PPAI Magazine May 2023

Essentials | In Style Not Just For The Gym Anymore By Rachel Zoch HOODIES AND TEES HAVE ALWAYS been a no-brainer for the collegiate market, but soft, comfy clothing with style has never been more popular for all ages. Office dress codes have trended more toward casual since the pandemic, and people want transitional clothing that can go from the office to the gym to the weekend without missing a beat. Even fashion maven Tim Gunn, who a decade ago tweeted, “When it comes to dressing, comfort is overrated,” has come to appreciate comfortable clothing, and high-fashion designers like Stella McCartney are jumping on the athleisure train. “There’s been a shift in wanting to feel comfortable but still feel fashionable and professional,” says Lauren Esser, an account manager with Denver-based distributor Specialty Incentives. “There’s just this desire to feel good in the clothes that you’re wearing and still feel appropriate to meet with customers and be in the office or be remote, and then it also makes it easier to swing over to the gym or maybe go for a walk over your lunch break.” Wellness and embracing the whole person at work have become bywords over the past few years, and catering to comfort with athleisurewear options is a subtle way to show that a company cares about its employees and customers. Transitional garments that people can feel appropriate wearing in a variety of settings – including on their days off – also contributes to a sense of work-life balance, and more relaxed dress codes have become an important tool for employee retention. Athleisure marries style with comfort in modern brandable pieces appropriate for work, play and everything in between. UfaBizPhoto / Shutterstock.com 12 • MAY 2023 • PPAI