Athleisure is the catwalk trend that shows no signs of abating. Growing in popularity, alongside our interest in health and wellness, this blend of sportswear and everyday wardrobe is wearable, comfortable and can take you straight from the barre to the bar without a complete outfit change. As the boundaries between work and everyday wear blur, athleisure has become suitable for almost every occasion, even the office, as long as you style it right – matching tracksuit bottoms and hoodie are still a no-no in most management meetings.
Fitness leggings have undergone a style overhaul in recent years. Forget the obviously sporty, cropped pants of old, now they come in every style, length and fabric and follow catwalk trends religiously. For a pair that will take you from the office to the gym, look for bold patterns, colour blocking or luxe materials such as wet-look fabrics. From Pilates to press-ups and pounding the pavement, the new women’s collection from Ted Baker ‘Fit to a T’ utilises sports fabrications and trims to ensure a supportive and stylish workout. With signature florals, geos and colour-block separates to coordinate. Pair with a heel and loose shirt to avoid looking like you've just finished Zumba. Once you hit the gym, replace your shirt and heels with a sports bra, vest top and trainers.
Models of the moment Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are often seen stepping out in sporty crop tops with a bomber jacket slung over the top. While this style may look fab on 20-something supermodels, it can be a bit distracting in the office, but don't worry, a subtle hint of crop top or yoga bra can work just as well. Yoga bras often have numerous straps and intricate detailing, which add interest when worn underneath a plain, loose low-backed jumper for work or, if you're feeling particularly brave, wear on their own with a loose jean in a club. For a flattering nod to the cropped trend, without having to expose your stomach to the world, opt for a long sporty top with a slight crop. When worn with high-waisted trousers this will leave just an inch of flesh on show – meaning you can breathe out and still be on trend
While plastering yourself in sportswear logos may work for teens, it can look a bit tacky once you've passed your driving test – particularly if you're working in a professional environment. Luckily, many high-end fashion labels have jumped on the athleisure trend producing muted colours and sophisticated versions of streetwear favourites. Look out too for collaborations between designer and sportswear labels, such as that between Marni and Zalando, for a subtle take on sports classics.
For the simplest way to add an athleisure touch to work wardrobe, look to your feet. A sporty trainer or pump can be worn at the weekend with jeans, in the summer with a casual T-shirt dress, and gives a fresh feel to a loose-fitting trouser suit and fresh white tee combination in the office. The key is to ensure your footwear isn't 'too' sporty. Anything in bright colours with cushioned soles can look a bit too much like you're going for a run. For an office-approved option, look for a low-profile shoe in box-fresh white, black or a muted pastel, and draw attention to your feet with cropped trousers or a rolled-up hem. While trainers may not be suitable for a high-impact workout, they will take you to yoga or your walking commute in comfort and style.