Make It Work For You: Athleisure 101

Athleisure looks for men Photo credit

It’s one trend that just won’t seem to go away – nothing has captured the sartorial imagination so much of late as athleisure, a look that has come to consistently dominate both men’s and womenswear collections for the past few years. The look born of busy lifestyles, blurred boundaries between working and personal lives and the social hierarchy of being fit seems like it’s here to stay. Part smart casual smooth tailoring, part gym gear, the athleisure movement is popular, but also hard to master.

Bonus- it doesn’t really matter if you’re a gym queen/king or not. The sports element is purely style over function. But with the market in the US for athleisure style generating around $35 billion last year, brands are sitting up and taking notice. But how do you nail a look that’s all about nuance? Read on for tips on getting it right…

The Sweatshirt & Tees

A cornerstone of the look, the sweatshirt is an athleisure staple. Details to look for include lightweight, composite fabrics, functional looking zips and inserts, padding and even mesh panels – anything that hints at functionality and reinforcement. And as these pieces tend to be slim-fitting, they are ideal for layering which really suits today’s turbulent climates and the rigors of urban living. Brands like Vetements have elevated the sweatshirt to a fine art – layer under a minimal jacket or blazer and you’re well on the way to getting the look. Equally, you can use your top half to hint at other sports. For men, Lacrosse jerseys or basketball shirts paired with slim chinos or cords and a quilted jacket can also nail the look. For women, cute knot front tees, slightly sheer tops, and slim fitting branded tees (think Adidas) will help you to nail that cute, sporty vibe!

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The Joggers & Leggings

Flip the look and you can rock joggers and leggings in unexpected combinations with smarter pieces. For men, a tapered jogger in an unexpected fabric is a great way to get into the style. French streetwear label Pigalle has a mesh panel jogger that can be paired with loafers for a dash of sportif. Always opt for a more dressed up item to pair them with, such as a button-down shirt, a smart trench coat or a bomber in a luxe fabric such as tweed. Women’s joggers and leggings can be found in an abundant mix of prints, patterns, and detailing such as mesh or cut outs. You can rock leopard print leggings for an urban chic look, or baggy gray joggers and a slim fitting tee for that “I don’t really care, but I do” look.

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The Sneaker

It wouldn’t be athleisure without the footwear, which also happens to be the easiest way to work the trend without making a big commitment. The fact that the shoe is a sneaker is enough- you need to move away from day-glo colours, reflective stripes and anything you could comfortably win a marathon in, in favor of higher style alternatives with a luxe finish – it’s this that separates ‘athleisure’ from ‘hopelessly un-coordinated’. Nike are market leaders in producing understated sneaks that work just as well with smart wool trousers as a gym kit. Dark hues, knitted textures and minimal detailing are all key to making the look work.

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When designer collabs flood the shelves in activewear stores and more of us than ever choose to invest, it makes sense that we want the most wear out of these pivotal pieces. As a blend of comfort, functionality and style, the athleisure look serves a multitasking generation who want style without sacrificing their plans to hit up that hot new brunch venue after their morning workout.


See you next time!


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Fashion, Lifestyle, and Travel blogger, based in NC.


  1. Athleisure is my fave style right about now. I live in Athleta, and Fabletics…so perfect for running errands but still looking cute!

  2. My boyfriend and I LIVE in tees and sweats. I love that this is becoming a thing.

  3. Cool Blog, You really have some Mens Joggers Designs.

  4. Cool Blog, I like your Mens Sweatpants design there very cool.

  5. Nice Blog I have read your blog completely.This blog provide better information About women’s fashion. I have some more information About your blog and this is good for your blog. Thanks

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