Until the pandemic, plenty of people still envisioned someone working from home in their pajamas. However, the athleisure market has changed all of that. It’s grown from a sea of yoga pants and people on a busy schedule to something that offers both style and functionality. In fact, global athleisure sales are expected to reach over $350 billion by the end of 2020.
Major box stores have caught onto the growing demand for comfortable clothes, along with other popular name brands. Target’s Joy Lab offers fun basics in an array of patterns and fabrics, along with Walmart’s Avia and Old Navy’s ever-growing collection. Even specialty stores are joining the athleisure club—like Talbots’ T By Talbots and Chico’s Zenergy.
This growing market may be attributed to the relaxation of dress codes, but even people that do not work from home can still wear them and look professional in the workplace. After all, the fabrics are generally wrinkle resistant. And why shouldn’t we be comfortable where we spend a large chunk of our time?
And it’s worth noting that athleisure is way more than leggings and sports bras. Even the trusty sneaker has morphed into a functional style statement. While some women may have brought a pair of walking shoes for their commute and changed into a stiff pair of heels upon entering the office, today’s woman may don a pair of Skechers GOwalk Sneakers ($75) until 5 PM.
So, let’s explore the present-day athleisure wardrobe. We can wake up, get dressed and start (and finish) our day in one outfit.
For a cute basic pant, try something in a durable stretch woven fabric. A light breathable tank is perfect for this warm summer weather and also provides an opportunity to show a little pattern with a bold sports bra. Layer on a lightweight jacket, slip into some cushioned sneakers and voila!
For something that lets you get dressed and out the door in a flash, try a basic solid-colored jumpsuit. If it’s chilly, an open-front sweater is a foolproof way to add a stylish layer. And since we’re keeping it pretty basic, introduce some fun pattern on your feet.
Attending virtual calls for work and/or happy hour with friends? Keep it comfortable and professional with some soft joggers, a sleeveless polo and an open cardigan. If you feel like slipping into a dress, try a breathable midi style. They may not be able to see your feet during the call but in case you need to let the dog out, they’ll definitely be complimenting your trainers.
Social distancing has put a damper on date nights out, but you can still stay in and enjoy social time at home in your athleisure. Just opt for lightweight dresses in varying lengths and dress them up with your favorite accessories—you’ll be comfortable enough for a backyard barbecue or drinks by the pool.
Athleisure is here to stay. Even after our stay to home orders are finished and we go back out into the big, beautiful world, we won’t want to go back to wearing clothing that binds or pinches. We will want to be cool and comfortable, sporty and stylish.
Stay chic and don’t be afraid to show off your shape! Check out our guide to dressing your curves after 50!