Your yoga mat has just become a fashion show runway. Just when you think you’ve saved enough pennies for the cutest athleisure day-to-yogaclass-to-lunch-to-erranding-to-dinnerdate yoga outfit, you’re going to have to dig deeper into the couch cushions. Actually, if you have to couch dive to afford your yoga pants, sadly, these new high-end styles are probably not for you. Apparently, we have now entered the age of luxury yoga wear that will cost you a spandexed arm and a leg.
While the growing activewear clothing category isn’t exclusively for yoga, we do have the proliferation of yoga classes and culture to thank (and instagram…sigh) for making yoga, itself, super fashionable. On a smaller scale, yoga fashion is already a thing. Even teenagers are ditching jeans for the comfort and style of yoga pants and leggings.
But we’re not talking the paltry $90 Lululemon pants here – though we know there are obsessed fans out there spending thousands for tough-to-find styles. This is a whole new level of extremely expensive extravagance targeted at the yoga-practicing, stretchy-pants-loving, Saks Fifth Avenue shoppers. We’re talking designer yoga pants for $400…and up.
Despite critics who think yoga pants are “ruining women,” Bloomberg reports that not only have a slew of fashion designers jumped on the athleisure wagon, the market just continues to get even bigger AND more profitable now that wealthy consumers can purchase pricey pants to match their pricey designer handbags.
Quietly, a smattering of new true luxury activewear labels have appeared, each with the hope that affluent shoppers are willing to shell out $300, $400, or more on a pair of pliable pants. Think about it this way: If you’re a luxury shopper who buys $1,500 designer dresses, pays $250 a month for an Equinox gym membership, and totes around a $4,000 Chanel bag, why would you spend a mere $100 on the leggings that you wear to the gym, on errands, and on the weekend?
Seriously. Who wants those crappy cheapos, anyway? But while they’re busy buying the porche of yoga pants with the sweat-wicking fixin’s and platinum gold-threaded camel-toe blasting crotch stitching, there is a silver lining: as yoga pants and athleisure wear continue to push the boundaries of what is considered high-end fashion, the regular non-rich people can enjoy the trickle down cheaper versions. There have been some expensive designer boutiques popping up, but we’ve also seen some great smaller shops making cute stuff for the fashion-conscious yogis that won’t break the bank. Plus, there’s always H&M and Target.
And the market just keeps on growing. Overall, “U.S. activewear sales are up 9 percent in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the same period last year, according to data from NPD Group.” The total market hangs somewhere in the $35 billion tier as of last October, and it’s expected to continue its upward climb. That’s a lot of athleisurely fashionable people who would be very unhappy if yoga pants really ever did become illegal.