How to Successfully Wear Activewear Everywhere

How to Choose Clothing That Goes From Sweat to Street

Sweat to Street
Laura Williams

Recently a YouTube parody highlighting the sometimes-hilarious trend of women wearing activewear as daily wear went viral, garnering more than 3 million views. And while not everyone is "smoking on the street in my activewear," as the video so awesomely touts, the fact is, gym wear is having it's day on the street.

Before you get too excited and run off to work in your sports bra and leggings, take a deep breath. There are certain activewear looks that probably won't land you your next raise. Instead, use these tips to successfully wear your activewear to almost any occasion. It all comes down to a simple tip: mix and match.

Ribbed Tanks and Stylish Layers

Under Armour Tank Sweat to Street
Laura Williams

This yellow ribbed tank from Under Armour, and the modal-cotton blend hoodie from Lime & Vine work just as well for a casual day about town as they do at the gym. The trick to make them work? Switch out the Reebok tights and running shoes you'd wear to the gym and opt for a pair of jeans and a killer pair of wedge heels to complete the look.

The Perfect Pant

Hold Your Haunches Sweat to Street
Laura Williams

Lunch break workouts are a whole lot easier without a complete wardrobe change. The right compression legging (like these booty-trimming boot cuts from Hold Your Haunches) function just as well with heels and a cardigan as they do with athletic shoes and a sweat-wicking tank.

Look for breathable, solid-color leggings with stretch, but without flashy features, such as mesh inlays or reflective panels. Also, avoid those with obvious branding. Nothing takes a workday outfit down a notch like a Nike swoop.

While you can't tell from these pics, even my sports bra was doing double-duty. The Yogiiza Virgo Bra adds a lot of separation and lift to "the girls," while still offering support for lower-impact exercises. It's the perfect work-to-workout option.

Fashion-Forward Workout Tops

Pure Barre Tank Sweat to Street
Laura Williams

That tank under the cardigan? It's actually designed first as a workout top with a built-in shelf bra and moisture-wicking material.

Lots of workout tops make great double-duty pieces when layered under a jacket or blazer. Just make sure there's no branding visible beneath your layered piece, and that the straps and cut are appropriate for your workplace.

When it's time to head to the gym, simply ditch your blazer and throw on a pair of leggings for an insta-exercise outfit.

Outerwear That Goes Everywhere

Dita Sweatshirt Sweat to Street
Laura Williams

It's not easy to find outerwear that can be worn to the gym and out for drinks. The key is to look for pieces with fashion-forward details and gym-level comfort.

This Dita sweater from Lime & Vine is the perfect choice, as its diagonal, brass zipper and oversized hood make a beautiful statement when zipped up and worn with leggings and heels. At the same time, its thick, cotton-poly blend offers the warmth and comfort you'll want to live in when getting active outdoors.

Level Up Sweatpants

Black Zipper Sweatpants Sweat to Street
Laura Williams

The one item of clothing in my closet that I get more compliments on than any other item is a pair of sweatpants from Kings of Cole. Every time I wear them, whether to a fitness class or out doing errands, someone tells me how great they look.

Sweatpants. I get complimented on my sweatpants.

That should tell you it's time to retire the ratty sweats that look like they belong in a middle school PE class and choose a few pairs that can be worn out in style. These multi-zip sweatpants from Lime & Vine look amazing with heeled boots and a statement scarf, but can easily be worn on a cold-day run when you throw a long-sleeve wicking tee on top.

The Perfect Head-to-Toe Outfit

Soybu Sweat to Street
Annmarie Licatese

Sometimes all you need to take a look from hang out to workout is a few great accessories. Annmarie Licatese, the blogger behind The Fit Foodie Mama, submitted these pictures to show just how easily she took a single pair of leggings and a long-sleeve tee from Soybu from one scenario to the other.

When you select body-slimming workout apparel with neutral colors and stand-out features, like the faux leather band on the Soybu legging, you can almost always dress them up with a pair of boots, a long necklace and a cute bag.

  • Soybu Tara Tee Nova Burnout, $44
  • Soybu Hayden Legging, $79

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