The athleisure look is here to stay and lowkey fashionistas everywhere should rejoice. This pared-down approach to style is as comfortable as it is cool, something that can’t be said about most trends. But athleisure wear – which are inspired by performance wear but infinitely more relaxed – are easy to move in and carry off with the help of a few tips.
If there’s one word that describes the athleisure look, it’s minimalist. Skip anything fussy – like a shirt covered in frills or leggings with a wild pattern – and stick to simple, understated pieces that speak for themselves. And don’t think it means your outfit will look boring. Athleisure is chic and modern and proves that less is more. Start building your wardrobe with black and white tees, a gray hoodie and other monotone pieces that can be mixed and matched.
There are a couple of pants styles battling for the athleisure crown and they’re both fierce. Women’s joggers look like sleek sweatpants – they have the roomy fit and cuffed ankles, but the figure-flattering cut makes them infinitely more flattering. Try a pair in black, navy, gray or army green with a tucked-in tee. Yoga-esque leggings are the other contender. Try some with a high waist for a little tummy control or slip into a pair with mesh panels that reveal a little skin.
Though athleisure is good fit for anyone who loves wearing pants, dresses aren’t out of the question. A plain tank dress or one that looks like an oversize T-shirt captures this approach to style perfectly. Something that looks like it was made for the tennis court works, as does a dress with a soccer jersey-inspired feel. Play around with lengths – a mini dress is fun and playful, but something with an ankle-grazing maxi cut will nicely, too.
A well-tailored sweatshirt is an athleisure staple that looks as good as it feels. A sporty crop top that will show off your abs (if that’s your thing) is nice too, or you can go for a crewneck shirt that covers everything. You can also layer some basic tanks and top them with a hoodie when it’s chilly outside. In fact, layering is always good – combine tees and tanks in different shades for a hip ‘I just threw this on’ feel that’s totally spontaneous. Even though it took a little planning, of course.
Thankfully, the athleisure look is all about sneakers – there’s no need to cram your feet into uncomfortable high heels, making it great for anyone who needs extra support for their back and knees. Black sneakers will anchor any athleisure outfit; go for some with a futuristic look. Plain white soccer shoes always work and look sharp with dresses and leggings alike. Just make sure to have some ankle socks on hand to wear with them.
When it comes to athleisure accessories, stick to basic pieces with a clean look. Wild jewelry will just distract from your ensemble, so limit yourself to simple necklaces – something on a thin chain with a small pendant is just what you need, or you can try a silver dog tag. A plain metal cuff bracelet adds just enough shine and will look good with matching stud earrings. And when it’s bright outside, add a pair of aviator sunglasses.
A basic black baseball hat (free of logos and adornments) is an athleisure must-have, capturing the sporty feel at the heart of this style. When it comes to the right bag, there are so many options. Swap out your purse for a black leather backpack (you’ll love how roomy and easy to carry it is) or a mini duffle bag that looks like an upscale version of what you’d see at the gym. A nylon purse embellished with some oversize zippers will look nice, too. Just skew toward anything with clean lines and a utilitarian feel.
The right coat will complete any athleisure look, but it needs to be a statement-maker. A black bomber jacket will never let you down and there’s no going wrong with a distressed jean jacket, either. In the winter, try a long wool coat and wear it open to show off your outfit. A leather motorcycle jacket is another classic that works well or you can try a trench on rainy days.