By Nivi Shrivastava

For Spring/Summer 2023, consider smart ways to make your life clutter-free and comfortable like an easy-peasy pair of sneakers and the snug hoodie that you carry everywhere. As leisure wear gets a boost with innovative ideas, graphics, colours and embellishments, we give you a style sheet to follow for the best looks and fusions that are trending right now.

Global rage: Call it a sensible style evolution or an inevitable realization, at the moment fashion world agrees with all-things-comfort and leisure wear is the hottest style to catch up on. To get the latest dope on the trend, scroll through the feeds of Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Sara Ali Khan, Kapoor sisters Janhvi, Shanaya, and Khushi, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Karan Johar, and Diljit Dosanjh flaunting their expensive kicks and posing for high-glam magazines in their customized co-ords – taking athleisure beyond the rhetorical airport and gym looks. From celebrities, musicians, and millennials to Gen Z – everyone wants to be seen in the ‘luxe leisure’ segment that’s selling like hotcakes, and the demand is expected to grow more. The current rage for limited edition sneakers, watches, glasses, and co-ord sets that is “professional enough for the office, stretchy enough for the yoga mat, and comfy enough for the sofa” doesn’t seem to fade out any time soon.    

Love for luxe: As comfort remains to be the keyword in fashion since the pandemic hit the world, every brand’s strategy has evolved in that direction. From sports brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma to luxury brands like Gucci, Versace, Dior, Prada, Fendi, and the like – everyone wants a piece of the pie. The exclusive celebrity collabs and limited-edition launches from luxury brands in athleisure clothing and accessories are lapped up every before it hits the store. From being the “ugly dad shoes” to much-anticipated “cool kicks” – sneakers have bridged the gap between comfort and luxury for buyers, and have managed to create a niche space in fashion. Among sneakerheads, the wait list for Air Jordans, Balenciaga Triple S shoes, Dior Men B30 sneakers, monogrammed Burberry sneakers, Prada Cloudbust Thunder, and Nike Air Yeezys starts even before the official release. Evidently, the demand for limited edition shoes is now being looked at as an investment and status symbol in fashion.

The rise of Athflow: The modern take on athleisure fashion is all about making a statement and making it louder than anyone else. It is radically distinctive, and futuristic with a slightly retro edge that makes the wearer confident. The transitional phase has given rise to a new fashion trend, as a popular photo search engine, Pinterest, coined the term Athflow — a mix of athleisure wear and flowy loungewear. This new trend is born from the need to strike the right balance between smart and relaxed without compromising on style. From interesting logos and signature motifs on colourful loungewear to handmade details and intricate designs on classic jackets and activewear – designers are experimenting with different aesthetics to create bespoke options in an otherwise restricted category. The rise in acceptance of activewear has taken the fashion world by storm, and creative brands are making the most of it by adding a zest of fun to everything that was once considered boring.

Loungewear meets streetwear: Fashion is cyclic and the athleisure trends are inspired by the early 2000s pop culture highlighting the hip-hop effect with oversized clothing and bling accessories. A combination of trends from the late 90s and 00s, it’s super playful, fun, and experimental. Think shiny materials, chunky sneakers, colorful sunglasses, tennis skirts, jersey dresses, crop tops, oversized hoodies, and varsity jackets that are all trending again. It’s a technicolour explosion in athleisure wear, and young fashion lovers are opting for something vibrant and optimistic to express their unique style and mood. From a burst of rainbow hues to splashing brilliant reds, luscious oranges, unabashed pinks, ultra-violet blues, and electric greens on hoodies, track pants, crop tops, and co-ord sets – the leisure-loving generation doesn’t like to play safe with dull monotones and basic black and blue tones.

Planet friendly add-ons: As the lines between working out and social meetings blur, more and more people are looking for clothes that are comfortable, fashionable, and functional. They are investing in long-lasting sustainable fabrics that let your skin breathe during physically strenuous activities. From lightweight stretch fabrics with antimicrobial properties, and natural high-breathability materials to vegan innovations using hemp and bamboo textiles – planet-friendly innovations in personalized activewear is very popular among millennials currently. Everyone who eats right and loves to show off their fit bods is automatically drawn towards products with sporty features such as big pockets, elastic knot details, etc. From metallic colors to leggings with zips and pockets, the demand for bold prints and bright colours in tights, track pants, bra-lets, shorts, hoodies, and tank tops is a popular global trend. One can also choose to stand out with neon hues, trim and sheer details, graphic tees with inspirational quotes, or happy emoticons to perk up the mood.

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