The busier our lives get, the more important it is that our clothing serves multiple purposes and is both functional and fashionable. Enter athleisure wear. What was once a trend has now become a ubiquitous style of dress that nearly everyone wears sometimes, but what is athleisure wear and how do you incorporate it into your everyday style while still looking put together and fashionable?
What Is Athleisure Wear?
Athleisure wear can be defined as clothing that can be worn both for workouts and casual everyday wear. It’s slightly different from activewear, which is specifically designed for use in sports, exercise, and outdoor adventures but can also be fashionable streetwear. Athleisure wear is trending because it can go from the gym to the street or simply be worn to live your daily life. No one is quite sure how the athleisure wear trend started, because it wasn’t all that long ago that people wouldn’t have dared to go to the grocery store in their athletic wear. Today, it’s not only acceptable, it’s actually a popular style of dress because it’s highly convenient, reflects our increasing focus on the importance of health, and compliments our busy schedules.
How to Wear Athleisure Wear?
Wearing athleisure wear should look and feel effortless for lounging purposes, but it might take a little bit of time before you nail down your signature look. Many people want to try the athleisure wear trend but are concerned that they will look unkempt or sloppy, but it’s definitely possible to look put together while rocking your favorite athleisure pieces. The secret to pulling off the athleisure trend is to combine comfy and functional pieces, like high-rise yoga pants, a sports bra, a crop top, joggers, hoodie, or sneakers, with pieces that are purely fashionable, like high heels, a military jacket, or jeans. There are also plenty of athleisure pieces that are designed with fashion in mind and are intended to go from the gym to the grocery store, so look for items that incorporate fashionable elements like intricate straps on sports bras, cut-outs or mesh panels, or fashion-forward prints like camouflage. If you’re ready to take your athleisure look to the next level, keep these tips in mind:
One of the keys to a pulled-together athleisure look is layering. Layering shows that you’ve put thought into the composition of your outfit and adds a layer of complexity and sophistication when done properly. Layer fashion pieces, like a leather jacket, over your favorite athleisure tank top, or add in an interesting sports bra that peeks out from underneath your favorite shirt. Throwing on a long cardigan, wrap, or sweatshirt over your track pants and tank will help elevate your sportswear look without looking like you’re trying too hard.
While you might not normally accessorize your workout outfits, adding the right accessories to your athleisure look will help express your personal style and also add a touch of fashion to your functional outfit. The key to successfully accessorizing your athleisure outfit is to keep things simple and in line with the overall sporty and casual vibe of the outfit. You can add a cute pair of sunglasses to your look, or throw on a baseball cap, or you can choose to add some simple gold jewelry. Don’t choose anything too large or flashy or it might clash with your look, but a simple pair of gold or silver earrings or a necklace will compliment your outfit. A nice handbag or cute backpack will work, too.
There’s no worse feeling than heading to an event and showing up totally underdressed, so make sure you consider the occasion and dress code when you’re choosing your outfit. It would be hard to incorporate athleisure wear into, say, an outfit for a wedding, but you’ll be chic, stylish, and comfortable in your athleisure outfit at brunch or running errands. The more casual the setting, the more functional pieces you can incorporate into your look, while more formal events will call for more fashion pieces.
Athleisure pieces are available in tons of fun prints and colors, especially leggings and sports bras, so buying these luxe pieces is a fun way to add a pop of personality into your look. However, your outfit can quickly go from quirky and interesting to tacky if you don’t color coordinate. Try sticking with one color scheme to make your athleisure look more cohesive, like several different shades of grey, all black, or other neutral shades, and then adding a pop of color like tie-dye in your sneakers or sports bra.
Balance Your Outfit
Athleisure can look put together and chic, but it can also look sloppy if the wrong pieces are worn. In order to avoid that unkempt look, balance your outfit by pairing loose pieces with pieces that are more fitted, such as a pair of yoga pants with a flowy tank and long cardigan, or a pair of drawstring sweatpants with a fitted tank and structured jacket. If you wear only loose-fitting pieces, you run the risk of looking sloppy, while wearing only fitted pieces makes it look like you are just wearing your workout clothes. Using both fitted and relaxed pieces adds an element of sophistication that shows your look was well thought out.
Athleisure pieces are often made from soft and stretchy fabrics like spandex and polyester blends that are designed to allow you to move freely while you workout. While this is ideal for keeping you comfortable, it’s not the most fashionable look on its own because all of your clothing is likely to have the same texture unless you add in another element. Adding a military jacket, puffer vest, leather moto jacket, or another piece with a noticeably different texture than the rest of your outfit ups the visual interest factor and elevates your look.
Incorporate Fashion Footwear
Who says shoes that are comfortable can’t be fashionable? Your gym sneakers are running shoes probably aren’t the best addition to your outfit because they’re likely to be dirty and a little too functional, but there are tons of fashion sneakers on the market that offer the sporty look, comfort, and support without sacrificing style.