Sweat Shopping: The Newest Trend from the Spring Collections

Luxury has taken on a whole new form this season…and it’s about to get a little, uh, sweaty.

With countless designers referencing sporty chic in their spring collections, it has left editors and consumers wondering what’s going on. I agree with the WSJ on this one: sweatpants are taking casual chic to a new level. We can’t imagine sporting these comfy duds to the office or to opening night at the ballet, but some of our favorite designers have adopted the trend. Alexander Wang, Balmain, and Michael Kors are just a few of the fashion houses to offer some form of the updated workout staple.

Kors is selling his cashmere version for $995, and defends this steep cost by saying, “look, whenever you can combine fashion, style and comfort in one item, it’s going to work at retail.” Um, ok, but what about the Balmain t-shirt that costs almost as much ($1,600) as the latest “It” bag? Sounds a little excessive, but clearly these guys see potential in this trend. The $255 Rag & Bone long johns have sold out in countless stores, and Bottega Veneta swears that their version (ranging in price from $290 to $360) is selling very well. Fashion darling Alexander Wang is known for his grungy fashion-forward looks, so it was a surprise when he showed a collection pulsating with soft, grey pieces. And his show was very well received.

Let’s get something straight, though. The latest sweatpants are not meant to be worn to the local pharmacy; they are intended for much dressier, formal occasions. Loren Ridinger, senior VP for Market America, purchased a few pairs of Alexander Wang’s sweats and says “it’s all about the heels.”

So, we have to ask. Will you trade in your seasons-old leggings for something a little more cozy?