Athleisure Making a Fashion Victory

By Danielle K

We’ve seen work out pants, shorts, tops and hoodies on the track and in the gym, and now we’re seeing them on the runways. With labels such as Adidas, Nike and Champion, athleticwear has been notably seen for many years as just exercise clothing. However, these work out style staples have started to become reinterpreted in a completely new way. As influenced by celebrities such as Kendall Jenner who wears sports sneakers to a nightclub and Gigi Hadid who dons a tracksuit as eveningwear, the Athleisure trend is quickly gaining popularity.
With the exception of Juicy Couture and its velour tracksuits that were far ahead of this trend, Athleisure is a fairly new trend with new clothes, new fabrics and new tailoring. The idea is that gym clothes are making their direction out of the gym and becoming a more everyday part of people’s wardrobes–and not just your Mom’s track suit.

Wikipedia defines Athleisure as a trend of fashion in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities is worn in other settings, such as during work, casual or formal occasions. Athleisure outfits are yoga pants, tights and leggings that look like athletic wear yet are characterized as fashionable, dressed up sweats and exercise clothing. With this trend in mind it is more acceptable to wear your gym clothes all day, even if you have not worked out.


Adidas, established in Germany in 1949, is one of the world’s most well known leaders in the sportswear industry. So it is not surprising to know that they are the Reigning King when it comes to Athleisure. Fashionistas are scouring the Internet, and second hand stores are getting their hands on the brand’s vintage tracksuits because of the nostalgia for the brand. While we are used to seeing the famous logo appear at the track, gym, or soccer practice, Adidas’s clothes are proving to be so much more than something to just sweat in.
For instance, the famous black and white striped Adidas track pants is now making its way into closets for everyday wear. A stylish and unique combination with these pants could be a nice pop of color, such as a red t-shirt, or even a white sweater layered with long and short necklaces or stick with a monochromatic outfit. To be more unpredictable, add a unique pair of high tops instead of completely sporting the brand with its own shoes.
Kendall Jenner is all about wearing her ever-growing collection of leggings and what makes the look work on her is the way she infuses athleisure with casual elements of rock ’n’ roll edge. Wear your best leggings with a black leather look jacket, a white tee shirt, boots and silver jewelry Or take a tip from Bella Hadid who has been seen rocking a sporty Adidas mini dress with a pair of white sneakers and sleek aviator sunglasses.


From a more high-end fashion view, Vogue magazine offers five rules of Athleisure. First, keep up with seasonal trends. Until about a year ago, fitness did not have trends. Athletic wear used to be all about wearing black, but now there are more choices such as patterns and color blocking.
Second, invest in pieces that mix function and fashion. Athletic wear was, is, and always will be comfortable. Don’t choose pieces that are not comfortable because that would change what athletic wear stands for.
Third, accessorize appropriately. All it takes is one accessory to go from a gym to street look. Fourth, dress for the occasion. Just because a sports bra and shorts are athletic does not mean to wear them to a fine restaurant. When in doubt, stick to neutrals basic colors like black, beige, brown, and white for an elegant and classy look.
Finally, be on the lookout for well-known clothing companies transitioning Athleisure into their lookbooks, making it easier for consumers to segue into the trends. With designers like Stella McCartney and Paco Rabanne adding their interpretation and embellishment of Athleisure to runway shows, this era of gym to glam clothing should be a staple in everyone’s closet. Even Chanel has added a pair of couture sneakers in its runway shows, proudly displaying its ubiquitous double C’s.


Celebrities like Beyonce with her Ivy Park workout collection (named after her daughter Blue Ivy), Rihanna with her Fenty x Puma, and Kate Hudson with Fabletics are making their foray into the mix, making the trend even stronger. Track pants and suits, oversized sweaters, graphic tees, and giant hoodies are just some of the great pieces of adapted athletic wear. Along with the top designers there are also almost endless companies like Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, Sweatstyle, Athleta’s and even Levi’s, who are looking into making some of their jeans more like yoga pants, that are offering not only clothing but also their lifestyle of a healthy mind, body and soul.
There are more than enough options for what a stylish girl should wear–the problem is what to wear exactly and how to make it look fashionable.
For taking your clothing from the gym to the street, add the right accessories whether you want to be cozy chic, add some sparkle, or go from day to night. One cannot go wrong starting out with a simplistic or classy, stylish bag. Wearing a leather-like jacket with leggings like Kendall will keep your outfit stylish and chic. A denim jacket, big scarf and hair in a bun is a new classic too.
Change your look with brights, but either just the top or bottom. Wear a sporty dress or leggings with heels for a more glam look and don’t forget a necklace and bracelets. Wear a pencil skirt with a track tee and a bright lip, or match a big sweater with leggings and midriff. Most importantly, don’t forget imperative Athleisure accessories like a baseball cap or backpack.
Today people are embracing healthier lifestyles, while also demanding more functionality from their wardrobes. The need for everyday comfort especially for anyone trying to work fitness into an already overtaxed schedule seems insurmountable. Thanks to this comfortable yet stylish choice we have one less fashion decision to make. Now, if Adidas just came out with prom wear…

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