More than ever our busy and hectic lives demand comfortable and practical clothes. Of course, giving up on style is simply not an option, so how do we combine fashion and function together to create a chic but totally wearable look? Athleisure is the answer. Turning performance wear into everyday wear, athleisure is blurring the lines between the clothes you’d wear to the gym and those you’d wear to lunch. So, whether you’re off to the dance studio or hitting the streets, your outfit can now do it all. With no need to lug around a change of clothes or struggle in heels during a long day, it’s no wonder why this booming industry keeps getting bigger.
What is Athleisure?
The term “athleisure” has now been added to the dictionary and is defined as “casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use.” Although this definition may technically be correct, it’s also a little dull. The true beauty of athleisure is that it’s both practical and completely fashionable. The relaxed and cool style blends sportswear with ready-to-wear to create styles that are chic and comfortable. More than a simple trend, athleisure reflects a change in lifestyle, it goes hand-in-hand with an increased health consciousness, busy schedules, and relaxed standards of dress. As such, this effortlessly stylish apparel movement is here to stay, so it’s time to invest.
How to Wear Athleisure
Mix Function with Fashion
Nail the athleisure look by mixing function with fashion, both in terms of the athleisure pieces you buy and how you integrate them into your regular wardrobe. By blending fashion pieces such as jeans, a leather jacket or heels with activewear pieces such as sneakers, sweat pants or a sports bra, you’ll create a well-balanced look. Likewise, by keeping an eye out for athleisure pieces that are comfortable and sports-inspired yet stylish and chic, you’ll be sure to invest in only the best items. In particular, high-performance fabric mixed with an on-trend aesthetic is a great option.
Dress for the Occasion
Taking your activewear out of the gym requires acknowledging when it’s appropriate to wear and when it’s not. Although athleisure probably isn’t the style you want to rock to a job interview or a wedding, it is perfect for when you’re heading out for lunch or evening drinks. As a rule, the more formal the occasion or location, the more fashionable (ready-to-wear) your outfit should be. The more casual the occasion, however, the more functional (activewear) you can dress.
Complete athleisure looks by accessorising appropriately. Stick to a sleek, sports vibe but add a touch of your personal style. A pair of aviator sunglasses, a baseball cap, or a stylish backpack will all work perfectly. Also, don’t forget about jewellery. Jewellery will add the perfect street style touch to your athleisure look, but don’t overdo it. A simple pair of gold or silver hoop earrings or a thin chain necklace is all you need.
Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Athleisure
- Do mix sports pieces into your regular fashion wardrobe for a balanced look.
- Do get creative, especially when it comes to mixing pieces and layering.
- Do follow seasonal activewear trends.
- Do mix fashion fabrics, like denim and leather, with high-performance, sports fabrics.
- Do make sure all your athleisure pieces are clean and in good condition.
- Don’t throw on any old thing you’d wear to the gym.
- Don’t overlook the addition of accessories and jewellery.
- Don’t forget about your signature style and look, just reinterpret it.
- Don’t go overboard with bright colours and prints.
Best Athleisure Brands
When it comes to nailing the athleisure trend, it’s important to have a great list of go-to brands. These labels will each provide you with the perfect sporty pieces to take your activewear to the next level.
P.E Nation has been a favorite amongst the street-style set for a while now, and it’s easy to see why. Cool sporty pieces injected with a distinct tomboy style and retro flavor, make it the ultimate athleisure brand.
Athleisure apparel combines technical sportswear with cool, ready-to-wear fashion. The Charli Cohen brand is a shining example of this, it merges cutting-edge technology with contemporary design.
Aim’n offers the kind of fun and stylish activewear pieces that’ll easily slide into the rest of your wardrobe to give it a chic athleisure update. Gorgeous colour options combined with unique and bold patterns is what makes this inspired brand so special.
Alpha Industries’ rich, military heritage makes it the perfect place to shop for cool bomber jackets and parkas to add to your athleisure wardrobe.
C&M Camilla and Marc
Australian label, Camilla and Marc is a local star in luxury womenswear. The brand’s C&M line was launched in 2012 and continues to offer chic ready-to-wear pieces with athletic details and stylish sports aesthetics.
Bec & Bridge
While Bec & Bridge falls on the more fashionable side of athleisure, it’s sleek designs offer the perfect sophisticated yet relaxed touch for the trend.
Kate Hudson’s activewear creation, Fabletics offers chic designs that can easily take you from yoga to brunch. The range was created with both exercise and off-duty style in mind, so its stylish leggings and fashionable tops are perfect for nailing the athleisure look.
London brand Sweaty Betty and its Sports Luxe range will provide you with plenty of chic athleisure apparel pieces. Whether you’re after a luxe jumper to pair with leggings or some sleek, wide-leg trousers to go with a crop top, you’ll find the most coveted pieces at Sweaty Betty.
Outdoor Voices’ minimalist designs and comfortable styles are perfect for taking you everywhere and anywhere. While you won’t find the typical neon mesh at this activewear label, you will find chic tonal palettes and understated designs that easily slide into your everyday wardrobe.
Live the Process
This brand is ideal for athleisure wear, even Chrissy Teigen has been spotted wearing a Live the Process sports bra under a leather jacket. Created as a label by the wellness and holistic health site of the same name, Live the Process will provide you with a chic interpretation of transitional sportswear.
Athleisure Styling Tips
- Layer sports pieces under regular fashion items, such as a sports bra under a leather jacket or leggings under a chic coat.
- Use sneakers and slides as your go-to footwear.
- Make leggings more streetwear appropriate by pairing them with longer tops or tying a shirt around your waist.
- Wear athleisure to work by replacing your blazer with a bomber jacket or by mixing a sporty T-shirt with tailored pieces.
- Pair a crop top with high-waisted pants for a stylish and easy athleisure look.
Taylah Brewer holds a bachelor's degree in fashion and business and is a skilled writer with several years of experience in the world of online content creation and copywriting. She is passionate about fashion, beauty, and all things lifestyle-related and has been writing for The Trend Spotter since 2016. She currently works as the Head of Digital & Ecommerce at White & Co.
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