Maybe we’ve all just gotten lazy — or maybe fashion has just become more functional, but these days, every major designer seems to have an activewear line. And wouldn’t it be nice to roll up to the club in sweatpants instead of an uncomfortable thigh-bearing mini-skirt? Or not have to dress up for brunch at a trendy hot spot when you are too hungover to deal? To find out if it truly is socially acceptable to wear designer loungewear anywhere, we reached out to a few people who control the velvet ropes at some of the city’s most exclusive haunts.
At PH-D Lounge, it’s a hard no. “The glam and style of nightlife is still important to ensure a seamless entry into a venue like PHD Terrace or PHD Rooftop Lounge,” says Laurent Baud, the director of marketing and promotions for PHD Terrace.
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“Even though high end brands are selling sweat suits for pricey tags, they will never replace the icon of style and a gentleman’s class. If a guest showed up in sweats, we would politely decline entry or politely ask that hotel guest to go back to their room to change into an outfit that fits the dress code,” he says. For what it’s worth, Baud says they’ll totally let you in if you’re wearing jeans.
This would most likely disappoint Alexander Wang, who kicked off the whole activewear trend in 2014 with his H&M capsule collection. At the time, Wang told us one of his ideas for the collection was “sports at night.” For him, it was never really about the gym. “I’m not an athlete. I don’t work out, but I wear gym clothes almost every day,” he told us.
There’s a little bit more flexibility at swanky cocktail lounge The Skylark. “We’re not looking for people to roll up in their high school lacrosse sweats, but with everyone from Stella McCartney to Y-3, Fendi, Versace and Chanel making great activewear, our door people need to keep an eye out for guests who show up looking stylish and put together, not sloppy or lazy,” says David Rabin, who is a partner for The Skylark. “I’m sure most people will understand that stylish venues are expecting guests to show up looking smart.”
While activewear is definitely more socially acceptable outside of yoga class than it used to be, it looks like you have to take your chances when it comes to this trend. At least, for now.
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence