one are the days of gyms being a place where you'd just workout in your old worn out college t-shirt and basic mesh shorts. Now, it’s become a place where people not only go to work out, but also go to show off their latest and greatest fashionable activewear.
We’re going to take a look at why this is key for your sales pitches in a bit, but first let’s go over when this shift took place and then talk about how you can take advantage of it. All of the following can be worked into your sales pitches to clients looking for athletic wear.
People want versatility.
One reason for this shift in mentality is the athleisure boom in fashion. Over a decade ago, retailers ignited this fashion revolution, which gave people a category of clothing that was made for an active lifestyle, but also filled their need for something that was comfortable, sporty and stylish.
Now, wearing elevated activewear has become the everyday norm, especially, with the increase in hybrid lifestyles blurring the lines between work, home and leisure attire. It’s why this category even out-performed all others in total sales for fashion in 2021. It’s anticipated that athleisure sales will grow to whopping $549 billion by 2028.
Customers are interested in trimming down their wardrobes and buying key pieces of apparel that are stylish enough to be worn across multiple settings like while your in the office, on a lunch with friends, enjoying your morning jog, and of course, working out at the gym.
That’s why you’re seeing lots of spandex and sweat-wicking fabrics being added into every category of clothing. Comfort is key in our wardrobe today, so performance properties have become a big part of that too.
Staying camera ready.
Another reason people are dressing up for the gym is the rise of social media and the constant documentation of everyday life. When people are filming themselves all-day, every-day, they want to make sure they look their best. From mirror “selfies” to snap-chating your spin class, the younger generation is capturing every moment they can on their phones. They're even filming themselves before, during and after their workouts in their home gyms.
“When you look good, you feel good.”
It’s the age old saying and it’s also influencing how we dress to the gym. Numerous studies have shown that when you’re feeling good about yourself, your performance increases in all aspects of your life, especially when exercising.
One popular fashion magazine stylist did an experiment with their team on this theory, and shared her personal experience. She wasn't your typical daily gym goer and would rather be writing about activewear fashion trends than exercising in them. Her approach to this experiment was to wear several different stylish activewear outfits throughout a week’s time, which included: leopard matching sets, sustainable fashion items, quality fabrications and stylish silhouettes. Then, she had to decipher if dressing well changed her approach and attitude towards exercising.
What was the verdict? Drumroll please…wearing stylish outfits did actually help to increase her performance and all around attitude towards those workouts. Just looking in the mirror and seeing herself in clothes that she felt confident in and matched her personality pushed her harder than before. If you want to read more details about this experiment, check out her full article here.
So, how do you translate all this into sales?
All three of these factors show that carrying premium "fashion-forward" products are the key to giving you clients more impressions and merch sales. Here’s how you can convince your customers of that.
The easy road to more impressions.
Without a doubt, if someone’s favorite fitness studio is selling merch, the average person is most likely to buy something if its made by their favorite retail brand. Household names like Adidas and Champion can really help to elevate your giveaways and products, almost assuring you that they’ll be worn day in and day out. Fitness studios, gyms and lifestyle brands should especially take note of this. They have to compete with all the other high-end fitness apparel in the market, and give people a reason to choose their merch over the premium stuff that's already in their closets.
Make a statement.
People love wearing things that convey a message. Diversity, inclusivity and sustainability messaging is something we’re seeing on apparel more and more these days. Try pitching some cool decoration ideas centered around powerful messaging to make your apparel more enticing to buy and wear. Motivational and uplifting phrases never go out of style, so this is a way to help your client's decorated apparel stand out from the crowd. It also puts their company side by side with whatever the messaging might be, which could be a bonus for brand promotion.
Be fashion forward.
Remember, it's not just about being at the gym and working out, it's also about finding something sporty and fashionable enough that it can be used in all kinds of settings. Here are a few examples of some great versatile options for the athleisure lovers out there.
These are still really big in the athleisure market because of their versatility. They're great for going on jogs and wearing during and after office working hours. There are a lot more unique options popping up in this category like the Adidas Heather Block Print Quarter-Zip Pullover. It has a really unique texture, along with some color-blocking options that really stand out from the crowd.
Leggings are everywhere, and a lot of that has to do with their comfortability. They're being worn inside the house, out to the gym, to the mall and even sometimes the the office. If you can get a pair with moisture wicking properties and an iconic brand logo on it, clients will love the results.
Cropped tops have continued growing in popularity over the past year and they're perfect for putting together a sporty look that's right on-trend.
Finding something unique to wear is what it's all about in today's fashion world, so adding a few performance outerwear options that stand out, could help round out your client's athletic collection.
Become their first choice.
So, the next time you're pitching to a client looking for athletic styles, try including some of these talking points to help convince them that they should be buying premium fashion-forward styles. Not only will it help them get more for their money, but also help to bring in more profits for your business, along with making you their go-to person for everything athletics.