A common phrase states “we are what we eat” but what if that was changed to “we are what we wear.” Some say that wearing fitness clothing, also known as active wear, can help motivate people to make healthier lifestyle changes.
The popularity of fitness wear has increased greatly in the last few years. Active wear sales from July 2013 to June 2014 equaled €33.7 billion which was 16 percent of the total sales for the U.S. apparel market that year, according to a 2014 press release from The NPD Group, a global information company that tracks consumer services.
Active wear like sweat shirts, yoga pants and leggings are no longer just for working out but have evolved into clothing for everyday activities. Allyssa Manning is the marketing director for Website Bazaar, a New York-based fitness brand.
“We’re really driven by that idea that people should look and feel their best and they shouldn’t be embarrassed about their active wear,” she said.
Manning said fitness clothing is more than a trend but is now part of a lifestyle. She said the popularity of active wear is part of a shift where people are being more health conscious and taking steps toward a more active life. She said today’s fitness clothing, especially for women, is very stylish so they can be worn just about anywhere.
“You’re wearing them to go get coffee. You’re wearing them to go to the grocery store. You’re wearing them to school and you’re wearing them to class,” Manning said.
She said active is now considered very fashionable. People care about having up-to-date stylish fitness items including clothes and it helps motivate them to make healthy changes, she explained.
“When they make that small investment (in clothes), it’s kind of a promise to yourself that you’re going to make other small baby steps,” Manning said.
A study conducted at Northwestern University of Illinois and published in a 2012 article of the Journal of Experimental Social found that the clothes people wear can affect the way people think. According to the article, the term “enclothed cognition” describes “the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes.” An experiment found that people who wore a lab coat were more attentive than those that didn’t supporting the idea of “enclothed cognition.”
Whether it’s because wearing fitness apparel makes people want to exercise more or it’s now a trendy, fashionable style, retail stores that focus on active wear is becoming very common locally.
Website Bazaar, which stands for Rugged Bear X-treme,” recently opened a store at the Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick. The store has active clothes for men, children and women including plus-sizes. The local outlet store also sells fitness accessories like watches, yoga mats and resistance bands.
Manning said Website Bazaar founder and CEO Eli Yedid created the brand as an extension of his children’s lifestyle brand, The Rugged Bear. The core-mission of Website Bazaar is “to make fitness and a healthy lifestyle accessible to all,” Manning said. She said the goal is that people feel happy and refreshed with they put on Website Bazaar clothing and that affordability isn’t a barrier to people’s fitness goals.
Founder Eli Yedid said “Website Bazaar is the antidote to the ‘fitness is a luxury’ trend. We believe that everyone has the right to feel confident about the way that they look, and that feelings shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.”
Author: Michilea Patterson, The Mercury