The word “athleisure” was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2016, and is defined as a clothing style typically worn as athletic apparel but is also suitable for casual daily wear. It’s since gone on to become one of the most versatile emergent styles of the last five years, worn by everyone from suburban moms to the most widely recognised celebrities—and it’s worn not just to the local spin class or yoga studio either. Athleisure is both comfortable and fashionable, making it an easy choice to make for heading out to the store, rocking up to the club, and everything in between. There are so many brands of activewear Australia customers can choose from. Below are just a few suggestions on how to style such apparel for every occasion.
Balance is Everything
The key to wearing athleisure without ending up looking unkempt is maintaining a sense of balance when you choose your pieces. Picture yourself wearing loose jogging pants with an oversized hoodie sweater and then tacking a beanie and a hip pack on—looks a little ridiculous, doesn’t it?
When putting your outfit together, keep symmetry and proportions in mind. A tight top will look great with a pair of loose bottoms, and vice versa. Fell in love with a crop top? Put it together with high-waisted pants. Love your leggings? Pair it with a long top that goes past your crotch for a street-worthy look.
Make Smart Use of Contrast
Contrasting athleisure items with statement pieces is one of the easier ways to dress activewear up and keep you from looking as though you’re headed to your next SoulCycle session. A fuss-free way to do this is to grab pieces made with materials usually associated with activewear such as Spandex, Lycra, nylon and polyester, and then jazz them up with garments made from silk, satin, denim or even leather.
You can also utilize contrast to put different colours, textures and finishes together. Pair a matte fabric with a shiny or reflective athletic garment, put complementing colours together, or pair a soft jacket with a tight-fitting legging.
Keep it Clean
Just because the term is “athleisure” doesn’t mean that all athletic items apply. Yes, sports shoes and sneakers are considered a staple of the look, but you’re better off keeping the shoes you wear to exercise at home. There’s not much of a point to wearing the most expensive athleisure brands if the first thing someone notices when they look down is a pair of ratty, worn-out running shoes. If you must use your gym shoes, make sure they’re clean and presentable so that they don’t bring the entire outfit down.
Don’t Overdo It
Believe it or not, it is possible to lean too hard into the trend. Nothing says “obnoxious” more than having your entire body emblazoned with athleisure brand names in huge, screaming fonts. Our tip: if it can be seen from a block away—the logo, brand name, whatever—keep it to one garment or don’t wear it out at all. Most brands are aware that people are wearing their clothes outside of the gym, and have put out pieces with subtler identifying marks so you can go for those instead.
Layers are a great way to reinforce lightweight athleisure fabrics, especially if you’re wearing them out in the colder months. They can also help craft a chic silhouette if you use the right pieces. Putting a puffy jacket with a skinny legging is a flattering look on practically any body type; you can also add dimension to skin-tight bottoms by tying the sleeves of a sweater or flannel around your waist when you’re out and about.
The beauty of athleisure is that you can take it from the gym to the dance floor just by changing a single element or adding a few funky accessories. The possibilities are endless, and it’s almost impossible to go wrong. As such, don’t be afraid to experiment and use activewear to express your personal style.