The Baker Orange

Athleisure added to the dictionary

Story by Whitney Silkey, Assistant News Editor

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Did the controversy over leggings being worn as real pants ever get resolved? Now that the word “athleisure” is being added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the disagreement may finally see resolution.

Athleisure is defined as “casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use.”

In the past few years, Americans have been slowly moving (or should I say jogging) toward athleisure. From wearing leggings and yoga pants as normal pants to wearing sweats and a T-shirt to the store, people of all ages are no longer hesitant to wear their athletic attire in public. Nowadays, wearing athletic shorts to a casual event does not cause any fashion uncertainty or insecurity.

When the weather is warm, senior Lindsey Mateer likes to wear running shorts and T-shirts to class around three times a week. She is comfortable wearing athletic shorts, or “norts” (short for Nike shorts) as they are often called, to class because it is more socially acceptable now than ever.

“With the classes I’m taking right now, it’s just a lot easier,” Mateer said.

Her Ceramics II class especially calls for laid-back, athletic clothes.

If you were visiting a college campus anywhere in America on any given day it would be unusual not to see many students wearing some form of athletic clothing. Sweatpants, hoodies, baseball hats and yoga pants are just a few of the articles of clothing most likely to be seen on college-aged students, but the relaxed clothing is not only limited to young adults.

As for the long-running legging as pants debate, Mateer believes that they are not pants. In her opinion they should only be worn with a long shirt or dress, but she says if other people feel comfortable wearing them as pants, then they should “go for it.”

Senior Kelsey Vollenweider, a supporter of leggings as pants, wears leggings when she runs out of clean pairs of jeans.

She believes that it is mainly the older generations who are against wearing leggings as pants.

“My mom doesn’t think anyone looks good in them,” Vollenweider said.

Regardless of whether leggings are officially deemed acceptable pants or not, the term athleisure definitely seems fitting as a new vocabulary word given the fashion changes over the past five years or so. The trend is apparent almost anywhere, and acceptable or not, it’s up to you to decide to commit to wearing jeans in the morning or to be comfortable in leggings and a T-shirt.

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