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What Is Athleisure Wear And How To Rock It

Takiya OGwin

Posted on October 07 2016

What Is Athleisure Wear And How To Rock It

Athleisure wear is comfortable, functional, and all-around awesome. We're breaking down why it's here to stay - and the best ways to look great rocking it.

Admit it: You love comfy clothes. There's nothing better than a warm pair of sweats and your favorite hoodie. 

But you hate going out in public like this.

Of course, when you do, the stars align and you find yourself at an impromptu high school reunion in the middle of the grocery store, not feeling your best. 

And when you feel your best, you look your best.

Plus, you have a right to feel confident in your clothes (and that includes that favorite pair of sweats!). 

And it's just not you. Lots of women want the same thing, so much so that the athleisure wear market has increased 42% since 2007, totaling $270 billion and growing.

That's a lot of sweats!

Athleisure wear is your answer to feeling confident in your most casual outfits, so let's learn how to nail a classic athleisure look. 

The Basics of Athleisure Wear

Athleisure fashion is inspired by workout looks, like gym wear, yoga outfits, and jogging clothes.   

But it's not just for running errands. 

Athleisure wear injects everyday workout wear with style, class, and individuality, making athleisure just as appropriate for work, nights out with friends, and lunches. Plus, this trend is interchangeable with any season. 

Also, this ultra-comfy trend is interchangeable with any season, and super versatile to boot. 

Here are just a few style ideas for starters:

  • The tennis look: Think "preppy chic." 
  • Yoga style: Turn your favorite yoga wear into everyday fashion. 
  • City look: Trade in fluorescent sportswear for browns, grays, blacks, and earth tones.
  • Winter athleisure: Bundle up with stylish leggings and wool sweaters.
  • Comfy glamor: Dress up your athleisure outfit with large hoop earrings, cocktail rings, studded belts, and designer purses.  

This is just a taste of what you can do with athleisure. Now let's break down all the items you need to nail your looks. 

Bottoms

Remember how athleisure adapts to any season? This means you have your pick of comfortable, sporty bottoms. 

Let's take a look at some must-haves. 

Running shorts: Summer is all about shorts, but running shorts specifically are perfect summer athleisure looks. Choose from terricloth, stretchy, women's sweat shorts, drawstring, camo, or vintage 70's style.

Yoga pants: These are a staple of any athleisure wardrobe. They're comfortable, non-constricting, and you can find lots of stylish colors and patterns. Consider heather gray, navy, or black yoga pants for your city looks, for example. 

Leggings: Leggings are year-round. They're great bottoms for summer, but also fantastic layering material for winter. You can also dress them up with boots and a nice jacket. And don't be afraid to go a little crazy with your leggings: pair daring designs with more understated tops for an individual look. 

Cargos and jogging pants: If you want a more loose, baggy look, you can always pair tops with stylish cargo capris or jogging pants. Comfortable low-rise cargos fit snug around the waist with adjustable drawstrings.   

Tops

Now that you have your bottoms picked out, let's check out some tops.

Remember: One of the best parts about athleisure is layering, so don't hesitate to layer up one, two, or even three tops! This is your chance to fulfill all those mix-in-match fashion fantasies. 

Let's start with tank tops. 

These are great for layering in winter, but also dressing up for summer.

Try this ultra-quick look: Pair a simple, clean white tank with a navy sports bra and accessorize with wide band bracelets, large hoop earrings, or amber pendants. Voila! An easy summer look. 

As the months grow colder, you'll need to add warmer tops to your athleisure wardrobe. So don't forget to add these to your collection:

Thermal shirts: These are a must for winter athleisure. They layer well under most sweaters, insulated vests, and jackets, plus they can be worn as is with scarves, jackets, and accessories.

Chunky wool sweaters: These are great for throwing on when you're in a rush. Plus, they pair well with leggings and slim-fitting sweats. 

Snug long-sleeve tops: Like thermals, these are ideal for winter athleisure layering, but they make great tops for off-the-shoulder summer looks. Find them in 100% cotton, poly blends, stretchy jersey, or even mesh. 

Jackets 

You're almost there! Now you need a good jacket to bring your look together. 

You may not need a jacket in 100-degree heat, but once fall hits, you're going to want a good selection to choose from. 

A great jacket can even turn athleisure wear into a more "corporate-friendly" outfit, or an outfit perfect for nights out.   

Let's run down some looks. 

Bomber jackets: Bomber jackets transform athleisure into club-ready wear. But can also pair them with leggings, wedges, and a simple tank for work. 

Leather or pleather jackets: Simply throw a leather jacket over a clean simple tank top, dress up with some turquoise jewelry, for a totally office-ready outfit. 

Go vintage: Vintage works well with athleisure looks. Incorporate vintage sports hoodies, members only jackets, and even letterman sweaters into your wardrobe. 

Accessories

Last but not least, it's time to polish off your athleisure look. 

What separates athleisure from basic workout clothes is style, and accessories tie it all together. 

Let's run through some must-have accessories:

Shoes: Comfy shoes is arguably the best part of athleisure. During summer, accessorize with tennis shoes, running sneakers, flats, and sandals. In winter, try boots, high-tops, or vintage converse. 

Jewelry: Use your imagination! Boost your summer looks with brightly colored chunky bracelets, or dress up your winter wear with silver hoop earrings, watches, studded belts, and rings. 

Hats and headwear: This is your time to finally wear hats. During summer, wear athletic or vintage style baseball caps. In winter, switch them out for heather gray knit caps, headbands, and ear muffs. 

Other accessories to polish off your look include:

  • Small backpacks
  • Sunglasses
  • Fingerless knit gloves for winter
  • Stylish headphones

And just like that, you have a complete athleisure look!

Remember to have the right bottoms, tops, jackets, and accessories on hand to pull off looks at the last minute, whether it's for work or everyday errands. 

No more cringe-worthy moments in public for you. You can now feel comfortable and confident rocking your casual look around town. How do you like to rock yours?

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