How to master the athleisure trend?

15 May 2019 | Posted by Zackary

Not so long ago, there were only three categories of people who dared to walk around in joggers: Lacoste-sponsored dealers down the blocks, terrace bitches and their Juicy Couture pink peach-skin, not to mention McDonald's fans before the fast-food became more bourgeois with its organic fruit. According to the acerbic Kaiser Karl, who will ultimately reassess his judgment, "jogging pants are a sign of defeat. You have lost control of your life, so you bought some jogging pants". 

The way these trousers are viewed have become less negative. As they win their spurs, one could argue they're now a contemporary wardrobe staple, completing casual as well as more formal looks. In this wake, sweatshirts, hoodies and other leggings have also turned fashionable pieces in their own right, while sneakers are undeniably the shoes of the decade.

The phenomenon invades the street as much as the runways, closer than ever. Last year, Prada resurrects its Linea Rossa line, founded in 1997 and abandoned somewhere after the turn of the millennium. Its credo: performance and technical materials. Philipp Plein capitalizes on its Plein Sport range, just like Escada, a German label that has recently returned from the afterlife.

Whether you play it Prada or Zara, the question remains the same: how to master this style without looking like you're getting ready to run 10 km?

Warm up, we're telling you everything...

(© Prada Linea Rossa)

Sportswear and athleisure: from the tracks to the streets

A little like the Bourgeois Gentilhomme and prose, there is a good chance that you already practice athleisure without knowing it. Officially entered in the British dictionary, it refers to "casual clothing, designed to be worn both for sport and general use". The difference with sportswear? Originally, the latter refers to items exclusively dedicated to physical exercise, even though the distinction is almost non-existent today.

This being said, let's take a closer look at the advantages of this trend. If there is no need to have Einstein's I.Q to understand that it is more comfortable than any other — apart from naturism, in vogue on the beaches of the Baltic Sea —, it is above all its stylistic potential that seduces us.

Lady Diana's jogging sessions inspire Emily Ratajkowski, Kanye West dominates the hype game and resale groups... Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against a total look — it's even the best option on lazy days. However, athleisure finds all its interest when mixed with pieces from another repertoire. A sweatshirt worn with suit pants, or a patterned wrap skirt, has more character than if it were combined with running shorts.

In this spirit, we review seven key pieces of sportswear, from how to choose them to how to wear them...

I just want to make you sweat

(© Pinterest)

A designer favourite, the sweatshirt is probably the first garment to have left the locker rooms to join our closets. Betting on original materials as well as bold cuts, it finds its place in all styles, and has no sweat left but the name.

Whether you want it in its 90's rap oversized version, cali girl cropped, leather for an ultra-luxurious proposal, or in a discreet Japanese fabric from a century-old loom, you have the choice. So don't stop at the classic mouse grey model.

Our little favorites

From the hood(ie)

(© Champion)

A cousin of the sweatshirt, it conveys more casualness thanks to its hood. It is ideal to bring an urban touch to more elegant pieces, introducing a touch of contrast. It will be perfect with a classic coat, pin-stripes pants, or over an immaculate white shirt if it features a zipper (by the way, try to spot interpretations with a puller that is out of the ordinary).

In any case, you can't go wrong wearing it with good old jeans, from Hedi Slimane's slim to Farrah Fawcett's flared cut in a retro vein.

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Leggings legacy

(© Splash News)

Probably the trickiest item of this article, leggings still suffer from their image inherited from Jane Fonda's aerobics videos — or from hookah bars. Unless you have assertive confidence, it's better to skip your turn: not only they polarize opinions, but they also enhance every detail of the silhouette. Unsurprisingly, one should therefore avoid them if there's a protrusion between his legs, rather unwelcome after "Me Too".

Besides, avoid associating them with a basic mid-long top, except maybe an XXL ecru wool sweater reminiscent of a ballerina. If you’re gonna put them on, you might as well take it all the way: a shirt knotted at the waist, a crop top, a boyfriend sweatshirt, it's up to you. Play with fabric effects, and avoid the color-block prints that scream "cardio" through all their pores.

Our little favorites

Joggers joy

(© Pinterest)

As we were telling you, jogging pants are undergoing a little revolution. Driven by pop culture icons like Pharell and Rihanna, designers have rushed into them in as if they were the new jeans.

They have been revised in every way, in every style. Falsely vintage collabs, crossed with tailor trousers, adorned with quilted leather pockets, lateral snap fasteners revealing thigh-high boots... As long as they don't look like the ones you take refuge in during a nervous breakdown, you should be fine. Take them out of their comfort zone, push them around with lots of cashmere and silky jerseys.

Our little favorites

Underwear out 

(© Isabel Marant)

Another trend from which men will refrain: lingerie worn as clothing. While the slip dress has already made its mark since the golden age of grunge, the 90s' singer's bra is taking a step back in grace. Halfway between Aaliyah and Britney Spears, wear it as you would with a classic crop top.

Another variation: the black gymnast's bodysuit, which reveals its full potential with loose pants or shorts.

Our little favorites

3.0 P.E. Teacher

(© Pinterest)

I have always been struck by the inertia of sports teachers, even though they are supposed to instill a form of movement. In spite of everything, they could well give us one or two ideas on the style side — their tracksuit jacket in particular.

Often fused with the lines of a bomber jacket, or with a funnel collar closer to its origins, it is available in a multitude of materials: cotton fleece, technical fabrics, embroidered with brocade inspiration... The most important thing is that it does not end up reminding you of the two hours a week you were desperate to skip. As for those who are nostalgic for running in the rain, there is always the water-repellent option, preferably in minimalist black nylon.

Our little favorites

A tee-shirt like no other

(© Rick Owens)

I'll give you that, we're a little out of category. However, who has never jumped into an old tee-shirt for an improvised workout? As with every basic, the cut is essential, whether you are looking for a modern angle or a more classic approach. Pleats, see-through, inserts, patterns... it turns out to be a real field of stylistic exploration. All in all, if there's one piece that doesn't deserve overthinking, it's this one.

Our little favorites

Lucky for us, there is no need to sweat to adopt clothing intended for sports. As for sneakers, we'll tell you more about them very quickly... •

Hugh Hefner's and Donatella Versace's love child, I am the visible half of the duo behind ZACKARIUM. Addicted to fashion and to Lucky Strike, my mission is to guide you smoothly through the jungle of brands and catwalks.

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