Classes have started and I’ve never had less motivation to put time into my outfits. Between the heat and the homework, college students just want to be comfy. Why get changed when you’re already wearing pajamas, right? You, my friend, need athleisure.
Athleisure is the delicate art of wearing gym clothes in public and getting away with it. It is the college student’s dream. Of course, if it were as simple as that, it wouldn’t need a fancy name. No, like all style trends there are do’s and don’ts for pulling off activewear as an actual style rather than laziness.
Opinions vary on how acceptable this new trend should be, but it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Models and celebs like Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Drake are known for their cool and laid-back athleisure styles. Chances are you already wear athleisure in some form too. Anytime you wear track pants, sweatpants or leggings with regular clothing, you’re edging into athleisure territory. But how do you go from looking like you just left the gym to looking like an Instagram-able streetwear model?
The concept of athleisure is mixing sports wear with casual daywear. If you are dressed head-to-toe in activewear the only place you should be going is the gym. An athleisure outfit should generally feature one or two sporty pieces paired with regular street clothes. You also shouldn’t really wear the clothes you actually work out in: anything too old and worn in, or anything with sweat stains is not gym-to-street chic.
Some of the more popular athletic gear that lend themselves readily to the athleisure style are hoodies and sweatshirts, track pants, joggers, clean sneakers, bomber jackets, and logo tees and tanks. Popular brands include Nike, Adidas, Topshop or Topman, particularly the Ivy Park brand by Beyonce, LuluLemon, Outdoor Voices and Uniqlo. I personally also love the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfigher collections sold at Asos and Urban Outfitters, and you can get a good deal on Adidas and Nike at Kohl’s.
For guys, tailored joggers make the comfiest style choice for bottoms. Joggers are slim fitted sweatpants that are banded at the bottom and hit at the ankle. They look sleekest in dark or basic colors such as black, navy or gray. You can dress them up with a slim, crew neck, sweater or sweatshirt, layered over a solid tee and topped with a bomber or leather jacket. Take your joggers a step further with a button down shirt or blazer.
Girls can take a similar approach. Celebs like Gwen Stefani and Gigi Hadid have been seen breaking up their tracksuits by pairing a track hacker over skinny jeans or track pants with chunky-heeled booties, cropped tees, and long, tailored coats. Similar to the guys, I love the look of adding a sweater or leather jacket to a pair of a casual pants. Denim is also a great mix-in for athleisure. Try black leggings or joggers with a white logo or mesh tee and a denim jacket or denim shirt tied around the waist.
Athleisure is certainly the lifesaver for the anti-morning person, but it can be easy to get too carried away. The most important rule of athleisure is to know when to wear it. It is the most casual form of dress next to wearing your pajamas outside, and isn’t appropriate for work, business, nice dates or anything remotely formal. What it is great for is running errands, hanging with friends, early or late classes and casual dates. Like any trend, it’s hard to say how long athleisure will hold the attention of designer’s and style seekers. Regardless, I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to learn how to dress up, even your sloppiest outfit.