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Love It or Hate It—Athleisure

May is National Fitness Month. Join CollegeFashionista as we celebrate fashion and fitness all month long using the hashtag #CFsweats.

I recently spent a weekend doing what I do best—shopping. I was meandering around Nike with an arm full of miscellaneous apparel when I found myself in my personal safe space—the shoe section. A well-meaning sales associate stopped me and asked, “Oh so what are you training for?” I responded simply, “Does ‘life’ count as a sport?”

“Athleisure” is the buzzword the fashion industry has been using to refer to this trend. I call it, “My excuse to wear a sweatshirt, leggings and sneakers to work.” Whatever you call it, this hybrid of athletic/loungewear seems to become more than just a passing phase. After the seemingly endless number of trends that test our balance, sanity and/or self-confidence (I’m looking at you, bandage dresses), it is nice that the fashion world is giving two thumbs up to a more practical way of dressing. And my ankles could not be happier.

But this style of dressing is more than just a middle finger to the years of uncomfortable footwear and shocking hemlines. Atheleisure really embraces and encourages of an active lifestyle. It is a call for functional fashion. And I am gladly answering that call.

Just think about—I’m no mathematician, but according to my estimations, walking across campus in sneakers is 1,000 times easier than trying to do so in heels. Sitting in a three hour lecture in spandex is exponentially more comfortable than skinny jeans. And now instead of lugging my gym bag with me, I practically wear its contents 24/7. That’s one less excuse standing between me and my run.

Some naysayers think that the athleisure trend looks unpolished and is casual to the extreme. They say there is no place for sweatpants in society. To them I say, first of all, they are called “joggers,” thank you. And secondly, walk a mile in five-inch stilettos and then we can chat. Don’t have a pair? I have a plethora of them taking up space where my sneaker collection now resides.

What’s your take—love it or hate it? Share your favorite photo and opinion on social media using the hashtag #collegefashionista to join the conversation.