At this point in lockdown, most of us have come to appreciate athleisure wear. Some call it workout wear and some call it loungewear. But whatever you call it, according to trend reports, we are all investing in it. These are nice pieces that are not meant for much other than staying cozy at home or going to the gym. Depending on the brand (I am looking at you, Lululemon), athleisure wear was finding its place amongst the brunch set. Now, with #wfh life here to stay, the need for pieces that are comfortable but that look good enough for zoom calls is here to stay.  

I already worked from home and was often caught in workout attire before the ever-present video conferencing that now fills our days. With some restrictions loosening (for how long, is another story), I am now looking for ways to extend the life of my athleisure wear to other areas of my life. Maybe even an office if we ever go back to them!    

Here are some tips to style your quarantine wardrobe post-lockdown as we all begin to emerge from our homes and peek back into the world: 

  • Rethink your athletic-inspired pieces. Think trouser style joggers (not sweats), paired with a fashion sneaker or even a heel. Top it with a blazer for a more business look.
  • Trade in a suit jacket for a stylish windbreaker or bomber jacket with a traditional slack or pencil skirt.
  • Swap heels for sneakers, but make sure they are clean (unless they are Gold Goose­)
  • Try sleek knits instead of your usual button town. There are some great vintage options from St. John Sport, Escada Sport, and more if shopping on the secondary market is your thing.
  • Embrace the t-shirt dress. The camo dress I am wearing is a t-shirt knit tank dress by Universal Threads from Target. It is still available and comes in several colors. Besides wearing it with just sneakers, I have worn it with chunky sandals topped with a denim jacket and fedora. I also like styling t-shirt dresses with button-up shirts tied at the waist.
  • Pajamas for the daytime. I know the pajama look has been on the chopping block recently, but I think now is a great time to take a silk PJ and make it streetwear. You can pair pieces together or break up the set. Wear the pant with a button-up blouse or a tank and blazer to make it office appropriate. Opt to wear the pajama shirt with skinny jeans as an alternative to a normal top for a more casual look. 

Mix Function with Fashion
One key to nailing the athleisure look is by mixing function with fashion, both in terms of the pieces you buy and how you integrate them into your regular wardrobe. By blending regular pieces such as jeans, a leather jacket, or heels with activewear pieces such as sneakers, sweat pants, or a sports bra, you’ll create a well-balanced look. Likewise, by keeping an eye out for athleisure pieces that are comfortable and sports-inspired yet stylish and chic. Ellen discovered the New Balance x Staud collab and bought the most fashionable sports bra that could easily be worn for a night out (it even has a pocket!). 

Know the Occasion
The sartorial version of know your audience. Taking your activewear out of the gym requires acknowledging when it is appropriate to wear and when it is not. Although athleisure probably isn’t the style you want to rock to a job interview or a wedding, it is perfect for when you’re heading out for lunch or evening drinks. As a rule, the more formal the occasion or location, the more fashionable (ready-to-wear) your outfit should be. The more casual the occasion, however, the more functional (activewear) you can dress. 

Don’t Forget to Accessorize
Complete athleisure wear looks by accessorizing appropriately. Stick to a sleek, sports vibe but add a touch of your personal style. A pair of aviator sunglasses, a baseball cap, a stylish backpack, or even a cross-body bag will all work perfectly. Jewelry can add the perfect street style touch to your loungewear look. Think a simple pair of gold or silver hoop earrings or a thin chain necklace or two. The classic tennis bracelet will never go out of style and will work great with athleisure looks. 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Athleisure
This can look like a lot of information, so if you are still unsure of how to rock athleisure wear post lockdown, here are a few simple Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do mix sports pieces into your regular fashion wardrobe for a balanced look.
  • Do get creative, especially when it comes to mixing pieces and layering.
  • Do follow seasonal activewear trends.
  • Do mix fashion fabrics, like denim and leather, with high-performance, sports fabrics.
  • Do make sure all your athleisure pieces are clean and in good condition.
  • Don’t throw on any old thing you’d wear to the gym.
  • Don’t overlook the addition of accessories and jewelry.
  • Don’t forget about your signature style and look, just reinterpret it.
  • Don’t go overboard with bright colors and prints.

 As athleisure wear continues to push itself out of its “comfort” zone, so to speak, I am glad I have learned to embrace it. How do you feel about this trend? Will you try to rock athleisure wear to work? Leave a comment below!

Images by Breezy Ritter