Lack the Fab to Bougie Swag

Created by: Malorie Kalens and Lillian Sherrill

Why Do Women Buy Active Wear?

Turn on the television or log on to social media, and you will see any number of companies promoting their fitness brand. One of the current leading brands in sportswear for women is Lululemon©. Some would say these companies are a “cult” like industry because they aim for young and independent women between the ages of early 20s to late 30s. Companies like Lululemon© have transformed activewear to stylish on-the-go fashion. Some companies have used different tactics to display their active wear. Lululemon© has given yoga instructors a free outfit to present to their clients (Grey, 2012), which could influence clients’ selection of their own activewear. These days, activewear’s purpose is not solely used for fitness attire anymore. Instead, active wear has become acceptable for casual everyday use as well. Consumers are influenced by the popular fashion brands such as Nike, Adidas, and so on. A golfing brand called Lija©, have used female pro golfers to showcase an item which shows consumers that they can be taken seriously in their sport while being trendy (O’Sullivan, Hanlon, Spaaij, & Westerbeek, 2017). Throughout the years, activewear has had an exponential growth in sales.

Sports apparel wholesale sales in the U.S. from 2008 to 2016

Citation (pictured above):

Sports apparel wholesale sales US 2008-2016 | Statistic. Retrieved February 03, 2018, from sales-in-the-us/

How Does This Affect the Fitness Apparel Industry?

The fitness apparel industry is likely going to continue to see a growth in sales as long as consumers continue to have an increased demand for the “athleisure” style. The picture above shows a gradual growth in overall sales over an 8 year period. This statistic shows that there is a gradual progression in the overall sales of fitness apparel. There are a lot of reasons why both men and women are returning to athletic wear as there go-to daily style. In today’s society, if you go out in public, you will most likely see youth, young adults, and middle-aged adults, with their faces glued to their computer screens or smartphone screens. We are growing up in a society now where younger generations have become co-dependent upon their cellular devices as a means to stay connected with everyone through their social media sites (More young adults, low-income households in U.S. relying solely on cellphones, 2008). Everything is just a click away now. You could be scrolling through your social media site, and I can guarantee that not even a minute into scrolling through your news feed, you will see some kind of advertisement based on what you post about, trying to get you to buy a product related to what you most often post about. This all ties into the fact that people are regularly being exposed to super toned and fit individuals that are promoting our clothing brands. This in turn creates is an individual who aspires to look like their toned, idol/ role-model counterparts. So, the next time your out in public, try and see if you notice how many people are wearing “athleisure” attire.



Aagerup, U. (2011). The influence of real women in advertising on mass market fashion brand perception. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An  International Journal, 15(4), 486-502. doi:10.1108/13612021111169960

Active Wear Fashion | Enclothed Cognition. (2016, May 12). Retrieved February 03, 2018, from

Gray, E. (2012). Lululemon: Why Are Women Willing To Spend So Much Money On Workout Clothing? . Oath Inc. .

O’Sullivan, G. A., Hanlon, C., Spaaij, R., & Westerbeek, H. (2017). Women’s activewear trends and drivers: a systematic review. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management , 2-15.

More young adults, low-income households in U.S. relying solely on cellphones. (2008). National Post Retrieved from

Sports apparel wholesale sales US 2008-2016 | Statistic. Retrieved February 03, 2018, from

Weingus, L. (2014). Why Women Spend Hundreds On Athletic Clothes They Don’t Actually Wear To Work Out. Retrieved February 03, 2018, from




Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies department