Now more so than ever, the athleisure trend has exploded into popularity, with everything from the ‘motocross phenomenon’ inspired by the ‘racing track’, to sports visors and jagged super retro tinted sunglasses inspired by the protective glasses worn during sports, being worn on a daily basis. Gone are the dreary gym shorts and inspiring basic tees and in its place is ‘workout gear’ or sports ‘inspired’ fashion that you can wear both to the gym but also to the shops, to hang out with friends, or even on a date depending on your style. While athleisure is no recent phenomenon, it is clear to say that even I have been hooked on the inclusion of ‘fashion meets sport’ trends, especially in the field of accessories, with a red tinted pair of ‘super skinny’ cat eye sunglasses frequenting my ‘OOTD’s’ on a daily basis. So you see whether you are a ‘sports fan’, prefer to ‘allude’ to the ‘athleisure trend’ or want to brighten up your workout wardrobe, remember that in the world of athleisure, there is no such thing as boring and that’s a promise!
From golf sunglasses ( as seen on Function 18) with sturdy black frames and square lenses, to varsity stripe baseball t-shirts and matching ‘tracksuits’ in bright, bold and rich colours like pastels and jewel tones, when it comes to athleisure trends, simplicity and colour is the way to fully nail this trend. Or if you like to think outside of the box and want to ‘re-purpose’ or find multi-purposes for your ‘workout’ or sportswear, then why not make like me and use your ‘swimsuits’ or sports bras as colourful, fun and ‘out there tops’ that stand out from the rest? The question is therefore, which ‘sports style tribe’ do you fall into? Are you an occasional Susan like me who spends most of her time looking like she just escaped a rather Extra summer ball, and will indulge in ‘athleisure’ to the most subtle degree? Or maybe you are a Keen Kevin who loves nothing more than spending their days outside in the world of sport, golfing on weekends and swimming on Thursdays. Or maybe you are Irene The Inbetweener who likes to strike the balance? Either way, read on to find out which 3 key athleisure trends you can you incorporate into your everyday wardrobe this summer
1.Make The Most Of Your Swimsuits By Transforming Them Into Tops Or Leotard
Like Occasional Susan would say, what better way to cement your status as a once in a blue moon athleisure wearer than wearing your swimsuit as a top, something which I have done myself on many occasion. As someone who lives in the UK which is blessed with ‘delightful’ torrential rain, it goes without saying that a trip to the beach to showcase my voluminous range of swimsuits, is not something to get to do very often, But wearing a swimsuit as a top is something that I do regularly, after all it would be such a shame to let beautiful designs go to waste. And yes most of the time they are floral! But I digress, not only are one-piece swimsuits incredibly comfortable but they are also versatile, worn with everything from a simple pair of denim jeans, to shorts and skirts. How you choose to style your swimsuit is entirely up to you. You could go ultra feminine and channel your inner Audrey Hepburn with a full volume midi skirt and patent heel pumps or go 60’s mod with a midi skirt, fishnets and a pillarbox hat, finished off with ankle boots. Either way, your ‘swimsuit style tribe’ all depends on how you choose to interpret the athleisure trend.
What you also have to bear in mind is the style of the swimsuit in question i.e halterneck vs bardot, ruched vs sweetheart neckline, which will determine how you style the swimsuit. For example a halterneck swimsuit ties in delightfully with a pair of mom jeans to add interest to an outfit or to accentuate the beautiful formality of an evening midiskirt, whereas a tankini top is a great addition to a tennis skirt, mini skirt or denim shorts in the summer.
2. Nail The Athleisure Trend By Wearing Sports Inspired Sunglasses
I mentioned earlier that Athleisure has its roots in ‘sportswear mixed with fashion, which gives it a ‘mainstream appeal’ even in an age defined by ‘social media beauty’. But not all athleisure trends have to specifically look like like they have been plucked straight out of the pages of Adidas; take the sports sunglasses trend for example, ranging from the large ‘ski goggle esque’ bold, colored, polarized lenses in hardy industrial frames, to super retro tinted cat eye sunglasses as shown above, these high-tech shades- once confined to the sporting elite, has made its way into the fashion world, as we seek to ‘marry’ sport and fashion in perfect matrimony. While the S/S 18 catwalk saw sports sunglasses in abundance, the athleisure sunglasses trend shows no sign of stopping this fall, with rich jewel tones and chunky lens. After all in the world of sportswear sunglasses there is no rule but the saying that ‘bigger is better’. And I don’t mean that! Get your minds out of the gutter!
You only need to look at sunglasses powerhouse ‘Oakley’ to see that their collaboration with Palace for its Juergen Teller-shot SS18 lookbook, orchestrated ‘sports sunglasses’ into the summer must have athleisure trends list, even before fashion week had begun, with Kenzo and Prada exploring a merger between ‘tailoring’ and sportswear on the catwalk, with an emphasis on low key looks with large sports inspired sunglasses. And if like me you have a petite face and are worried that ‘ski style sunglasses’ might look slightly ridiculous, then don’t worry as an Oakley style ‘golf’ pair of sunnies or retro cat eye tinted frames with a cat eye shape are more flattering for a petite face.
3. Mix Fashion And Sport By Pairing ‘Sports Style Pieces’ Like Varsity Jersey’s With Jeans & ‘Casuals’ Or Striped Lounge Pants
Now by definition, I am the very opposite of casual, giving you extra realness for days. But here’s the thing, even I have ‘my own version’ of casual, when I just want to feel super comfortable and not worry about flashing myself to poor unsuspecting people on the tube ( I promise it was an accident!). So thus ‘trying to be casual’ (but still not really casual Ana) likes to divulge into the world of sports versus fashion, with pastel tracksuits, varsity shirts and slogan tees that still have that element of fashion, whilst retaining that sports aesthetic. Varsity shirts and jumpers are always fabulous paired with jeans and Chelsea boots, or you may choose to dress up the look by tucking a varsity tee into a skirt and a pair of kickass heels to really amp up the flavour. Even ‘track’ or lounge pants can look good, both worn in and out of the gym, with stretchy fabric that will ensure that you wont end up ripping your pants! The key to nailing the athleisure look is to remember that it is a ‘lifestyle orientated’ trend, so while they say that wearing ‘stylish workout apparel’ will help motivate your fitness regime, not all sports wear has to be worn for the sake of exercising, especially if like me, your idea of exercise is dancing in your room at 3 AM because you can’t sleep.
But why has it become increasingly popular to use activewear as daywear and weekend wear, with its popularity mounting on the fashion week catwalks? Well according to ‘trends forecaster’ WGSN, retailers are reacting to consumers needs to have ‘fashion that is both functional and stylish’ which reflects our lifestyles in that an average day can range from meetings, workouts, going out, dinners and travel all in one day, which creates a demand for athlesiure inspired wear that is suitable for any occasion. See. I told you that athleisure is super trendy right now, and Mama Jasmine is always right.
While there are many other athleisure trends like ‘pastel tracksuits’, motocross trousers and 90’s baby crops, these three trends are great to incorporate into your everyday ‘wardrobe’ because they are ‘easy to style’, versatile and above all can be worn both in and out of the exercise ring. And it’s mainly because I own all of the other trends I mentioned above but haven’t actually photographed them yet, so you will just have to make do with three select trends instead. The question is will you wear a swimsuit as a top, wear sports sunglasses or mix and match sports and fashion to create a functional yet practical look? What Will You Choose?
Please note this is a collaborative post with Function 18.