Athleisure Fashion

Active-inspired sportswear races to fashion’s forefront.

August 2016

Are sweats the new jeans? With the rise of activewear, they just might be. But skip the baggy pairs of old—the rise of modern “athleisure” is based around trim, tailored shapes in multi-performance fabrics. With an equal focus on fashion and function, the look goes from studio to street with ease. 

Brands like Lululemon, Fabletics and Uniqlo have helped popularize the athletic-meets-leisure look with high-quality performance-wear in flattering shapes and comfortable cuts. Lesser-known labels like Outdoor Voices and Tracksmith are gathering a following, while established designers like Trina Turk and Tory Burch have launched high-end active lines to meet demand. What may have begun in the gym, however, has made its way into the workplace and beyond. Trendy athleisure styles can be spotted over brunch, at the farmer’s market, and even on dates. 

Athleisure wear for women

Leggings are still the centerpiece of this trend, so make sure yours are flattering. You can’t go wrong with solid black, but don’t ignore mesh or cutout styles, colorblocking and bold patterns. A variety of leggings will keep your day-to-day looks fresh and energizing. 

What to pair with your leggings depends on your comfort level and the occasion. Crop tops and even long yoga bras are on trend, but more modest styles like long tunics are appropriate for the office. For casual weekend wear, you could try something in between—start with a yoga top, but layer a bomber jacket or sheer blouse on top to cover some skin. 

To truly go from workout to work, embrace the power of accessories. Amp up your jewelry, add a chic scarf or a bold lip, and pair with heels, ankle boots or clean sneakers. When in doubt, a tailored blazer always elevates.

Athleisure wear for men

The trend is catching on for guys, too. Luxe sweatpants are the most important investment. Sometimes called joggers, these tailored sweats can be slim or slightly tapered. Focus on solid neutrals: true black, charcoal gray, hunter green or sandy beige. 

Tops are where you can play with color. Pair your sweats with slim-fitting T-shirts and sporty track jackets. Skip wide, bulky sweatshirts in favor of slimmer hoodies, lightweight crewnecks or drawstring necks. Office athleisure can be trickier for men (especially those in suit-and-tie environments), but an après-gym look works well for weeknight drinks and weekend outings.