Target Is Trying to Make Swim Leggings Happen

Swim leggings are apparently a thing now. (Photo: Courtesy)

Apparently leggings have no limits. The style, once reserved for women working out at home to Jane Fonda jazzercise videos or in the comfort of a yoga studio, has transcended the exercise realm to become an acceptable silhouette nearly everywhere. The rise of athleisure has brought spandex to the streets, and now Target wants to take leggings to the sea — seriously. 

Target’s latest collaboration with Finnish pattern company Marimekko introduced the consumer to an innovation in legwear: the swim legging. Selling for $24.00 when the collection drops on April 17, the pants will be available in the brand’s black and white floral Paprika print and blue and white wave-like Lokki print. They’re available in regular and extended sizes. 

“A majority of the apparel focuses on swimwear as it ties back to the idea of creating an eternal summer,” Target explained. “The swim leggings are a different take on the traditional full body wetsuit and can be paired with the long-sleeve rash guard tops that are part of the collection as well.” 

Target isn’t the first retailer to try and make swim leggings happen. Companies focusing on water sports such as Roxy, Billabong, and BodyGlove have recently introduced surf leggings, but these are generally produced in wetsuit material for cold water use. Lands’ End, Athleta, and Speedo also sell styles marketed for kayakers and paddle-boarders who are working out on the water but not necessarily in it. 

So is there a market for swim leggings? Possibly. For those who crave modesty at the beach but yearn for something lighter than neoprene one-pieces, surf tights certainly offer this. Outside of this niche audience though, that consumer group might be slim. 

But considering leggings have defied all odds to become a wardrobe staple for women everywhere, it’s entirely possible that Target’s onto something. Will beaches be filled with women wearing tights with bikini tops? Summer can’t come soon enough. 

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