Sportswear, Activewear, and Athleisure wear are everywhere: Can you spot the difference?

Athleisure and Gym wear

Hint: Hot pants are real-short shorts and yoga pants are everyone’s favorite athleisure wear!

Long ago, during the stone age, man used to live in caves and run in the wild. He wore animal hides to keep himself from cold and wind. There were no sportswear, activewear or the much-hyped athleisure wear. Nothing whatsoever.

Is it a possibility that our ancestors wore animal hides as gym clothes? Did they have gyms at all? Anyways, keeping the differences in mind will help you avoid the sacrilege of the rules of sportswear style.


It all began with sports...

Sports that aim to use, maintain, or improve physical activity are a part of our culture. In many cultures, the history of sports dates back to 2000 BC. It might come to you as a shock that during the early Olympics men competed naked.

The birth of Sportswear...

Athleisure and gym wear beginning

Sportswear did not come into existence until the 18th century when knickerbockers became an accepted form of clothing for baseball players. The necessity of a uniform lead to the invention of knickerbockers which were the style of trousers for active sports in general.

Contradictory to the fact that many people believe sportswear and activewear to be the same, they are far from being similar. Matter of fact, you will find two search results (among many others) for ‘sportswear’. So, with the best of our knowledge and hopes of not messing the meaning of the two terms, take Sportswear as fashionable, relaxed, and casual clothing.

...and Activewear

Athleisure and sports wear are every where
Activewear so is clothing designed and specialized to meet the necessities of an athlete's body during vigorous physical activity. Any Garment that falls under the category of activewear is of enduring quality, serves a specific function, wicks moisture, and is comfortable to wear.

There’s more to it than what meets the eye…

As if understanding and accepting sportswear and activewear as two different entities were any less of a charade, a new term has dropped into the scene in the recent past, and that’s athleisure. Most people have accepted athleisure trends in 2019, and why not?

Athleisure meaning and yoga pants

Brought into the scene by the brand Lululemon, only the most resilient people have been able to resist the revolution athleisure has manifested in cafes, condos, streets, schools, and literally everywhere!


Let’s go through a bunch of facts to figure out whether or not you got the difference between sportswear, activewear, and athleisure. Shall we?

India loves cricket but did you know that the Indian National Kabaddi team has won all the world cups? With that said, remember that while they play Kabaddi, players wear activewear.

A windcheater isn’t activewear, or is it? You may wear it to a sports event and not actually play. This implies that the garment exudes a casual and relaxed style while you actually watch others play and perform. That’s exactly what sportswear is. It looks like activewear, may (or may not) cater to similar physical requirements and looks oh-so-fashionable.

Almost 70 different brands manufacture yoga tights, producing a total of 8,574 styles.
Shop for a pair of yoga tights from Jump USA and that’s athleisure wear. Ever seen people in sweatshirts? (THE LAST SWEATSHIRT WAS SPOTTED THIS MORNING:D) Yep, they are athleisure wear. Not sportswear, not activewear, ATHLEISURE...

What, When, and How...

Now that you know the difference, here are some handy tips that will help keep everything coming up waters:

Chunky sports shoes are the key to looking effortlessly cool. If you are hit by wanderlust, own at least one pair of sports shoes, for they will serve you a comfortable walk through the paths untrodden. 

You can dress-up or dress-down a sweatshirt as you like it!

sportswear bra and yoga pants

Yoga heals the body, mind, and soul. Yoga pants are as versatile as yoga itself. Own a bunch of yoga tights. Wear them to heal your body with yoga, to soothe the mind with some cappuccino with friends, and to treat your yearning soul by traveling to someplace quiet. 


Here is some random advice on how not to bother with this confusion:

Do not succumb to negativities looking at the uhh-mazing Instagram models. Figure out your own style and feel blessed to be able to wear those pretty tights or that uber-cool sweatshirt you own. 

Even if you happen to be the ‘I don’t care’ type person, wash gym clothes (even if you wear sportswear as gym wear and activewear as athleisure...) after every workout. This will help avoid an unwanted rendezvous with germs and to stay unharmed of the confusion. 


Now that you are plenty of words wiser and minutes older…

It doesn’t matter whether you wear sportswear, activewear or athleisure wear unless physical comfort shreds in ruins. Nonetheless, it is wise to pick the right kind of clothes for different activities. 

Take it like this:

Prefer hiking shoes over casual sports shoes for a hiking expedition. Favor compression garments over yoga tights if you plan to run a marathon. (or a few more miles than usual!) Carry a heavy-duty, fashionable windcheater while heading out towards the storm's eye. (okay, bad weather it is!)

Whatever you wear, it should be perfect for the need of the day. The only thing you need to keep in mind is ‘to look close.`` Yes, taking a close look at the material/fabric of a garment/shoe will help you figure out whether or not to wear it for a particular activity. 

However, don’t bother much if you find sports shoes to be the holy grail of footwear or if you have vowed to take yoga pants to the grave. Nobody is judging. Nobody will. Come back here to read more about athleisure affections, sportswear styles, and activewear affinities.

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