Vintage 90s athleisure is not for the faint of heart. It holds no prisoners barred. It demands a rigorous dedication and a no-nonsense approach to potential egg-on-your-face moments. If you object to looking like an extra on Saved by the Bell, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air or Clarissa Explains it All, forget it (and shame on you, those kids were BOSS!), this look is not for you!
Vintage 90s athelsiure is not just for gym goers. Now, we all know how much I love the gym. No, really, I do. I love the fresh smell of sweat, the residual butt marks the previous users leaves behind on the hip abductors (yes, I’m name-dropping and it’s not just to prove that I go, OK?) and not to forget the iron-pumping Soviets that hog the mirror because the lighting is insanely bright and shows up every ripped muscle in their Czech neck. OK, its not all love that I have for the gym. You could say we have a love/hate relationship. BUT, since I have started working out in the last few years I have actually really felt stronger in body and in mind. Yes, I cry a little every time I squat but that’s totally normal, right?
You can do whatever you want, I’m not the boss of you. Unless you don’t believe in free will, then I’m afraid you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of pre-determined plans for your sorry ass life. BUT, here’s my two cents. Vintage 90s athleisure is the PERFECT sartorial choice for the gym. Vinyl leggings? Equally as cool for working out or visiting a Berlin sex dungeon – you decide. Oversized shell suit track top? Am I motivating a bunch of goth-to-boss recruits or filming a Rocky style montage for a fun new Will Ferrell movie? Who knows? One thing I do know is that these vinyl leggings make people smile. They’re very deceiving because they are cotton on the back. It eases the viewer into a false sense of security until I turn around and BAM! It’s a pants party and everyone’s invited.
There you have it. Scrunchies, bombers and flouro leggings at the ready, put your Air Jordans on and keep on pedalling. 90s athleisure is here to stay (for a very limited time only, I’d imagine, it’s fairly rotten!).
Pictures by Neal Byrne.
Words by Mary Cate Smith.