STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Accept Athleisure

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Accept Athleisure

Originally referenced back in 2014 and earning a definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary earlier this year, the term “athleisure” has been a hot topic for several seasons now. Though the debate as to whether sportswear as everyday-wear is a passing fad or new apparel industry staple remains somewhat up in the air, retailers and designers are both moving forward with the athleisure movement, and you should too.

Collaborations among sports apparel companies and high end designers has become the norm, as evidenced by adidas and Stella McCartney as well as PUMA and Alexander McQueen. Additionally, several designers like Tory Burch, Mara Hoffman and J. Crew have released their own athletic lines, while others such as Versace, Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, and DKNY have allowed for athleisure to transcend into their ready-to-wear lines.

Celebrities have also played a large role in the athleisure frenzy, whether it be by creating their own lines like Beyoncé’s IVY PARK and Kate Hudson’s Fabletics, collaborating with existing companies like Rita Ora with adidas or simply rocking athleisure on the street like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner.

Increased health and comfort consciousness in consumers has given rise to this trend. Wellness is not a fad, but a lifestyle, and athleisure perfectly captures the shift from health and fitness as a hobby to a lifestyle.

Additionally, today’s consumers are more time poor than ever and multi-tasking is no longer a bonus, but a necessity. Athleisure has proven to take workout basics to the next level by embodying the lifestyle of a constantly multi-tasking consumer through après workout looks. With the weather getting colder, the days getting shorter and the to-do lists getting longer, the preliminary excitement of dressing up for class has been replaced by the need of a comfy multi-purpose outfit. But don’t fret my fellow Fashionistas/os—leggings, sweats and sneakers can still be components of an adorably fashionable outfit. This Fashionista is visual proof of that, pulling off a stylish athletic-inspired combo while looking effortless yet fashion-forward.

The key to successfully sporting (pun intended) athleisure is to accessorize appropriately by investing in pieces that mix function and fashion. This Fashionista’s structured zip-up sweatshirt (from Spain), Beverly Hills graphic-text tee (ironically from Australia), and black suede fringe bag (from a Florence leather market) give the outfit a sleek sporty feel while dressing up the Zella leggings and Stefan Janoski Nike sneakers. Traditional black Rayban sunnies with a black Fitbit Charge accessorize the look, while the turquoise ring and rosy matte lipstick add small pops of color to the otherwise monochromatic ensemble. By emulating creativity and comfort with athletic apparel, athleisure has become de rigueur in the fashion world—as well as the actual world!

Globally, us millennials are not going to give up on the comfort of the relaxed standard of clothing without an athleisure-clad fight. Since our generation makes up a prominent amount of consumers in the market place, it is wise for retailers, designers, and consumers alike to give in to dressing down.