In the ‘olden’ days (1990s) burning cals involved two feet, a heartbeat and a high-cut leotard. Or a hole-filled tee past its used-by and style date, plus grey sweat pants if your exercise of choice wasn’t a Jane Fonda workout video. Pam Anderson was the poster gal for this athletic/high-cut leotard (swimsuit) look. Her high-cut one piece and attached “flotation devices” nailed sport and safety in one 90s clichéd ensemble.
In real life however, high-cut anything is unrealistic. Who actively accepts wearing a wedgy all day? Also, grey sweat pants are demotivating (unless they’re Alexander Wang) – the only motivation they’re working is couch potato.
Enter the ‘athleisure’ trend. According to the font of all knowledge (Wikipedia) athleisure is “a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for athletic workouts at a gymnasium… is worn outside of the gym to go to the office or shopping or other social occasions.” That’s right. Sweats so stylish you can wear them all day.
This is a trend I can really get behind. Sport, style, comfort and practicality. Although… I think Wiki got it wrong including athleisure at the office – a leopard print legging on my accountant, for example, doesn’t say gravitas so much as it says good times. Not what I’m looking for in a debits and credits keeper.
How did this switch from grey-sweats-to-style come about? I took my Q to fitness guru Lisa Clayton. Lisa is the founder of OzFit and an ambassador for activewear brand Vie Active, Lisa says, “I think fitness years ago was much more mainstream. Just gyms or team sports but now it’s evolved so far. To xtend barre, all types of yoga, weights for women, fitness has been revolutionized hence it’s appealing to more people with more options than ever and it’s now quite trendy to participate so fashion houses are capitalizing on this because why can’t you do sport and look good at the same time? Also… as there are more options naturally there’s a type of gear targeted to each sport.”
Yoga was one such “sport” whose rising popularity led to a fashion/activewear revolution. Chip Wilson founded Lululemon in response to a gap he saw in the market for practical, stylish yoga-specific clothing. Well spotted. Lululemon is so successful Chip W. is now a billionaire twice over (according to Forbes). It’s also a pop culture phenom. BuzzFeed recently published ’23 Signs Your Lululemon Addiction is Out of Control’ which included addiction “indicators” like “You have more running tops than ACTUAL tops“…
What to wear? I hit the style source, and asked super star yoga instructor/activewear model Rebecca Lockyer for her current athleisure brand hotlist: Lululemon, The Upside, Us label Teeki, Brazilian brand Liquido (chicest legging prints), American label Olympia Activewear, and yoga label Dharma Bums.
I could buy anything/everything from those fab labels and also add Bondi brand Vie Active to the cart. Vie Active’s leggings are regularly seen on instaglam gals, who work them with running shoes but also booties, heels, and leather jackets – outfits that look like they have zero work out intentions but could easily convert at the drop of a leather jacket.
WHERE TO BUY: Adidas www.stylerunner.com; Ballet Beautiful www.net-a-porter.com; Cynthia Rowley www.net-a-porter.com; First Base www.stylerunner.com; Liquido www.liquidoactive.com; Lucas High www.net-a-porter.com; Nike www.stylerunner.com; Olympia Activewear www.olympiaactivewear.com; Spring Court www.modesportif.com; The Upside www.theupsidesport.com; We Are Handsome www.modesportif.com; Zoe Karssen www.net-a-porter.com