7 Ways to Up Your Athleisure Game (And Gym Bag)
Love it or hate it, the Athleisure trend is here to stay. Combining athletic wear with your leisure and hang-out clothing is a practical, and slightly more stylish way to go from the gym to the streets and back again. But you don't have to invest a fortune in brand new pieces and can instead update your overall look with pieces you already own.
We asked two Hollywood stylists for their take on everything athleisure including tips, tricks, and no no's.
- It's Not Always a Do
Celebrity fashion stylist Toni Ferrara, who's also the co-creator of Autumn Calabrese Apparel says, "The Athleisure trend seems to be acceptable everywhere. However, there are a few places that athleisure really shouldn't be worn. Church is the first place that comes to mind. We may find comfort in worshipping in our latest leggings, but you really aren't there to show off your 'gains' or the good the Bowflex is doing for your glutes!"
- Layer. Layer. Layer.
Hollywood stylist Anya Sarre says if she has only one tip to share, it's to layer your athleisure separates. Start with a flattering tank top which makes a great base for any look (she raves about Coobie camisoles) and then keep layering as you go. Cute leggings and cute jackets make you look put together instead of post-gym.
- Sweat and Go
So can you wear your cute athleisure wear directly from gym to running errands to out with friends, or should you shower and change into other athleisure wear? Ferrara says that if the fabric contains a Dri-Fit and antimicrobial finish, you can feel free to run errands directly after the gym without worrying about being whiffy or looking sloppy.
- Hey Guys!
Both Ferrara and Sarre agree athleisure works equally well for men or women. In fact, they both seem in agreement that guys probably need to spend even more time upping their gym and post gym looks. Sarre says, "Guys really need to invest and spend more time in their workout wear." She specifically references some of the worst guy offenses including wearing shorts that are way too short, or worn out t-shirts and pants. She suggests investing in one or two great pairs of well-fitting pants and some warm, solid t-shirts. Ferrara says compression pants under shorts are becoming even trendier though she cautions that, "Shorts shouldn't really fall pass your knees."
- Make Some Effort
Sarre said it doesn't take all that much to go from the gym to the grocery and you don't always have to spend more on your clothes. "Keep a long scarf in your bag and wrap it around your neck twice. Or keep a necklace in your gym bag. You can't work out in a necklace, so you automatically don't look like you're just coming from the gym. It doesn't take a lot of effort to accessorize."
- Support and Fit
"Not all activewear is created equally," according to Ferrara and that's because, "not all bodies are created equal." As a designer, she's both researched and studied and reminds us about the importance of choosing specific wear for your sport. "For example, if you are just strength training, you may not need as heavy duty support as you would, if you were doing HIIT treadmill intervals."
- But Also Flatter
So, what about choosing more flattering styles? Ferrara says, "Different cuts of bottoms flatter the figure better. If you have worked hard to get those V-lines and great abs, then low-cut bottoms are great for you. If you are just beginning your fitness journey and are insecure about your low abdominal area, there are higher cuts for you." Though whatever you do, "Don't ever walk around in only a sports bra, no matter how flat your stomach is, no matter how many six packs you have. Outside of the gym, there's no reason to ever be showing your stomach," says Sarre.
Ferrara offers some universally flattering tips for both gym wear and athleisure separates:
- V-necks or V shaped sports bras (for ladies) will automatically make you appear 5 lbs thinner. It's an optical illusion. Naturally the eye gravitates to the center of V, which draws the attention to the center of the body.
- Wear darker colors in the areas you are wanting to improve on or are insecure about. Wear lighter colors on the parts you are proud of. This will draw attention to what you love while balancing out the rest of the body.
- If you are short (below 5'5″, it's important to elongate the figure. Opt for a full length legging. Cutting the leg with a capri can make the legs look shorter. Taller than 5'5" make sure the capri fall right at the lower part of the calf to balance those long legs!
One last thought: take care of your pricey athleisure wear. Ferrara says, "Most people never read activewear care labels. They assume you sweat, you wash it in HOT water. Then wonder why their gym clothes seem to stretch out even easier! This is a MYTH. Fabric detergent and a cold/warm wash cycle is best for this fabric. And yes, it will be clean."