We all done it, we all made these athleisure mistakes before. I mean Gigi Hadid in a pair of black leggings and a duster coat, with that trademark VS hip swing, is a sight to reckon with. A sight that instantaneously brings to mind two obsessive thoughts: a) Imma hit the gym right now and get me them abs, and b) I want her wardrobe, head to toe!
A generation of overachievers means that that obsession is now a reality and as any fashion guru worth her salt will tell you, Athleisure is here for good. Not simply because we’re obsessed with models but because we now have the drive to turn into them, and we’re not afraid to swap the pizza for the chicken breast, once we set our minds on the healthy lifestyle that has in fact inspired this trend.
Athleisure is more than soiled gym clothes
Here’s the thing though: Athleisure is not gym wear. It does not simply translate into walking out the studio in track pants soiled in sweat and grime. Like when you see a Gigi or a Bella or a Kendall, do you think sexy or gross? Exactly! And seriously just ask yourself, when has any trend existed without rules? The world of fashion is an unforgiving one, my friend. At least with Athleisure we still get to have plenty of comfort (that’s the whole point, duh!) while keeping up with the trend. But before you rush out of a yoga class in your greasy hair, know that there are still dos and don’ts that apply. Even for a trend as laid back as this one, it is still possible to look well turned out, glamorous even! However, certain malpractices can take this straight to the opposite direction and a far cry from the Hadid vision you started out in mind with.
We’re talking about the most commonly made mistakes with Athleisure trend and how you can avoid them:
Athleisure Mistake #1 You’re getting too comfortable with it
Snap out of it! It’s true, no trend has ever promoted comfort like Athleisure has. It really is the only trend that rings in true your lifelong dream of being able to eat, sleep, work and workout in the same clothes (unlike one particular denim brand would have us believe, no offense, Levis). But hey, this is still fashion and this is still a trend. And there’s a line you need to draw between comfortable and way too much. Back in the days when activewear was strictly for workouts, it was a forgivable offense to wear the same set of tracksuit the entire week, because it was just between you and your gym instructor (and we all know he’s the least judgmental of all men we’ll ever meet in life).
But now that you intend to step out and straight into work in the same outfit, we’re sorry we’ll have to call you out on the armpit sweat stains and washed out color. No matter how comfortable you’re planning on getting, treat a trend like a trend. Shop with brands that specifically design Athleisure clothing, and build a wardrobe around it, like you would with party wear or formal wear. Look beyond greys and navies; there’s now a whole range of pastels and neons to choose from. There’s also the hybrid concept of activewear-inspired clothing which is for those who’ve never seen a gym in their life.
Athleisure Mistake # 2 You’re skimping on quality
With more and more high street brands giving up on fast fashion practices and high-end brands launching lower-priced collections for the masses, ‘Quality over Quantity’ is a fashion motto that doesn’t go undetected. But we only have a limited budget! Which is why it’s imperative to be especially discerning when shopping for Athleisure. Pick up only a few pieces if that’s all you can afford, but make sure they’re of a high quality make. The temptation of wanting to snag 10 shoddy crop tops, each featuring different styles and colors, is high, but if they’re of poor quality, it will speak poorly of you, not make you the trendista you aspired to be. A few well-made pieces are not just great fashion additions to your wardrobe, they’re also likely to have a greater shelf life, so you get the most out of those few.
Another thing to remember is quality doesn’t invariably mean high-end brands. Rather look out for fabrics that are breathable, comfortable, sweat-resistant and easily maintained. When buying budget brands, avoid too many details like busy prints in clashing colors or embellishments, because too much going on within a tight price structure is an invariable compromise on the finishing. Rather, look for classic color combinations and clean cuts—versatile pieces that you can mix and match.
Like we’ve all been told repeatedly in that style course we never attended, inexpensive and cheap, expensive and quality, are not always the same thing.
Athleisure Mistake # 3 Your underwear game is messy
This is such an obvious thing it hurts to even talk about it. But if only we could have a dollar for every time people messed up in this department, it would have been the quickest way to get rich! Of course, choosing the right underwear is imperative with all trends, but thanks to the form-fitting silhouette of the Athleisure trend, it is all the more important that you select the right cut, color and fabric for your underwear under your leggings, jeggings or yoga pants. Panty lines or mismatched thongs peeking out are the most potent killers of your style game.
Sports and corset bras worn as outerwear is a major aspect of Athleisure, more so when you have the washboard abs to flaunt. However, they shouldn’t come across as obvious undergarments, rather opt for the right styles (caged bras are ok, underwired t-shirt bras, NOT!) that fit in seamlessly with the sporty-made-stylish look. And the most important of all, SUPPORT! For Chrissakes, wear your size right and make sure the bra performs the first and foremost job it was entrusted with.
Athleisure Mistake # 4 You’re accessorizing it all wrong
It is indeed a challenge to constantly glam up a look that was meant for comfort first. And then to do it right! But the fact is, the moment you decide to take athletic wear out for a walk on the streets, to your boardroom, or to a party at the end of the day, you’re dressing down no more. The right accessories are key to elevating a plain gym look to a very real trend of the minute. The wrong ones won’t just make zero contribution, they will also result in a very confusing, uncoordinated look.
For example, a pair of aviators or mirror sunglasses work, vintage cat eyes don’t. A jacket is a great way to tie together separates of track pants and cropped bra, but if you throw over a structured blazer just because you’re on your way to work, it won’t be such a wise decision. Instead, look for leather jackets, bombers, zip-up hoodies or even shearling coats to pair with your activewear. One easy way of making different pieces work is to wear them all in the same color but with different textures. So if you have a lycra sports bra on with flannel bottoms, and a trenchcoat to finish, just ensuring that they are in one single color, say black, finishes the look without any bumps.
And unless you’re pierced, give the jewelry a miss. Athleisure is essentially a minimalistic style.
Athleisure Mistake # 5 You’re not paying attention to what goes on your feet
On your feet we mean. You’d be happy that after all the detailed tear down of this trend and the rules that apply, there is but one very easy way to work this trend. With just the right pair of shoes! In all probability, shoes were the first infiltration of performance wear into everyday clothing. You’ll know what we mean when you swap your heels for a pair of white sneakers with your LBD; the LBD-bomber-sneaker look is almost a modern-day classic! And with sportswear brands flooding the market with sports shoes in more styles than ever, it’s pretty clear what they want you wearing more often.
Just as true is the other way around. Remember when we said Athleisure is a trend and hence way more glam than sportswear? Well, just try wearing heels with your track pants or metallic brogues with the yoga pants: it’s an instant party wear transformation!
Athleisure Mistakes Bonus
Lastly, don’t get too serious with this trend. The whole idea of blurring lines between event-appropriate clothing is to relax the norms. It wouldn’t be all that effective if you got too worked up trying to figure out color palettes and textures and prints. One tip that almost always works: If you’re so hung up on this trend (any other trend really, but more likely this), aim at achieving what this trend is all about—a commitment to fitness. Like Kendall Jenner suggests, get off that couch and get moving. After all, leggings will almost always look good on well-muscled glutes, and a flash of plank-treated abs will be admired, no matter what you’re wearing.
Let us know what Athleisure Mistakes did we miss in the comments below.