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Yoga Pants in the Boardroom? Athleisure's New Mega-Merger Mixes Work and Play

Many people sneak in athleisure to their work wardrobe — and retailers have taken notice, creating pieces that go from conferences to kickboxing.

Athleisure has made its way into the mainstream vernacular, even getting added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. And why not? Research firm NDP pegs athleisure as a $44 billion market in the U.S.

Today, some retailers are looking to expand the activewear-all-day-long category to include attire that can transition from the gym to the office, not just the coffee shop.

Related: Women Defend Wearing Yoga Pants in Peaceful Parade

Wearing yoga pants to work has been a topic ripe for headlines, with some executives even claiming that a more flexible dress code can help boost creativity at the office. And, with some yoga pants ringing in at $450 a pair, it would make sense for consumers to want more mileage out of their wares.

Companies including Lululemon, Carbon 38, and Betabrand have introduced clothing that are designed to look sleek and perform in a professional environment as well as at the gym.

“It’s definitely a trend that’s here to stay,” said Reuters Retail Analyst Jharonne Martis. “We’re seeing a lot of tech startups emerging with more relaxed environments and casual dress codes. And millennials look for multi-purpose clothing now, and have major influence on fashion as the biggest group of the population.”