness fashion, the major trend right now is color. Basic black is being replaced with neutrals such as navy and white, and colorful basics are in, with an emphasis on high-quality fabrics with plenty of stretch while exercising, but no bagginess after the workout and before being laundered.
Statement pieces such as brightly colored headbands are also mixed in with bright colors, and graphic t-shirts with verbiage and logos are staples of most women’s athletic wear. An Arkansas manufacturer, Junk Band, is very popular right now for statement headbands. This is where you see people mix in prints that complement the brightly colored pieces that are so big as of late. And there really is no bigger current trend than sports bras.
According to Marietta McClure, “Women are spending more on their workout attire than ever before. We have constant special requests for higher end basics. The more unique the pieces, the better. Leggings with mesh and laser cutouts are super popular, as are graphic t-shirts. And sports bras are worn to be seen, not hidden, featuring back straps with a lot of detail to them. Tank tops are bought in styles that show off the sports bra, not hide it.”
“We can’t overstate how big the athleisure movement is right now. We keep a wide range of styles and price points in basics like yoga pants because they are worn by so many people to so many places,” shares Marietta.
Saline County residents are staying on point with current national trends, and the most popular brands are now being sold locally. It’s never been easier to be stylish wherever your active life takes you.