Athleisure. No, that’s not a typo. It’s the official term* for what you get when you add equal parts comfort and fashion. And with the likes of Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Gwen Stefani dressing the part, it is also Parkers’ trend of the month.
If you don’t follow these fashionistas on social media, or have never heard the term before now, you may be wondering just what on earth we mean. InStyle.com describes athleisure as “apres-sport” or “gym-to-office” wear, while we hesitantly call it “a dream come true” (we will explain the hesitant part later).
For everyone starting to roll their eyes a bit, we have our reasons why we don’t hate this trend! We are increasingly busy people and athleisure is all about marrying style and practicality – meaning, we pack one less outfit to the office with us in the morning because we can go from a casual coffee with friends to the grocery store and then the gym without having to worry too much about looking unpresentable. With jam-packed schedules and more than two days’ worth of errands to fit into the weekend, a trend that lets us run around town in comfortable shoes and an oversized sweater once in awhile sounds A-OK.
Granted, while this may make some of us rejoice, it certainly makes others cringe. We will admit that, though we like the excuse to wear comfy clothes to brunch this Saturday, we also worry about whether we look unkempt and just are choosing to ignore it.
Like any good trend (*ahem* crop tops), the athleisure look can be executed really well or really poorly. It’s all about balance, friends. Mixing styles up a bit can keep this trend from looking too literal or, let’s be honest, lazy.
In order to keep ourselves on track and to help us find that balance, we are sharing these 4 Do’s and Don’t’s from Glamour Magazine with a few of our own thoughts about each one. They’re good for those of us who could spend entire weeks in workout leggings without blinking as well as for those of us who are still a bit skeptical about the whole thing!
1. Do: Crisp white sporty kicks!
Paired with a little black dress, let’s say, your white sports shoes bring your athleisure game to the forefront and still look purposeful. Making sure your whites stay white is a big part of doing this well (which, by the way, we are quite literally pros at).
Don’t: Wear dirty, beat-up sneakers. A polished look suddenly heads south.
2. Do: Break it up.
Break up a traditional tracksuit with skinny jeans, and perhaps a flannel shirt á la Gwen.
Don’t: Wear the whole tracksuit – unless you’re Missy Elliot, of course.
3. Do: Mix it up!
Dress-up some cashmere sweatpants (um, heaven, anyone?) with a leather moto jacket or a long trench, and you’ve got a great travel outfit.
Don’t: Try to make this work for something fancy. It’s perfect for brunch, shopping, or flying, but not for an anniversary dinner.
4. Do: Dress it up!
Pairing silk blouses, miniskirts and booties with sporty jackets brings a good balance to a casual look.
Don’t: Go too baggy. Keep oversized elements paired with fitted or structured ones to keep from looking messy.
5. Do: Booties.
Track pants with booties are balanced and give the appearance of intentionality.
Don’t: Super dressy heels. It overcompensates a little too much.
If you ask us, it doesn’t look like this trend is slowing down anytime soon! But, again, athleisure is all about balance and about keeping things polished, rather than grungy. In case you’ve forgotten, we are a team of professional clothing care specialists who have been keeping clothing clean and in mint-condition for over 100 years! Check out our website for more information – and remember that we have seven different locations throughout the GTA, for your convenience!
* Don’t believe us on the “official” business? A quick Google search will confirm: 2015 saw the word ‘athleisure’ added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary!