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“Athleisure”, Not In Vogue

April 15, 2016 — Rachel Bernard

Even mighty Anna Wintour with her power to make or break designers can’t kill the word athleisure. There was a time in 2015 she could have, but that time has passed. Beyonce just launched her brand of athleisure IVY PARK. And that has everyone using the word. And if anyone can SLAY Anna, it’s QUEEN BEY. It has 75K hashtags on Instagram, over 401K hits on Google. And the second entry hit on Google for the term—an article titled “The 5 Golden Rules of Athleisure” published in January this year by…wait for it…VOGUE. Wintour herself has contributed to the term becoming “in vogue” as they say.

Usage in Vogue is all it takes to make Athleisure an official word in the fashion world. And its acceptance in Merriam Webster this year makes it an unofficial word for the rest of the world. That said, it’s not truly a real word until the Oxford English Dictionary makes it so. So far they are still holding out on Athleisure. However it’s only a matter of time. The OED loves “blend” or “portmanteau” words like Athleisure that bring two words together to create a completely new word. They brought Fauxhawk, Jorts, and Flatform shoes into the dictionary in 2014. And Hangry and Mansplain last year. We predict this is the year Athleisure is brought into the tome of the English language.

Maybe Anna objects to wearing yoga pants all day, regardless of the word used to describe it. However, we suspect that the cutesy portmanteau style isn’t helping her embrace the trend. That said, it’s that adorable blending of the words that makes it attractive to the population at large and the linguists who document popular language. It’s what makes it impossible for even Anna to kill.

Nevertheless, who are we to refuse Ms. Wintour. If you want, Anna, we can create some less precocious options for the trend. Good luck getting them to stick. Our advice, just wait it out. Maybe Athleisure will go the way of peasant blouses and just fade away.

Photo courtesy of Today.

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