We’ve all heard that the type of clothing we wear while working out has a huge impact on our performance.
Ever wondered, why is that so? Why can’t we just wear our normal clothes for a quick sweat sesh?
Well, the truth is, wearing the right gear is key to having a spectacular workout. Long gone are the days when sweaty clothes were prized as a mark of a well-endured training day.
Now, fitness enthusiasts want clothes that they can wear in and out of the gym, all day, every day. That means, the demand for premium fabric has increased immensely, which not only feels good but also looks good.
In comes athleisure. Designed with premium performance fabric, the trend of athleisure wear has taken the world by storm, especially in 2020.
From endless zoom meetings to catch-up sessions with our pals, we want to be in comfy attire, regardless of the occasion.
Dressing down is the new trend, coupled with minimalistic apparel, which provides adequate comfort while looking chic, which is all we need.
Performance Fabric – What’s The Hype All About?
Performance fabric is basically a clothing material that is designed for specific properties. For example, performance fabric may be designed to be moisture-wicking, anti-microbial, or water-resistant.
This fabric is engineered to withstand the toughest kind of wear and tear, is durable, and enhances comfort. Hence, activewear brands have been incorporating this fabric in different types of clothing, to help athletes and casual gym-goers improve their performance.
Not long ago, customers were not so receptive to the idea of performance garments. They were seen as a luxury, mainly due to their high prices.
However, largely due to the increase in innovative processes along with the rising awareness of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the demand and supply of performance fabric increased.
Gone were the days when the gym was filled merely with passionate bodybuilders, huffing and puffing their way in and out of the building. Nowadays, almost every individual wants to incorporate some sort of movement within their daily routine and is moving away from sedentary lifestyles which were previously the norm.
Brands picked up on this trend and started providing different options to cater to a much larger audience.
Activewear manufacturers noticed that owing to their busy lifestyles, a lot of individuals did not even have the time for a dedicated two-hour gym session. But this does not necessitate that they weren’t interested in having an active lifestyle.
The idea was to squeeze in a quick walk, run, or a 30-minute HIIT session, while also continuing with their hectic routines. Obviously, these individuals needed attire with high quality, sweat-wicking, and moisture absorbing fabric, as most of them did not even have the time to change outfits between their busy schedules.
This gave birth to aesthetic, stylish clothing that could be adorned anywhere and everywhere. With the inclusion of performance fabric, these clothing pieces promised durability, amplification of performance, while also looking cute and trendy.
Industry experts identified that individuals weren’t just wearing active wear while working out, they were also incorporating it in their daily lifestyles. Layering up outfits became the new trend, to create the perfect ensemble of casual, while also appearing classy and chic.
This increased opportunities for fashion enthusiasts and designers alike, to promote minimalistic, casual pieces of clothing which could be worn at a variety of occasions.
Types Of Performance Fabric
Some common examples of performance fabrics that you may have read on different clothing labels are:
Elastane: Also known as Spandex, Elastane gives the added stretch to clothing, and is found in most activewear, especially leggings.
Polyester: This fabric is lightweight, wrinkle-free, breathable, and durable. It is an ideal performance fabric due to its ability to withstand strong, repetitive movements, hence, being more long-lasting as compared to other fabrics. It also has exceptional insulating properties, meaning that it provides protection against extreme temperatures.
Nylon Spandex: This fabric can expand over 500% without breaking, meaning that it has great elasticity while being extremely lightweight. It is abrasion-resistant and static-free, making it perfect for activewear.
Nylon: Nylon offers outstanding durability while being wrinkle and water-resistant. The material is lightweight and is perfect for windbreakers and jackets.
Rayon: Rayon carries the same features similar to other performance fabrics. It is lightweight, durable, sweat-wicking, and highly durable. This fabric is usually combined with Spandex to make jerseys.
Benefits Of Performance Fabric
There is no shadow of doubt regarding the durability and longevity of performance fabrics. They are designed in a way to withstand rigorous training sessions and repetitive movements.
So you can run, train, and stretch freely in performance gear, without having to worry about your clothes tearing apart (oops!).
Sweat-wicking and breathability
Now, this is a super important feature that differentiates performance fabric from normal clothes. With sweat-wicking properties, fitness lovers don’t need to worry about sweat stains, or worse, smelly body odor *holds nose*.
They can easily continue with their daily routine after completing the training session, without requiring an outfit change.
Plus, the breathability of the fabric ensures that the body remains cool and dry, which has a massive impact on how you feel during the workout.
Improved range of motion
Imagine going for a run in your favorite pair of jeans. Yikes!
We can sense the feeling of discomfort that rushed through your mind while you imagined that. Wearing normal clothing while performing any physical movement not only feels uncomfortable but also reduces your range of motion.
Performance fabric is extremely stretchable, enhances flexibility in movements, and fits like a glove. Performance gear that is not too tight allows an improved range of motion, which is essential for having a successful workout.
Wearing performance gear while working out can also enhance performance and technique during any physical activity.
This is possible due to the element of compression which helps in enhancing athletic performance by increasing blood flow. This keeps your muscles oxygenated, hence, improving overall performance.
Adequate support and increased comfort
Performance fabric is designed to provide adequate support and comfort, which is why it is ideal for activewear.
Due to its sweat-wicking properties and the softness of the fabric, the clothing is extremely comfortable and wearable on various occasions.
The Rising Trend Of Athleisure And Workleisure
2020 was the year when the trend of athleisure and work leisure skyrocketed.
Individuals of all ages were forced to stay at home (thanks to the global pandemic) and the norm of home-worn comfortable attire was mixed with the need to look fashionable and put together.
Office goers were confined to their bedrooms with laptops, a makeshift office desk, and a rusty old chair to spend their entire day on. While struggling to meet deadlines, keeping up with family and social lives, and staying sane amidst the uncertainty – this was when the whole world went “athleisure”.
People were living in casual wear, which was perfect for those zoom meetings, home workouts, a trip to grocery stores, and basically chilling on the couch.
It’s the perfect marriage between comfortable home clothing and trendy designs, and we’re all here for it.
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