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Activewear: How to Wear It Outside the Gym?

September 03, 2020

Think about how many situations we are in during the course of our lives where we are forced to wear clothes that make us feel awkward, restricted, and downright uncomfortable. Do we really want to wear that full suit jacket, pants, buttoned-up dress shirt, tie, and leather dress shoes when we are at the office or attending religious gatherings, especially when the weather is unseasonably hot? That is the beauty of going to the gym--we get to wear the same comfy clothes we used to wear to gym class in elementary school, but look cool doing it.  


The power of comfort is that we are less inhibited and don’t feel so stiff like a walking log of lumber. Who wouldn’t want to feel completely comfortable all day long while also mixing that up with some fashionable style and finesse?


Back in the day, it may have been considered weird to go out in public in the same clothes you would run a marathon in. But in our contemporary age, this is not only doable, it is also literally reality for many of us.


Without further ado, here is some advice on how to wear activewear outside of the gym!



Athletic Wear Meets Leisure Wear


One clothing trend has pushed the merger of wearing traditional athletic wear and mixing it with the level of style that wouldn’t be out of place when you are no longer galloping on an exercise bike. This athletic apparel trend is called athleisure, allowing people that ability to look good and feel good at the exact same time. While athleisure for women has been around for a little longer with the birth of yoga pants for anything, anytime, you can bet that athleisure for men is well on the rise, too!


Athleisure offers activewear styles that give us the permission to look sharp and still transform our weekend wardrobes into items that we can wear at the gym, or wear to head over to a restaurant with our friends for lunch on a brisk autumn afternoon. Who says that sophistication and sportswear have to remain completely separate domains of the fashion world? 


The massive impact of the athleisure trend is that it has managed to loosen up the dress code for many occasions, including casual dates and outings downtown with family and friends. Just because you can wear trendy athletic clothing to the gym doesn’t mean your special appointments should consist of you coming out of the house with sweaty armpits and a t-shirt that was just balled up in a gym bag. Make sure that your sportswear is neat, clean, and presentable. 


When Sunday becomes Monday, you probably are not going to get away with making your athleisure outfits into your new work uniform, complete with yoga pants, sneakers, tights, leggings, and shorts. Keep the choice of activewear occasions casual and avoid going to formal business settings, attending corporate meetings, or using them for weddings and other ceremonies. 

 


Fashion and Function

 

It is one thing to nail down the fashion part of your activewear outfit when wearing it outside of the gym. But it is an entirely different ball game when you are able to have the functionality of fitness apparel carry over into your leisurewear. You want your fashion statement to be 

odor-resistant and moisture-wicking if you are going to hang out for a coffee somewhere in articles of clothing that you just finished jogging in. 


It is all about looking good, feeling good, and borrowing both the versatility of activewear that you use for stretching your body, and the practicality that activewear can offer when it overlaps into the everyday casual wear space, with pockets for cellphones and room to carry along other accessories that you might need to use on-demand. 

 


Fit


Elevate your own athleisure game by focusing on casual style items in athletic clothing that fits properly. Off the rack, fashion silhouettes will make people pay attention to the outline of your body, so it is key that you don’t start draping yourself with super baggy items or skin-tight pieces that you can barely breathe in.


When you are wearing clothing that is flattering to your body, it will make your athletic outfit look more fashionable and intentional as a choice instead of looking like you just woke up from a long afternoon nap. You want to exude complete confidence that this outfit is a conscious, well-decided choice and not an unfortunate accident. 



Caring for Athleisure


By following your activewear care instructions, you will allow your athleisure pieces to serve you better because they will last longer and fit you like they are supposed to. Everyone’s training routines are different, some longer and more frequent than others. But, if you take care of your activewear, it could potentially last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Avoid harsh chemicals and really hot water. They can ruin the breathability and wicking functions of your apparel. Don’t mix these together with your washing machine. 


To really stretch out the lifespan of your activewear, wash your activewear separately from all of your other laundry. Don’t stretch it or wring it out like you would a damp dishrag. 

 


Neutral Colors

 

As people mature into their middle-ages and beyond, it becomes hard to commit to more fashionable looks, especially if they involve wearing bright colors and flamboyant patterns. In order to ease yourself into activewear as casual wear outside of the gym, you may want to begin by first settling into neutral colors first, like black, white, and gray. 


You also want to be sure that the articles of apparel that you are putting on are suitable for the place that you are heading over to. Breathable shorts might not be the right look for every outing that you find yourself in.


  

Put a Blazer On


When in doubt about what you should do to spruce up your exercise outfits, you can instantly make them look extremely more stylish and appropriate for more upscale experiences by putting on a casual blazer or snazzy sport jacket unless you are feeling unfresh after an intense gym session. 


This is your opportunity to leave your wool blazers at home and either wear or go purchase a more breathable, flexible option that won’t suffocate you when it is time to hit the exercise bike full speed.


Athleisure activewear offers a number of options when it comes to outerwear. They can still provide peak performance when you are busting a sweat or warming yourself up with a steaming hot chocolate. 


Make sure your collection of activewear is truly versatile enough. Grab some track jackets and fleece zip-ups that can add some speed to how fast you will be able to get dressed for your next date. Spend a little bit extra on a nice practical activewear jacket you can get quite a bit of mileage out of. Make the most of your money when you are transforming your closet into the hub for your garments that can serve multiple purchases now as you gain some time back in your schedule that won’t be totally wasted by dressing and redressing for many activities during the course of one day. 


 

Tops


As far as athletic tops, your best bets are normally t-shirts and sweatshirts. If you can mix in some athletic polo shirts in there, feel free to do so. Just don’t let your beat-up apparel make it out of the house. Reach for casual pieces with slim-cut sweatshirts in performance fabrics.


Henley-style long sleeve shirts are able to usually coast undetected as a shirt that can move between being both casual and dressy. They are designed with buttons, similar to shirts that you would wear to work. Keep your eyes out for henleys that allow you to wear them as athletically-functional apparel and on dates and at work, while still safely maneuvering around at the gym. 


Well-fitting long-sleeve t-shirts and sweatshirts can be office-appropriate, as long as they're not covered in unsightly stains and holes, and don’t have a message printed across the front that would offend your co-workers. 


Buy apparel that's designed to carry you through a busy afternoon or a sweaty workout--don’t settle for that old t-shit you’ve had in your closet for the past decade. 



Bottoms


Your athleisure look would not be complete without a pair of sweatpants or joggers. Look for activewear styles with a slim fit and a tapered leg with performance fabrics and functional fits. 


Now you know what the core elements of your activewear casual outfits should be when you are having fun outside of your fitness emporium, and you have a better idea of how to mix and match them, get creative, and find ways to multitask now that you have more clothing that can serve dual purposes, with less time changing in and out of new outfits each day. 


Blur the lines between what would normally be a Tuesday outfit and what would be a Saturday morning outfit with the interchangeable choices that can be derived from athleisure activewear. Turn your form-fitting sweatpants, your long-sleeve t-shirts, and your fleece jackets into staples of your social outings as you not only get dressed with purpose, but with style, too!