A Beginner's Guide to Athleisure Style

The athleisure trend was born out of the intersection between workout clothes and casuals. Fashion is an ever-evolving industry and new trends are always cropping up to change how we think of and wear our clothes.

Although a sense of style is a critical factor for looking good, there's no doubt that comfort tends to direct most of our clothing choices. In the past decade, there has been a growing interest in fitness and exercise with an emphasis on yoga. With women embracing this trend of health and body consciousness, it is unsurprising that outfits previously deemed ‘fit for exercise' soon made their way into the arena of pop culture as acceptable casual wear.

Although the transition is ascribed to females, men have not hesitated to embrace this growing trend.

While sweatpants, sneakers, and t-shirts have long been elevated to the status of casual and work attire, the recent shift to remote working encourages the added relevance of such elevated casual wear.

If you're a stranger to the athleisure trend, but eager to jump on the train, here's a breakdown of the trend as well as effective tips to help you incorporate the trend in your style.

Understanding the athleisure style The word 'athleisure' is a conjunction of 'athletic' and 'leisure' and thus incorporates features of both clothing styles. Athletic wear is recommended for exercise and thus prioritizes features and functions that help improve performance. Such clothing is focused on mobility, comfort, and other technologies like antimicrobial fabrication and moisture-wicking. Leisurewear on the other hand is informal clothing with a focus on comfort and relaxation.

By combining features of both styles, athleisure successfully meets the need of a diverse demographic. As mentioned earlier, the start of the trend can be traced back to the explosion of yoga and the popularity of yoga pants. In time, men began to embrace the level of comfort offered by athleisure wear over the regular and conventional casual clothing.

Now, it's completely acceptable and normal to see sweatpants and sneakers featured everywhere from offices to grocery stores. As a beginner, knowing the key elements of athleisure wear will take you a step towards understanding and embracing the trend. Here's everything you need to know.

Know your fabrics

This is the foundation of athleisure apparel. The fabrics used in making the clothing are determined by durability, comfort, mobility, and luxury, so wearers can embrace an active lifestyle without compromising functionality for style.

When on the lookout for athleisure wear, it's best to focus on materials like polyesters, nylon, and spandex.

Not only do they allow for greater breathability, insulation, and low moisture absorbency, which increases comfort, but they're also crease resistant so you can easily stuff them in a suitcase without worrying about wrinkles.

Cotton is also a good option. However, due to its high moisture absorbency, it's more suitable when blended with other fibers. Ultimately, these performance fabrics should be your go-to when shopping for athleisure wear.

Get the right pants

Sweatpants and joggers are staples of the athleisure look. The trick is getting the right fit for your legs and this can take some doing. Experiment with different styles until you find the pair that works best for you.

Due to their unique shape, sweatpants and joggers tend to be slightly free from the hips to the ankles where they're cinched in a band. Unless you're going for Arabian chic, or want to look like you're just rolling out of bed, you want to avoid pants that are too baggy around your lower leg.

Skinny pants are not quite ‘IT’ either. The right athleisure pants are those with streamlined silhouettes that flatter your body. They should fit comfortably and have a tapered look so there's no excess material flapping in the wind. Athletic shorts are also suitable pant options.

Mix it up with your shirts and tops

The athleisure style is not rigid so it's okay to implement different styles of shirts so long as they don't look out of place with the rest of the outfit. There are several options to consider when it comes to choosing the right tops.

Slim-cut sweatshirts and t-shirts in light fabrics are safe options that require little to no effort to pull off. Crewneck jumpers are another practicable yet comfortable option that comes in a range of colors, styles, and options.

Polo shirts are another example of sportswear that has been integrated into the athleisure trend. A polo shirt offers that unique mix of elegance and comfort that's just as acceptable on the golf course as it is at brunch.

For a more traditional look, you can pair your pants with a regular button-down shirt.

Focus on footwear

Have you ever heard the saying, 'you can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes?’ Well, it's just as relevant when talking about the right footwear to complete the athleisure look.

When choosing footwear to pair with the rest of your outfit, you have the option of going either the athletic route or simply wearing casual footwear. For sneaker-lovers, athleisure may be a dream come true.

No matter what sort of combination you have on the top and bottom of your outfit, sneakers can immediately complete the look. Your choice of sneakers should be determined by your style as well as the color of your outfit.

From low-tops to athletic sneakers and kicks, there are many options to choose from.

Shop the right brands

Once you've figured out the types of clothing items that make up an athleisure wardrobe, it's time to go shopping. Several brands cater to this trend, focusing on creating outfits with high-quality materials that fit well and look good. The good thing is that their products doesn’t cost a fortune.

The best ones offer good options for well-made clothing that you can wear to the gym, at home, and even in the office. For shoes, you can't go wrong with Hoka One One with their comfortable yet stylish array of footwear.