Athleisure is a term combining the ideas of athletic wear and leisure wear, but what exactly does it mean or entail? The basic purpose of this new style trend is to take things like leggings and sweatpants, among other clothing you could typically find in a gym setting, and make them wearable to the office, school or other events. Although athleisure encompasses both male and female clothes, it is most popular in women’s fashion. The whole idea is to make comfortable gym clothes wearable, fashionable and acceptable in other public settings.
When hunting for the best and worst of athleisure styles and brands, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that you want high quality fabric and materials. Yes, this likely means your price point will go up, but athleisure is not just gym-appropriate clothes. It has to be a nice enough look to be wearable to the office, which doesn’t necessarily mean your workplace is going to be letting you wear leggings anytime soon. However, you can find reasonably priced clothing if you really dig and wait for sales.
Here are some of my top picks for athleisure brands, both well-known and up-and-coming:
Although Nike doesn’t need any more publicity, they deserve credit for their everchanging array of styles and functional wear.
A nature-based company, Outdoor Voices composes their athletic wear using more neutral palettes. Perfect for hiking, yoga, the gym or the street.
Quite possibly one of the earliest athleisure companies, Lululemon goes for function and style. Their high prices come with quality and a lifetime guarantee. Word around the street is that if you bring a pair of their leggings into their store, they’ll replace them if there is damage.
Carrie Underwood took on the fashion industry, creating athletic wear that has style, comfort, function and flattery. Underwood even has bathing suits. Plus, she makes clothes that fit different body types.
Prana is known as a yoga brand, but they are much more than that. Climbing, travel, activewear and beyond, Prana has something for just about anyone.
Other mentionable picks include Under Armour, Sweaty Betty, Adidas, Stronger.
Don’t be afraid to branch out, try new things, read a blog and dabble in the fine art of athleisure. You’re sure to fit right in.