The Rise of Athleisure: How Sportswear Became Stylish

Written by Dan | 08/03/2024


From Tracks to Trends

Once confined to the gym and sports arenas, sportswear has sprinted its way into our everyday wardrobes, evolving into what we now lovingly refer to as athleisure. This fashion phenomenon isn’t just about comfort; it’s a style statement, blending the lines between workout wear and wardrobe staples. Let’s jog through the history and look at how sportswear sprinted into the spotlight.


A collection of assorted athleisure clothing


The Origin Story: Tracksuits, Polo Shirts, and Loungewear


Tracksuits: The journey of the tracksuit mirrors the evolution of athleisure itself. Originally designed for athletes to keep warm before and after competitions, the tracksuit leapt from the track field to the streets in the 1970s and 1980s, thanks to hip-hop culture and movies that showcased its cool, casual vibe. We love this one from Ralph Lauren:


Ralph Lauren Tracksuit


Polo Shirts: The polo shirt has a similarly storied past. Born on the tennis courts in the 1920s as a comfortable alternative to long-sleeved shirts, the polo shirt quickly became a staple in golf and polo, giving it its name. Its cross-over into daily wear is a testament to its versatility and enduring style. Check out the enduring classic from Fred Perry:

Fred Perry Polo Shirt


Loungewear: Loungewear’s origins are rooted in the desire for comfort and relaxation. Initially reserved for the home, modern loungewear has evolved, blurring the lines between pyjamas and public-appropriate attire. Thanks to its chic designs and luxurious materials, loungewear is now a symbol of laid-back luxury. You’ll love this 

Emporio Armani Lounge Set

From Sport to Street


  • Tennis and Golf: Both sports played pivotal roles in popularising the polo shirt. With icons like René Lacoste and Fred Perry transforming it into a symbol of casual elegance.
  • Track and Field: Athletes donning sleek tracksuits brought the style to the masses, highlighting its blend of function and fashion. The iconic adidas tracksuit, worn by the likes of Run DMC and the Beastie Boys, became a streetwear staple in the 1980s.
  • Gyms and Workouts: The rise of fitness culture and gym memberships in the 1970s and 1980s saw an increase in demand for activewear. This led to the development of specialized workout clothing that was both practical and stylish.


Black Nike Trainers


Modern Athleisure Trends


Today, athleisure is more than just a trend; it’s a lifestyle. The modern man’s wardrobe seamlessly incorporates sportswear elements, prioritising aesthetics and comfort. Here’s what’s currently trending:

Tech-infused Fabrics: Think moisture-wicking materials and stretchable fabrics that look just as good in a café as they do in the gym.

Sleek Sneakers: Gone are the days of chunky, purely functional sports shoes. Today’s trainers are sleek, stylish, and suitable for both a workout session and a night out.

Minimalist Designs: The current wave of athleisure favours clean lines and minimalist designs, making it easier than ever to mix and match pieces.

Sustainable Options: Eco-conscious materials are on the rise, reflecting a growing demand for sustainable fashion choices.

Athleisure is not just a fleeting fashion trend; it’s a reflection of a broader shift towards versatile, comfortable, and stylish clothing. Whether you’re lounging at home or out on the town, athleisure offers the perfect blend of form and function.

At Mainline Menswear, we’re passionate about bringing you the latest in men’s fashion, including the best of athleisure. Stay tuned as we continue to curate a selection that marries comfort with style, ensuring you look your best, no matter the occasion.

Embrace the athleisure trend with Mainline Menswear and discover how sportswear became the ultimate in stylish, everyday wear.



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