If there’s one trend that’s on the rise right now, it’s got to be dressing down. All of a sudden, it’s (finally) acceptable to wear sports apparel outside the gym. And since sweat-wicking fabrics and comfortable sneakers are the new codes for cool at brunch dates, work meetings or dinner and drinks, high-street brands are now competing with athletic apparel labels, as both are beginning to blur the lines between street-style and workout wardrobe.
Are you a Sporty Spice at heart? Then you’ll be glad to know that the athleisure trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. More of a Posh Spice? Don’t worry; you can still make your performance-wear work as an everyday ensemble – here’s our guide to styling up gym gears like a pro:
Break it up
It’s not mandatory to match your quick-drying tank with compression tights. Mix it up with your regular staples like skinny jeans or a leather jacket. The rule of thumb: don’t dress head-to-toe in sportswear!
New to the trend? You might want to start off with monochrome or neutral hues, similar-toned textures and subtle prints before graduating to neon shades and statement patterns. In fact, consider plain, greyscale colours your classic athleisure pieces.
Here’s a big no-no to avoid: pairing the wrong accessories or shoes for your outfit; it’s only going to look like a) you’re trying too hard, or b) you’re pretty clueless. A prime example would be wearing high heels or heavily-embellished sandals with track-pants. They shouldn’t even exist in the same sentence.
Always remember the occasion
Sure, athleisure may have gotten the stamp of approval from the Fashion Police, but there are still some ground rules. We’re quite certain showing up at the office in a sports bra and running shorts will earn you a double take (not in a good way), so try to be mindful of the time and place before you jump into your workout clothes.
Check before buying
For starters, the ‘leggings-don’t-count-as-pants’ rule still applies, more so if it becomes see-through when it stretches. The solution? Apart from ensuring your derrière is covered by a long top or jacket, always inspect your outfit in the dressing room – jump, bend forward, squat, raise your arms – and watch out for any skin-flashing or unwanted lumps and bumps that should remain out of sight.
Lastly, keep a lookout for what’s hot during Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter shows, and then incorporate those trends (whether it’s mesh, prints or contrasting colours) into your active-wear attire. That way, you’ll boost your style points by looking more fashion-forward and less like a gym-junkie who settled for her actual post-workout get-up.