2016 has seen the trend of athleisure (def. casual clothing — like yoga pants, sweat pants, and hoodies — that are designed to be worn both for exercising and for doing (almost) everything else) hit off harder than a boxing class, and thankfully we here at Active in Style HQ are absolutely loving every minute of.
When the likes of Victoria Beckham was seen grabbing a post-SoulCycle smoothie in a chic combo of sportswear, or when Kendall and Gigi strolled the streets of Hollywood in an effortless look of sleek yoga leggings and a cropped bomber jacket, we knew something was up. Gone are the days where you’d rather be caught dead than seen in your gym clothes. Now, women all over the world are ditching their stilettos for a comfy pair of trainers, and following suit with a wardrobe that’s all about convenience and style.
The athleisure trend has emerged thanks to more and more women signing up to their local gyms and workout classes, and choosing to carry on with their daily to-dos. This has thus seen the social acceptance of wearing gym clothes outside an active environment. With many different fashion designers jumping on board, as well as new and emerging brands producing adaptable styles, women today are able to dress for the school run, grabbing a coffee with the girls, attending a business meeting, or even drinks in the evening all the while wearing comfortable, sporty gear. Athleisure is something that is now considered regular everyday wear like a pair of jeans, and what makes it even more acceptable is that it’s a style that’s easier to pull off than one would think.
Women of all ages, shapes and sizes can make the athleisure trend work to their own personal style. So, whether it’s wearing yoga leggings with a slouchy tank, or jeans, boots and an an oversized t-shirt, there are styles to make it work whichever way you like.
Main style note: opt for bold leggings, mesh-details, caps and unique sports bras. Although the key is to know when to rein it in; there is a very thin line between post-spin sweat and sporty-chic. Go for shades in nudes, greys, dark blues and charcoals with muted patterns, and style them up with a pop of colour, whether it be in your sports bra or sporty accessory to nail the trend to its fullest.
Black is Back
If in doubt, stick to what you know. Start off with classic blacks and whites, and minimalistic patterns to really get that comfortable, athleisure vibe down pat. Wearing bright, bold patterns is going to draw attention, like in any fashion style, so make sure you get the basics right before moving onto anything more vibrant that would usually be out of your style-scope. You could always start with a brightly coloured trainer or sneaker to see how it feels.
Accessorise it up
Want to really take your outfit from studio to street in a few easy steps? Then you need to make sure you are using your accessories to the best of their ability. Throw on a pair of bold looking sunglasses or a trendy cap. We love our Athleisure Cap for this easy transaction. Next, add a leather jacket or tie an oversized shirt around your waist. Khloe Kardashian is a big fan of this look. The point of this is to use your accessories to give a sleek, finished look that has a sporty feel post-gym class.
Mix and Match your style
Invest in pieces that you can mix and match to create all kinds of different looks for different occasions. When choosing your staple pieces look for something that is not only versatile in its looks, but also in its fabric. You are going to be wearing these pieces much more than the other pieces in your wardrobe, so they need to be strong and suitable. Nothing that is see-through, that pinches in the wrong places, or clings in the areas you wish they didn’t (we all know that feeling). Look for performance fabrics that are made for this; high resistant and long-wearing. Investing in quality means you will get more wear out of it and allows you to style it up over and over again.
Add a POP of colour
Channel your inner sporty spice and pop in colour. Add in subtle hints of colour to really make your outfit stand out more… but without being too OTT. Pair a bright neon sports bra with an understated tee, or keep it plain and simple up top then let your shoes or leggings do the talking. The idea is to stick to one or two different areas, and subtly add in a splash of colour there, with little to no effort.
Don’t be afraid to style it up
Because the athleisure trend is one that is super comfortable to wear (about time!!), you have to stay extra vigilant in order to not look like you’ve just rolled out of bed. Make sure that you are keeping your pieces in tip top condition. Follow care instructions when washing, dedicate a space in your wardrobe to them. Clothes with rips or stains are a no-no if you want to really nail this trend. Stay classy, stay sassy and stay creative. Why not pair your sports bra with a pair of high-waisted jeans/leggings, or accessorise with chic jewellery and a cute jacket? Easy.
Confidence is key
Have you ever watched those gym bunnies after they finish an intense workout? They are high on life and pumping with endorphins. They are nailing it, and that is exactly what kind of attitude you need to get out and live your best life. So stick on those oversize sunnies, grab a coffee and strut your stuff. Because, girl are owning it!
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IMAGES BY THE TALENTED TOMMY REYNOLDS