Athleisure. There, I’ve said it. Athleisure, athleisure, athleisure. Say that ten times fast, I dare you. What is athleisure, per se? It is a new term that combines athletics with leisure. It has all the comfort of activewear, but it is not really intended to be worn when someone is actually being active. And it is often ridiculously overpriced.
I don’t consider myself a sporty girl, or exactly in love with the look of “a little too comfortable” or ready for a spin at the gym, only you are actually going for coffee with a friend – though I do love the feel of it. I favour structure and feminine details, accessories and pretty prints over true comfort. However, the latest take on the urban underground meets California girl, meets weekend girl, meets sporty girl, meets grunge girl, meets sophisticated girl is truly a dream come true for all the style identities, yes even you the sexy girl. You may initially think that there’s not a lot of sexy girl in athleisure, but think again. There is a wealth of skin revealing outfits, curve enhancing silhouettes and pretty hot shoes that are combined with the look. So for style mavens, those that couldn’t be bothered, as well as the style rejects (meaning those who reject trendy fashion as opposed to those where fashion gave up on you), let’s talk athleisure for a moment because this is your look, each and every one of you.
I must admit that I love the idea of taking beautiful fabrics and making them more comfortable with a looser fit. Who doesn’t want to be comfortable all day, and even moreso, who doesn’t want to eat lunch? You don’t have to worry about that button, hanging by a thread, daring you with all its might. When it comes to athleisure, there is always a little extra room (or stretch) with this style.
Athleisure combines pretty details with comfort. Stella McCartney was one of the pioneers to kickstart the trend when she partnered with Adidas to do a line that took your gymwear to the street and made it acceptable. Then designers took it further by taking it to the office with items introduced into the style repertoire like the sophisticated jogger. This is the epitome of athleisure finding its way into everyday then creeping its way into the office. This is no longer fitnesswear, it’s fashion. The women have spoken and what they’ve been saying for quite some time now is that I want to wear my Lulu’s all day, everyday. So the sophisticated jogger was the answer to this quest for comfort and style, with it’s après-sport and do-all look. This pant is giving the cigarette pant a real run for its money, and honestly, it’s leaving it in its ashy dust.
The paperbag waist pant is the close cousin to the sophisticated jogger. I mean, they’ve got to give us a reason to keep on shopping, right? Now that we’ve gone out and bought the sophisticated jogger, the paperbag waist pant is the natural evolution. I adore the look of this pant for summer, pulled up to hit mid-calf, worn with heels or flip flops (you choose), and a delicate little floral print, loose cotton blouse. It has a very California easy vibe.
Then there is the cargo inspired trend. The anorak drawstring jacket made its re-appearance a year or two ago and women took notice. This year it’s been updated with the non-drawstring equivalent, and done in a softer fabrication that is more billowy. Wear it over shorts for a very on-trend take to athleisure. Add a pair of low-heel ankle booties or cowboy boots for a super cool take on the look. Or try the factory vest over a simple little black sleeveless dress. It’s comfort, structure and sex appeal all in one. Merveilleux!
While we are at it, can we also talk about all those cool kicks that are everywhere this year? Adidas hasn’t been this popular since Run DMC walked this way with Aerosmith. I’m in love with the Miss Stan’s. And glitter or metallics (or glitter AND metallics) on city slides . . . comfortable for running around town, pretty for the girlie girl who finds all forms of sneakers a bit off style, let’s do it. Then there is the studded version! Yup, stud it up, lazer cut it out, make it in lace, there is a sneaker for every girl’s taste. The high top wedge heeled sneak continues into this season. It’s anything goes, and even gym shoes are done to the nines with super cool colour combinations guaranteed to appeal to anyone’s taste. These aren’t your former New Balance runners. I guarantee you will find a favourite and won’t have to go far to get it.
So how do you feel? Excited, uncertain, happy, need time to adjust? I do foresee athleisure continuing on well into the decades because it works for so many. The fashion industry has finally put their stamp of approval on it and said, just do it.