Athleisure is taking over the fashion world, holding its title as possibly the biggest fashion movement as of late. A few seasons running now active wear has cemented its place amongst the top trends for fashionistas around the globe. And it seems as though this street wear statement is not going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Forward-thinking millennials have taken this in their stride and have adapted it to their wardrobe to suit. Athleisure has been so successful it has managed to ensure the decrease in sales of classics such as denim. No longer is this style reserved only for the gym and the ride over to your preferred place of exercise. Now, yoga pants, sweats and hoodies are worn as everyday wear by us mere mortals and celebs alike. Ensuring its credibility on the scene, athleisure has essentially managed to blur the lines between casual and luxurious. Exploding on catwalks in 2016 by the most influential designers in the world, athletic wear has since captivated the masses. Spotted not only on the streets, this trend has gone as far as being an elemental fashion week ensemble. Don’t think you can pull it off? Neither did I! In fact, I thought the whole thing was a joke. Apparently not, so if I have grown to love it, I’m sure you can too.
In all honesty, at first, this whole athleisure concept threw me off guard. A lover of all things fashion, it initially bewildered me as to how all of a sudden tights were considered pants. How on earth had something that was seen as a faux pas months ago transformed into the epitome of cool? Are you also bewildered and lost, like Alice in this characteristically androgynous wonderland? It’s easy to be perplexed by this craze, but stick around and check out a few tips that I have learned from the best in the business. 11 different looks to make this whole experience painless. Soon, you too will have complete control over this athleisure mania and will learn to love it like I did.
CONFESSIONS OF A CLOTHES HORSE
When it comes to fashion I gravitate towards a feminine vibe. No really, I declare myself a gypsy, boho queen in the summer and structured French girl (I wish) in the winter. Don’t get this twisted though when I say feminine it doesn’t mean I don’t add masculine lines. It’s not to be confused with dainty or soft, cheap or provocative, I like to keep things edgy, but feminine. Let’s just say that athletics is not my strong suit. My idea of exercise is doing errands or a three-hour shopping spree with my best friend. Even better, spending a whole summer’s day on the beach with a good book. Taking a dip here and there counts too, right?
We’re talking the girl that almost broke it off with her boyfriend for taking her on a surprise ‘romantic’ hike. In the mountains, climbing the steepest slopes I had ever encountered. Bless his heart, he was thinking of a romantic walk through the wilderness. I had other thoughts running through my mind, admittedly they were very unkind. Most of these included my ending up behind bars, and him no longer breathing in Mother Nature’s sweetest gift, oxygen. Why? Let’s see, for starters I had one pair of hiking shoes sitting comfortably in my possession. By sitting comfortably I mean in their box, with their receipt waiting for the day I decide to renew my gym membership. I didn’t. As you can clearly see my athletic wardrobe was limited to the minimal essentials.
From a personal styling point of view, athleisure was never active (pun totally intended) on my radar. In fact, it was accepted sports clothing by yours truly as something exclusively to be worn at the gym. Heaven forbid anyone spots you at the shops or the Post Office in your Adidas sweats. The fashion God himself, Karl Lagerfeld, has been quoted as saying,
“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”
It seems as though even the elite of the fashion industry bite their words. Mixing their trademark tweed material with sportswear, Cara Delevingne was the poster girl for Chanel’s take on activewear.
No doubt about it, this style is sticking around. The numbers speak for themselves. Since this trend skyrocketed into the stratosphere, denim sales have plummeted as a result. The guys have been rocking it for years, looking delicious and stylish all at once. Why shouldn’t the ladies love it too? The materials are usually soft and the fit is comfortable, so what’s to lose? Let’s ease into the basics, for now, then we can go deeper and see where this adventure takes us. As long as I don’t end up at the gym I’m cool with it.
LESS IS MORE
When in doubt, start small. Introduce a pair of white sneakers into your line of footwear that usually includes the usual suspects (heels, flats, wedges etc.). Don’t be afraid, you don’t have to go all in at once. Pair them with your favorite jeans and you’re good to go. YES, you can leave the house like that and people will think you actually tried this morning. Amazing, right? On top throw on a hoodie and jacket too. Stylish AF. White sneakers are a no brainer, and you will wear them all the time. A cheeky alternative is to add heels to your look to really spice it up. Another way to work denim is to wear your athleisure outfit complimenting it with a leather jacket. Instant rock star.
FASHION LOVES SWEATPANTS
Have no reason to dress down or feel like you don’t need to buy a pair of sweatpants? Pretend you have joined the gym and need something other than jeans to lift weights in like I did. Minus all the weights. Gray is the go to color for sweatpants, simply because they look great on pretty much everyone. Wear them with a simple white tee or add some stripes to the mix. Make sure they’re gathered above the ankles so people can see your shoes. Again you are ready for whatever you have scheduled, whether its coffee, running errands or meeting up with your man. While we’re on the topic of boys, did you know that sweats are their favorite to see on their girl? Keeping the look casual is actually keeping him interested. Win. Go one step further from the basic grey and grab a pair of patterned pants. Love.
TIGHTS ON TREND!
Socially acceptable to wear out in public again, tights or leggings whatever you prefer have officially made their comeback. Now I have an intense dislike for tights and don’t think they should be considered pants out of the gym. According to all style forward fashion trends at the moment I am dead wrong.
Taking over from the faux leather look that was on the scene for ages, athletic tights are back and they mean business. Whether block colored or patterned, combined with see-through detailing they are a signature look in the athleisure revolution. Daring? Take a page out of Bella Hadid’s book, combine a cropped top with your chosen leggings. Keep the look minimal to avoid looking trashy, maybe adding one or two small accessories. Not ready to bear it all just yet? It’s OK, personally I don’t think I ever will be. Instead, try Gigi’s look keeping it casual and on trend. Use basic colors like black and white, topping off the whole silhouette with a cap. Wear an oversized sweatshirt/tunic covering your booty if you don’t feel comfortable wearing the tights on their own.
DYNAMIC ELEGANCE IN THE OFFICE
That’s right, I’m showing you the athleisure trend secrets that are adaptable at your place of work! I mean if we’re going all out, then we may as well try it all, right? So we have covered the basic looks, and you’ve seen the simple ways to incorporate this new trend into your wardrobe. Now we’re plunging a little deeper. Hold your breath! Nah, just kidding, I know you will rock this alternative this too. This one is a little trickier than the rest so bear with me. If you work in fashion pretty much anything on trend is not only allowed, but expected of you. You can wear this look in any way, shape or form you like, as long as you keep it fashionable. Maybe you work at an office where you don’t have a strict dress code? Either, way you’re in luck, my friend. You can wear dresses with sneakers and that can be your outfit for the day. You could even walk to work! Throw on a denim jacket or go for a camouflage print. I never saw myself wearing this look, but I have and I do, not to work, however, but as an everyday look. This is constantly my go to look when I have nothing to wear, and yet it’s comfortable and cute! Keep in mind to give your lovely limbs a quick peel and de-hair them so they don’t terrify your coworkers.
OK so maybe the dress and sneakers are not going to pass as work appropriate at your office. Your boss is probably cranky and scary, possibly sometimes possessed by paranormal creatures in the middle of the day? It doesn’t matter because there’s more where that came from. Unless specifically stating otherwise, you can wear sneakers and make them look suitable at work, not at the gym. Pair them with some jeans and a sophisticated coat. Keep colors similar, whilst having one statement piece. Lastly, a look that is appropriate for almost every office I can think of. The cherry on top, and if you’re like me and need an emergency outfit for those mornings, this is it. You know, for the days you can barely get out of bed let alone head off to work? Find your crisp, straight-leg work pants, a white t-shirt, complement with a dark blazer, finishing off with a cute backpack. Turning heads wherever you go, this is the look you can take anywhere whilst still enjoying the comforts of the athleisure trend. You will instantly look elegant, but you will have your co-workers staring in amazement wondering how you kept chipper all day. It’s all on you whether to keep them guessing or spill your secret.