People in the fashion industry have a penchant for making up new words. The latest example? Athleisure. As you might assume, athleisure wear refers to clothing that could be worn for either athletic or leisure activities, and covers everything from bomber jackets to leggings to bodycon dresses. So what differentiates between those cashmere sweaters meant for the office and those meant as athlesiure wear?

an image from Lululemon's Holiday campaign (glitter color currently sold out)

an image from Lululemon's Holiday campaign (glitter color currently sold out)

The answer is really in the hands of the customer. Of course certain items, like sweatpants (yes, even if they are cashmere) and sports bras, will likely never be considered office appropriate. But that isn't stopping designers from trying. The brands embracing this new trend range from Lululemon to Chanel. It has really become a catch all for sporty items that can be worn both on the track and outside the gym.

As is the case with many trends, it's unclear why this style has become so popular but I have a few guesses. Over the past few years, hundred of healthy habits campaigns have been launched by a variety of individuals like Coca Cola, the CFDA, and Michelle Obama. Since then it has become the it thing for many to brag about their latest workout or health binge, posting images of their new squat PR to Instagram and Twitter. And what is the easiest way to broadcast your fit focused lifestyle? By wearing clothes that make it look like you're either coming from or going to the gym. It doesn't matter if you haven't actually visited the gym in a few months, you can still give the impression that you're not only just as healthy minded as Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls, but just as fashionable too.

Check out some of my favorite athleisure items below or head over to Net-a-Sporter (yup, that's a thing) to see what athletic gear means to high end designers.