The pandemic has changed daily life in a lot of ways, including the way we dress. Many of us have been working from home for over a year now, and some of us have found that our workplaces have decided to turn that into a permanent move. This means athleisure is now your dress code. Athleisure is a fusion of athletic wear and leisurewear and it is designed to take you through the various activities you complete throughout your day. From Zooms at home to errands, a brief stop at the office to pick up some files, a quick workout at the gym, and dinner with a friend, athleisure is meant to function fashionably and comfortably.
Now, it’s important to note there is a difference between activewear and athleisure. Activewear is the stuff you wear for a vigorous workout. It is fitted to allow for maximum ease of movement and it is made of high-tech materials like nylon, rayon, and spandex that absorb moisture and wick sweat away from the body. You really wouldn’t wear these pieces when you plan to dress to impress. Athleisure pieces are more trendy. They incorporate textured materials or a mix of colors. They include joggers, shorts, sweatpants, tanks, tees, and hoodies. But think outside of the box here as well. To fully round out your athleisure wardrobe, you’ll need a bomber jacket, some polo shirts, a track jacket, and maybe a baseball cap. Activewear pieces are mixed, matched, and layered with regular clothing pieces for a casual, but polished look. Imagine wearing a t-shirt, paired with a hoodie, a camel coat, and a pair of joggers. You could go almost anywhere in this look and feel put together and stylish.
The increased popularity of the athleisure wear trend has grown, not only because of the pandemic but also because schedules have become so busy, it seems we are always on the go. Comfort is key when you have a packed schedule. But this doesn’t mean we’re so busy we’ve forgotten about how we look. Athleisure allows us to project an image of an active healthy and bustling lifestyle. Now that the world seems to be opening up again, some of us may not be ready to get rid of our comfy clothes, especially if we’ve gained the dreaded Co-vid 15, and athleisure means we don’t have to.
If you’re jumping on the athleisure bandwagon, you won’t be alone. A November 2020 report by Technavio reported that the athleisure category is expected to increase by almost $81 billion between 2020 and 2024. Forbes asserts sneakers will steal the footwear market in the U.S. in 2021, and with good reason. These pieces give us the best of everything. Athleisure combines activewear, streetwear, and fashion rolled into one look. Read below for tips on how to wear athleisure like a pro.
Athleisure: How to Wear
- When purchasing athleisure pieces, make sure to buy the size that is form-fitting, but not tight. Buying baggy pieces will be unflattering and look like pajamas.
- Add regular pieces to your activewear clothing combinations, for example: a bomber jacket over a denim shirt topping a t-shirt, and joggers.
- Combine wearing pieces with multiple fabric textures like mesh, leather, and denim with your athletic pieces.
- Monochromatic looks or looks in earth tones are hard to mess up.
- Play with mixing, matching, and layering pieces.
- Wear sneakers or slides with your athleisure looks, but they must be clean and look new.
- Use your cap, sneakers, and duffel bag/backpack as ways to add bright pops of color.
Athleisure: What to Buy
Completely clueless about how to wear athleisure?
The Trendspotter – Lots of photos to give you ideas on how to mix and match athleisure looks.
Men’s Health – If you want to try some looks that are a bit more fashion forward, this page features some great looks.
Fashion Beans – This page shows you different ways to incorporate a hoodie into an outfit.