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Not Athleisure

Sep 26, 2016

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Somewhere in our cultural evolution, we developed a sweet tooth for success at no cost. This comes to us from every angle – whether it’s clothing, cosmetics, food, and more.

Effortless chic.

Instant results.

Quick workouts.

It’s a world of image and illusion. Where it’s uncool to look like you’re trying, and the rallying cry is, “Go big, or go home!” But at the same time, “Never let them see you sweat.”

In the case of athleisure (the fashion trend that continues to be a powerful juggernaut), the trend caters to this perfectly. It’s an offering that lets people wear the workout, without actually having to do the workout.

So why does that matter? After all, doesn’t Oiselle serve to benefit from the growth?

Yes and no.

It’s not that we can’t all appreciate the value of wearing Lux Pants to the grocery store, or a cozy hoodie to brunch. The problem is that it trivializes the other days; the hard work.

And especially for girls and women, the myth of effortless beauty is incredibly dangerous. We fight the power early and often, and may spend an entire lifetime getting sane in our heads – only to watch a new generation of girls bombarded with the same BS.

When Title IX came along, the world seemed to say, okay, you can do sports. But don’t DO them too much. Don’t be out of control. Don’t look bad. Don’t scare people! Or as Madonna sings in What it Feels Like for a Girl, “When you open up your mouth to speak, can you be a little weak?”

We see pop culture transform something that is beautiful, exactly because it’s difficult, into an artificial version of strength. And when this conventional beauty is the engine driving this trend, toxic visual icons are left in its wake. Over-styled, airbrushed, or hyper-thin bodies modeling the styles that may not even be capable of doing the activities they mimic.

Backing up to what we know about living our lives as athletes. We not only know what the work really looks like, we know what it feels like. We feel it in our legs, our blood, our core. We rise up against inertia, we put on our warrior garb, and we face the challenge of simply taking that first step.

As for leisure, yes, we runners nail it. But we also know that rest is as crucial as exertion. The breaking down and building up of muscle fibers as we increase our strength, speed, endurance.

Hard, easy, hard, easy, etc… there is no secret. It is only this. And it’s the same no matter who you are, from the newbie jogger to the Olympic medalist. And when we honor what it takes to do this, to work our asses off, and share it instead of hide, we do a lot of good in the world. 

Athleisure? No thanks.

We make apparel for athletes.

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