How to wear athleisure well
Fashion blogger Karen Or reveals tips on pulling off gym-to-street fashion without looking like you're trying too hard.
Fitness-inspired fashion that you can wear in and out of the gym – otherwise known as "athleisure" – is a full-blown trend that isn't going away soon. You could say Juicy Couture and Lululemon kickstarted the movement, followed by the impeccably athleisured fashion bloggers and Instagrammers like Los-Angeles-based Aleali May, who made the masses want to pull off the sportswear look as well.
A new crop of brands and partnerships have since come to market including Israel-based Maskit, Kate Hudson's Fabletics, Beyoncé's label Ivy Park and the Adidas by Stella McCartney collection, to name a few. Then in 2014, Vogue went totally gym-to-street by saying: "It’s never been cooler to be seen looking like you’ve been working out."
And finally, just this past month, CBS Sunday Morning woke up and ran a segment dedicated to athleisure, calling it "the hottest thing in the apparel industry."
Whether you believe leggings are the new denim or not, we can all agree it's tough to do a downward dog in jeans. And the stats are pretty compelling, too: Americans spent nearly $44 billion on so-called "active wear," up 16 percent over 2014. Meanwhile, denim sales have taken quite a hit, down 5 percent or more every year since 2013. But pulling off the gym-to-street look is a whole different ballgame.
That's why we talked to Karen Or, a fashion blogger based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Her gym-to-street fashions are shared with her followers on her aptly named blog Street Chic Tel Aviv. Or shared with From The Grapevine her top four pro tips for hitting this look out of the park.
1. Mix and match
"It's all about how you mix and match sporty pieces with more trendy pieces," Or told us. "You could wear sweatpants with a cute denim jacket and it balances out – or a bomber jacket or hoodie with skinny jeans and running shoes."
2. Accessorize appropriately
"Athleisure kind of reminds me of how we used to dress in high school, so it brings be back to my '90s style," Or says. "I like to accessorize with a baseball cap, a new trend lately that I love, and maybe some statement earrings like hoops. Makeup also adds to the look; opt for heavy eyeliner and mascara or a pop of color in the lips."
3. Dress for the occasion
"I definitely wear the look more on weekends," Or told us. "It's a bit hard to wear leggings or a hoodie to a fashion event or a meeting for work where I have to look more put together."
4. Keep up with fitness trends
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Women's sportswear went from black and gray yoga pants to seasonally inspired, edgy fashion. New York-based SweatStyle caters to the seasonality of athleisure by delivering a curated selection of the latest premium activewear pieces to you every three months. "I love the fact that athleisure looks so effortless," says Or. "It has a 'just rolled out of bed' or 'just came back from the gym' look but with a lot more edge and style."
Lindsay E. Brown is the managing editor of Eco-Chick, the web’s first ethical fashion, beauty and travel site for women. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, and Cottages & Gardens. Lindsay has been featured as a fashion and beauty expert on the Veria Living Network. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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