After a successful 2016, the activewear, streetwear, fashion-forward hybrid, ATHLEISURE, is here to stay. This latest fashion trend expands the role of clothing designed for workouts and similar activities to being appropriate in other settings, such as work, casual and social occasions. Instead of dressing up, we’re looking at the rise of comfort and the concept of dressing down.
This is in part thanks to its appeal to the style conscious and the continued uptick in the scene of “being seen” in fitness classes. The $97 million dollar athleisure industry has infiltrated all levels of the market, from the H&Ms of the world [Swedish high-fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz] to celebrity-backed brands like Ivy Park & Fabletics.
There is no doubt that this is an accessible trend. But with accessibility can come some pitfalls, especially with a fashion category which is neither here nor there. Avoid the grey area of just looking acceptable and instead, look exceptional by keeping in mind these tips when athleisuring.
Staying seasonal is important. That means dressing appropriately for the climate in which you live. While shorts and tanks are perfectly acceptable year-round in a gym, once you step into public that does not give you a free pass.
Keep It Current
If you are going to invest in the athleisure trend, do exactly that. Observe similar standards for selecting pieces to incorporate into your wardrobe. Super trendy items may be good for a season, but need to be rotated out accordingly.
Accessorize and Style It
Adding accessories enhances the clothes you wear, so you cannot skip this crucial step just because you are wearing an athleisure outfit. Styling the look is important as well. That means proper grooming — keeping up your hair and makeup standards. Athleisure is not an invitation to slack in these areas.
Mix and Match
As with any trend, dripping head-to-toe in it may work for some occasions and may not work for other occasions. Do yourself a favor and integrate non-athleisure items into your outfit to add more variety and interest in your wardrobe choices.
Staying neutral is a safe and chic concept for most fashion trends and athleisure is no exception. Often times we are drawn to bright colors and graphics but those items tend to feel more activewear. That may make them less appropriate as the transitional garments they are intended to be.
It‘s Called Athleisure for a Reason
Let’s address the elephant in the room. It is called athleisure because it is the combination of athletic wear and leisurewear. So if you consistently concentrate on the leisure aspect but never incorporate the athletic part, maybe you should reserve the athleisure trend for binge-watching weekends and other around-the-house activities.
Bobby Says …
Always have an extra layer on hand for the times you misgauge a situation. We’ve all had at least one experience going somewhere and finding ourselves underdressed for the occasion. The comfort of athleisure simply cannot compete with the discomfort of being underdressed. A smart blazer can usually conceal casual attire and elevate your outfit to a more appropriate dress code.
By Bobby Ciletti, travel and lifestyle expert and founder of TheDaysoftheChic.com. Twitter @BobbyCiletti