Over the years, the world of fashion has become a vast playground for experimentalists across the globe, giving rise to new trends often. While many end up being passé real quick, some are embraced for years by designers, enthusiasts, fashion harbingers and novices alike. One such trend that accurately bridges the gap between upbeat style and comfort is athleisure wear.
Athleisure is a harmonious blend of sartorial style sensibilities and comfort that mark the fashion dynamics in today’s world. What came as a fad and soon transformed into a lifestyle, there is no denying that athleisure wear is here to stay. This makes it essential that you get well-acquainted with all-things-athleisure to be better able to include this style’s cool quotient in your everyday life while serving some statement looks.
What is athleisure?
As the term suggests, athleisure combines the edge of athletic wear and the comfort of leisure loungewear into a voguish yet functional aesthetic. Such style of clothing goes beyond your workout wardrobe and seamlessly transcends into casual wear that you can don for informal events and outings, including brunch, a movie date or a day out shopping.
It’s a highly versatile trend with a wide scope of layering distinctive pieces like leggings, T-shirts, sweatpants, crop tops, jackets, tanks, track pants and similar clothing to create a fuss-free and chic look. However, that’s not where it stops. It is about constructing your look further with accessories like sneakers, slides, minimal everyday jewels, hats, sunglasses and bags that take it all a notch higher. Accessorising your athleisure wear lends it that street style edge that’s been a trend for quite some time now. And if you want to rock this style, here are a few basic things to consider and plan your looks.
1. While athleisure is all about looking effortlessly and comfortably stylish, you need to put your look together thoughtfully. It should be something that can be worn anywhere — from the grocery store to the workplace.
2. Mix in activewear with your regular clothes for a balanced look when stepping out for less casual events. For instance, team up a denim jacket with your flared track pants, wear your sports bra underneath your leather jacket or pair a blazer with jogger-style lowers.
3. When thinking athleisure, sneakers and slides should be your go-to footwear. You might, however, style your heels with your joggers or sweatshirts for a more dressy vibe.
4. Oversized pieces are a must in your athleisure wardrobe as they can be styled in versatile ways. For instance, oversized T-shirts paired with biker shorts or sports bras and skimpy crop tops worn over baggy pants can be a good combination.
5. When pulling off an athleisure look, minimalism is the key. Whether it’s about putting together an ensemble or choosing pieces to add to your wardrobe, going overboard is a strict no. To begin with, invest in timeless and simplistic pieces with neat silhouettes and clean cuts that can be paired with each other and shine as standalone items. When styling your look, don’t over-accessorise your look. Sometimes, even a canvas tote and a pair of sunglasses are enough.
6. Don’t go heavy on bold prints and patterns. Start building your athleisure wardrobe first with solid pieces in basic, neutral hues and popping shades as well, to perk it all up. If you want to include items that are crafted in busy prints and designs, keep them minimal.
7. Maintain your pieces like you normally would with other clothes in your closet. Athleisure does not mean dressing scruffily.
Here are some of the best athleisure brands and a quick lookbook from their collections
With sustainability, inclusivity and transparency at its core, Girlfriend Collective is one of the best athleisure brands for people who make conscious fashion choices. They design their apparel using recycled materials like post-consumer plastic bottles, fishing nets, fabric scraps and other such waste. They even use eco-friendly dyes, the excess of which is later donated to be recycled into sidewalks and roads.
Simplistic and cool designs with flattering cuts and stunning colours define their aesthetic. Their repertoire includes pieces ranging from modest activewear co-ord sets and separates to swimwear, innerwear and accessories, including hats, shoes and bags. With sizes ranging from XXS to 6XL, their clothes are meant for everybody and everyday wear.
Shop Girlfriend Collective here
Yet another brand with an incredible commitment to size inclusivity (4XS to 4XL), Universal Standard is a one-stop destination for all your clothing needs, especially denim wear and athleisure. For instance, their Next-To-Naked bodysuit has people obsessed with it for its style, sweat-wicking and antimicrobial fabric and fluid movement. The brand works with different fabrics such as their signature stretch linen, premium Peruvian cotton, lux Italian wools and engineered denim.
Their Fit Liberty Collection is an applaud-worthy shopping programme wherein you can buy a piece from the collection and get it exchanged for free if your size changes within a year. The aim is to provide the freedom to change sizes without anxiety, fear or incurring extra expenses. Their range of athleisure is equally vast as their range of apparel and includes pieces like varied tops, bottoms, bodysuits, hoodies and jackets.
Shop Universal Standard here
A popular athleisure brand known for its functional yet stylish pieces, Alo Yoga has a massive and upscale range of active and loungewear for both men and women. From classic tees, tank tops and crop tops to bottoms in distinctive styles, jackets and cover-ups, this brand literally does it all. Their athleisure apparel transitions seamlessly from the studio and gym to the streets, which is exactly what makes athleisure a consumer favourite.
Inspired by streetwear fashion and sportswear, their clothes are telltale of distinctiveness, owing to the wholesome play of colours, experimental cuts and an eclectic use of fabrics. For instance, their airbrush leggings are a bestseller as they are made without outer seams and give a sculpted look with a lifted rear. A mindfully modern approach lies at the core of their design to ensure that their collections are in line with contemporary fashion, as well as a yogi’s need for mindful movement.
Also known as the OG athleisure brand, Lululemon is one of the most popular brands that cater to all your activewear and athleisure clothing needs. It is renowned for its collection of technical yet stylish clothes that are as appropriate for workout sessions as they are for wearing casually. In fact, Lululemon has been one of the first brands to indulge in the crossover between sports and leisure wear years ago. Besides their signature activewear staples, they offer a great range of upscale street styles for working days and weekends.
Their approach to design stems from their desire to develop pieces that are versatile and move fluidly with the wearer throughout their changing environments and activities. They use high-performance fabrics (like the four-way stretch) with mindful attention to each stitch, seam and detail to deliver an unmatched fit and feel. They also constantly aim at being as sustainable in their processes as possible to reduce carbon footprint.
Founded to make fashion in nature or mountains just as enjoyable as anywhere, Japanese brand And Wander’s range of outdoor clothing is impressive. They are designed with lightweight and durable fabrics that protect themselves from elements like water, wind and sun. They’re usually designed in hues that harmonise with nature and give a fresh impression of the city. Each piece is crafted with quality and comfort in a practical design that transitions effortlessly from trekking to casual hangouts.
They launch seasonal collections with clothing that’s a perfectly balanced amalgamation of high fashion and outdoor activity apparel. From distinctively styled bottoms such as pants, shorts and skirts to uppers such as jackets, hoodies, vests, T-shirts, shirts, coats and even dresses, their collections have it all. Additionally, they offer a good range of athletic gear and accessories, including bags, caps, sunglasses and gloves, that would amp up your look.
Adidas by Stella Mccartney
Adidas By Stella McCartney was born out of the fusion of the aesthetics and style of one of the leading sportswear brands and the flair and fashion creativity of a popular designer. The brand offers a stunning range of high-performance athleisure clothing and accessories for women crafted in cutting-edge design and technical features while ensuring a minimised environmental impact. From sweatshirts, hoodies, onesies, T-shirts, tanks and crop tops to tights, cycling shorts, bikini bottoms and track pants, the diversity of their collections is amazing.
The pieces are designed with sweat-wicking technology and an elastane blend providing a stretchy fit that moulds and moves in sync with your body’s movement. They also offer a limited yet trendy range of accessories such as headbands and caps, footwear like sneakers and slides, and bags for different styles and occasions like bum bags, backpacks and gym bags.
Shop Adidas By Stella McCartney here
(Main and Featured Image Courtesy: Girlfriend Collective)