Keep It Comfy & Stylish with the Athleisure Trend

Ever since the healthcare trend hit Korea during the Pandemic in 2020, Koreans are interested in keeping their body fit and active. “Wellness” became the hot keyword of the country, leading people to enjoy hobbies like hiking, golf, pilates, yoga, and more. It only makes sense that people got to wear and search for more activewear as they exercised, and slowly made itself become a whole fashion trend. Athleisure looks became a thing in K-Fashion, and leggings are now a go-to fashion item for everyone rather than just sportswear. 

Instagram

You can see this trend when you visit the Instagram feeds of Korea’s top fashionista celebrities like Jennie, HyunA, Sunmi, etc. Matching sweats sets, biker shorts, leggings, and crop bra tops are just a few athleisure items that are most searched for. Just a few years back, with Korea being a very conservative country, wearing leggings as everyday pants without any Y-zone covers (e.g. with an oversized t-shirt, etc.) wasn’t a usual sight. But now, we don’t know why we haven’t been appreciating these both comfortable AND stylish fashion pieces earlier! Personally, I think the “god-seang” trend (discussed in this TMI article,) also played a role in the recent popularity of athleisure looks. The healthy approach of “work hard, play hard and self-care harder,” allowed many Koreans to find time to hit the gym before and after studying or working. Hence, we even see many office workers pulling off outfits that include leggings and workout clothes - it’s becoming a thing in the HIKOCO office as well 💪

We all know that Lululemon is called the “Chanel of sportswear,” with durable materials and fashionable designs, but also its premium PRICE. This is when Korean brands come in, as they do their magic of offering similar, if not the same, quality goods at a far lower price. So let me share some of the top Korean sportswear brands that are loved by not only Koreans but around the world as well.

Andar

Andar

I briefly mentioned above that wearing leggings as pants wasn’t a usual sight in the conservative country that is Korea. That’s why Korean women put more care into leggings that don't have an apparent Y-Zone fold. Andar is the brand for this! Their fabrics and designs are made to cover the Y-zone area as much as possible, as their own technology is also added to make their sportswear the easiest to move actively in. To maximise the comfortableness of their clothing, Andar tries to make them thinner and lighter. This makes sense that their bestselling collection is the “Aircooling” line, that’s perfect for extra-active workouts and for summer! Out of the three brands in this article, Andar has the most reasonable prices, which is also a feature of Andar you may want to note 👍 

Xexymix

Xexymix

Called “the nation’s athleisure brand,” Xexymix is the biggest sportswear brand in Korea. The brand recorded the most leggings sale in the country in 2021, proving both its attractiveness in quality and price. One reason for the public’s love towards Xexymix is how tight around the legs their leggings can hold onto. This tightness helps to hold the body in shape during a workout, and also acts as a body shaper for your outside-gym athleisure fashion! It’s also a plus that we have our own NZ Xexymix store available both on & offline. The store at High street (Auckland CBD) is my go-to store for my sportswear when I need them - all the colour choices you get at Xexymix keep me in the store for SO LONG 💘 My recommendation for Xexymix would be the Black Label 330N leggings and the Wide Square Neck Crop Top. Not only does Xexymix invest in their main excelling area of active sportswear, but they also reach into premium golf wear and even cosmetics! Who knows if HIKOCO might eventually stock Xexymix skincare products?

Mulawear

Mulawear

Out of the three, Mulawear would be the most premium in terms of materials and prices - I would say it’s the closest Korean athleisure brand to Lululemon! In terms of how tight the fabrics are for Mulawear, it would sit right in between Andar and Xexymix. Xexymix’s leggings might be pretty to wear, but some of them could get a little uncomfortable after a few hours. That’s when you search for your options in Mulawear. Since it does use the most high-end fabrics, I can assure you that your purchases at this brand would last a good while - it’ll last 4 to 5 years easily! Earlier this year, Mulawear has been actively launching their “Mulamens” line, for their male customers. Mulamens has been growing its sales at a rapid speed since last year, with praises mostly for their products’ quality and durability. So, it seems like all you gentlemen have a good K-fashion option for all your gym wear as well!

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