// 1. Adidas by Stella McCartney top / 2. Mary Katrantzou x Adidas sleeveless minidress / 3. Athleta sleeveless dress / 4. Adidas by Stella McCartney 3/4 sleeve tee / 5. Athleta sweatshirt / 6. Tory Sport crew neck sweater / 7. Mary Katrantzou x Adidas skirt / 8. Athleta skirt / 9. Mary Katrantzou x Adidas shirt / 10. Nike Roshe running shoes / 11. Tory Burch nylon bag //
Sportswear as fashion is nothing new; it first emerged in the 1930s in New York, most notably from designer Claire McCardell, and reached a new zenith in the ‘70s with collections from Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene. So the recent trend of “athleisure” is really just a 21st century version of a 20th century concept.
Some credit this latest emergence of the trend to women who began wearing their gymwear everywhere, and some tie it to the rise of Lululemon (and maybe even back to Juicy Couture), but it’s come a long way since then, as designers have entered the category and begun to merge it with the recent emergence of technical or “smart” fabrics.
For Sporty aesthetic mamas in particular, this means you have more choices than ever. Here’s how all of us can work athleisure into our wardrobes.
How to wear athleisure
- Be careful about wearing it head to toe. Some athleisure pieces are more athletic than leisure. If you have on nothing but gym clothes, then you’ll look like you’re dressed for the gym. Mix in your athleisure pieces with others and now your outfit is more transitional: Weekend Casual, not Gym Ready.
- Use them as layers. I began mixing athleisure clothes into my everyday wardrobe when I realized how much more comfortable some of the technical fabrics were. Lightweight, wicking and often smooth to the touch, they make great layering pieces.
- Go beyond the ordinary. The athleisure wear category has expanded so greatly that it’s no longer just a matter of fancy running tights or $100 yoga pants. You can find designer collaborations like Mary Katrantzou and Stella McCartney for Adidas, niche brands like Splits59 and Outdoor Voices, and specialty lines like Tory Burch’s Tory Sport. Even Beyoncé has entered the game with her Ivy Park label. You’d never know some of these pieces are athleisure (and at some of these price points, I’d never wear them to the gym!).
How (and where) to buy athleisure
- Labels & collections to shop: Mary Katrantzou x Adidas, Adidas by Stella McCartney, Outdoor Voices, Splits59, Tory Sport, Ivy Park, Lululemon, Athleta (2% cash back from Ebates), Beyond Yoga x Kate Spade (3.5% cash back from Ebates).
- Stores: Net-a-sporter (4% cash back from Ebates), thredUp, Title Nine
Not sure whether you’re Classic or Modern, Sporty or Chic? Discover the style that’s right for you with “What’s My Style?” Available now for instant download.