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We Like Workout Clothing More than Workouts

The size of the market for athleisure—a coinage officially adopted into Merriam-Webster's lexicon this April—grew five percent each year between 2009 and 2014, from $54 billion to $68 billion. The trend accounted for nearly all growth in the apparel, footwear, and accessories sector during this period. People in American cities were wearing [fancy athletic clothing with brand names like] Lululemon, Lucy, and Lorna Jane; Gap Body, Athleta, and Nike everywhere, including to the office. According to an article in the New York Times, the market may hit $100 billion by the end of 2016.

But there's a strange twist in this growth of athleisure. Most people are just wearing it, not actually working out in it. The same article continues, "For many wearers, the athletic part of athleisure remains aspirational. [For example], sales of yoga clothes increased 10 times as much as [actual] participation in yoga classes over the 2009 to 2014 span."

Apparently we like the workout look; we just don't like the workout lifestyle or the workout practices.

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