Fitness Fashion: How to Wear the Athleisure Trend

The Beauty of "Athleisure" Attire

Best Athleisure Apparel
Collage by Laura Williams

Athleisure is here to stay, and if you're asking yourself, "What the heck is athleisure?" you might want to head to your nearest mall and people watch for a little while. All those trendy millennials wandering around wearing yoga pants, flashy tank tops and sunglasses that make you wonder, "Are those sports sunglasses or fashion sunglasses?" are your definition of athleisure.

In a nutshell, it's clothing that serves as a breakpoint between athletic wear and everyday fashion. It's a broad category, so its function meets fashion meets, "Of course I'm healthy! See my yoga pants and green tea latte?" offer a little something for everyone. Plus, it's comfortable. And who doesn't like looking comfortable and trendy at the same time?

The trick is knowing how to select the right pieces to fit into your wardrobe. To wear the athleisure trend well, attention to detail is key. Check out the following ways to put the trend to work. 

Show Some Skin

Show Some Skin
Collage by Laura Williams

Mesh, laser cutouts, and crop tops are all the rage, but a little bit goes a long way. Rather than pairing a crop top with leggings that look like they've been put through shredder, choose one skin-bearing piece and mix it with a solid tight or tank top. And don't forget a pair of killer shoes. Unless you're actually going to the gym, dress up your look with a bold pair of walking-friendly heels, or sneakers with a funky pattern. 

  • Koral Punch Crop Top and Koral League Double Layer Shorts: Whether hanging out with friends or heading to the gym for your favorite boxing class, you can't go wrong with the combination of this crop top and shorts. The crop shows just enough skin at the waist to offer a bit of sex appeal, while the loose fit and dark color of the shorts help balance out the look, while still offering a flash of the laser cut style. 
  • Avocado Eva Crop Top: This fun crop top isn't for the shy! The long sleeves and close fit lend a hint of modesty to the top, but the bold laser cutouts are sure to turn heads. Pair it with a solid legging or a jogger-style pant to balance out the look. 
  • Beloforte Sienna Crop Legging: These crop leggings are like the pant version of the Eva Crop Top—they definitely show off some skin! The cut is still long and modest enough to be worn practically anywhere (although maybe not church), but you may still want to pair them with a solid, close-fitting tee. 
  • Blanc Noir Oversized Column Vest: This column vest is a little different from the other pieces in this section because it doesn't feature overt mesh or cut outs. Where the flash comes in, though, is it can be worn as a sporty mini-dress, or if you'd prefer, as a layering piece at the gym. Simply unzip the vest, keeping the neck tied, and offer a sneak peak of whatever you're wearing underneath, whether a sports bra and shorts or a t-shirt and leggings. 
  • Bzees Dream Sandal: These two-inch wedged heels are machine washable, lightweight, and designed to be moved in. Their stretch fabric uppers and air-infused outsoles make you feel like you're walking on a cloud. Which is good, because you'll want your feet to be seen when wearing these sandals. Choose between five different colors... or if you'd prefer, buy them all!

Support "The Girls" In Style

Sports Bras
Collage by Laura Williams

Whether you're walking around town or you're hitting the treadmill, the right bra is a must-have for women. The good news is that sports bras are a million times better than they used to be—they don't just flatten your breasts, hoping to hold everything in place. No, they offer actual support, including adjustable straps, cups, and in some cases, underwire.

Choose a bra based on the activity you'll be performing, looking for a more supportive, sturdy bra, the more active you plan to be. And don't be afraid to show it off a bit. Bras are often colorful and fun, so go ahead and put something flashy on under your mesh tank top.

  • Avocado Criss-Cross Bralette: Think of this as your everyday athleisure bra. It's a bralette, not designed for strenuous activity, but it's comfort (and its price at just $18) makes it perfect for offering support when lounging around or running low-key errands. Plus, the criss-cross pattern is super cute, so you can even feel good about wearing it in the bedroom. 
  • Koral Element Bra: For low-impact activities, including yoga, barre, and Pilates, Koral's Element Bar hits the mark. Not to mention, its shiny fabric and strappy back make it perfect for layering under shirts that show off some skin. 
  • Alignmed AlignSport Sports Bra: This is a real heavy-hitter when it comes to sports performance. It features vented powermesh panels for breathability, patented neuroband technology to support proper alignment of your upper body (neck, shoulders, and back), and wide straps to help hold everything in place. Plus, it comes in four colorways and features a fun criss-cross pattern across the back, making it cute enough to wear on its own or paired with a skin-baring top. You can feel confident wearing this bra during any high intensity or high impact activity. 

Look Pretty In Sweats

Relax in Style
Collage by Laura Williams

Who says you need to wear jeans and strappy sandals while running errands? Athleisure apparel makes  life a whole lot more manageable because the right pieces make it appropriate to wear sweats everywhere. Just look for styles that skim your body and flatter your shape, then add some punch with a great bag and an accessory or two.

  • Vimmia Power Tee: Sporty, close-fitting, and featuring a fun back cut-out to boot, this tee is the bees knees when it comes to athleisure attire. Wear it confidently to the gym or throw it on with jeans and a pair of sandals to meet friends for lunch. 
  • Bzees Gemini Handbag: The Gemini Handbag is basically a workout bag in disguise as a super-chic purse. The nylon, washable material is perfect for storing shoes and sweaty clothes in, while its waterproof rubber base will help keep cooties (that's the technical term) from seeping into your stuff if you have to set it on the locker room floor. Plus, the bag comes with a removable zip pouch that's perfect for storing your toiletries in. Take it straight from work to the studio!
  • Outdoor Voices Weekender Sweats: The relaxed fit and stretch of these Weekender Sweats is everything you could hope for in a chill pair of pants. They're even made of sweat-wicking material, so while lounging around in them is awesome, you can also hit the road for a run or bike ride. 
  • Athleta Plaid Lightweight Scarf: When you want to wear your sweats out and about, there's nothing better than an easy scarf to help make your look more polished. 

Play Outside with Confidence

Outside Play
Collage by Laura Williams

Outdoor play just got a whole lot cuter. Taking a hike used to mean pulling on a pair of khaki cargo shorts and clunky running shoes, but these days there are dresses, rompers, yoga pants and strappy sandals all perfect for helping you break a sweat. Just remember, athleisure apparel is supposed to serve a purpose beyond just looking cute - make sure you select pieces that offer something more, like moisture-wicking technology or UPF protection from UVA and UVB rays. 

  • Merrell Around Town Backstrap: The molded nylon arch shank, full-grain leather straps, and pig skin lining all work together to make this strappy sandal as comfortable as it is functional. The beauty, though, is in its functionality. With the adjustable heel strap and the wide strap across the arch, the sandal stays securely in place during practically any outdoor activity, so go ahead and take that hike—these sandals can carry you through.  
  • Koral Web Tank: This tenley jersey tank is lightweight and moisture-wicking, perfect for keeping you cool during active outdoor pursuits. Pair it with a four-way stretch legging for the perfect outfit for a frisbee golf or walking date. 
  • Stonewear Transit Tight: Stonewear Designs caters to the rock climbers, hikers, and yogis of the world, and their clothes are made to be moved in. The Transit Tight, in particular, is designed to stretch through all your "reachiest" activities, whether you're climbing a steep rock face or you're twisting your body into Eagle Pose. The lightly spotted fabric also gives your look an extra somethin;-somethin' to stand out from the crowd. 
  • Wallaroo Hat Company Sierra: You're outside in the sun, so you need to keep your skin safe. Enough said. The Sierra hat from Wallaroo features a nice, wide brim to shade your eyes and ears as well as UPF 50+ protection. 
  • Athleta 25-ounce Water Bottle by S'well: Like the hat, carrying a water bottle with you when you're outside is just common sense. Stay stylish with a S'well bottle from Athleta. In addition to the double-walled and vacuum-sealed stainless steel construction that locks in cold, the bottles' designs are eye-catching and fun. 
  • Tasc Performance Festival Romper: Hands down, this romper should be your go-to item for outdoor summer activities. It may look like any ol' romper (albeit, a very cute one), but the best parts about it are its sport-friendly function. For one, its fabric is UPF 50+ rated to help protect your skin when you're out in the sun. It's also lightweight, moisture-wicking, and odor resistant, so even if you douse it in sweat, you're going to come up smelling like roses. 

Take Gym Wear to the Street

Gym Life to Night Life
Collage by Laura Williams

There's nothing better than a piece of clothing you can legitimately work out in, then wash it and wear out with friends for a weekend dinner. Not all athleisure clothing fits the bill, so it's important to look for details—a sheen to the fabric that mimics leather, a cut that looks tailored, or a well-placed mesh inlay that shows just enough skin. 

  • Maria Shireen Luxury Hair Tie Bracelet: How cool is this concept? It's a bracelet specifically designed to hold a hair tie. And it's not just any ol' bracelet—the Luxury Collection ties are actually made with sterling silver, and in some cases, gold plating. This means you can literally look fashion-forward with a hair band on your wrist no matter what you're doing or where you're going. 
  • Blanc Noir London Street Pant: Okay, so the London Street Pant may not be the best option for a high-intensity workout session, but it's certainly stretchy and comfortable enough to be worn on marathon walking sessions around town. In fact, these pants are moisture-wicking, feature a stretchy waistband, and a seam at the back of the knee for joint flexibility. So while the pockets and faux zipper make them look appropriate for a night out on the town, their actual construction makes them ideal for life on-the-go. 
  • Tasc Performance Road Trip Jacket: The wide shawl collar, asymmetrical zip front, and tailored look of this lightweight jacket are exactly what you need from athleisure outerwear. The zippered side pockets and hidden thumbholes on the jacket's cuffs are just bonuses when you throw on this jacket at the gym or the office. 
  • Athleta Dot Seamless Headband: If your hair's in a messy bun, you're already halfway to the requisite athleisure look. All you need to finish it off is a slinky headband like this seamless version from Athleta. 
  • Under Armour Double Down Sunglasses: Under Armour lenses block 100-percent of all UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, keeping your eyes safe from sun damage. As if that weren't enough, bonus points go to the brand for the sunglasses' ultra-strong lenses that stand up to serious battery, as well as their attention to detail when it comes to fashion. These oversized sunglasses can be worn as easily out on a run as they can be while taking a Sunday afternoon drive. 
  • Hollie Watman Racer Back Tank and Mesh Contour Legging: Worn separately or together, the Hollie Watman Racer Back Tank and Mesh Contour Legging are the perfect examples of beautifully intelligent athleisure wear. The colors are cuts are simple, but the details, including subtle mesh cutouts and gold hardware make each piece look and feel luxurious. 

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