The DIY Playbook Style Series – Athleisure
Today’s Wardrobe Staple – Athleisure
Just to make sure we’re all starting today’s post on the same page, let’s first start by defining what the heck “Athleisure” is. For most of you this is probably old news, but for the few who are scratching their heads thinking that “these ladies have lost their minds… again”, we want to prove that this ONE time we actually haven’t because Athleisure is a real thing.
Athleisure is technically defined as “a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities is worn in other settings, such as during work, casual or social occasions”. <— Thanks Wikipedia!
In other words, it’s athletic wear (like yoga pants, tanks, or sweatshirts) that can be worn well beyond the gym (like when you’re running errands, bumming on the weekend, or just because you feel like it). We love athleisure wear because it’s so comfy AND so versatile. And since this type of clothing is very popular now, it’s easy to find a few affordable pieces. You’d be surprised how quickly these pieces creep into your everyday routine.
The one thing we like to keep in mind when buying athleisure is to limit our collection to a few versatile pieces that we really love. We have found that we typically reach for out favorite pieces over and over again so instead of buying 42 different athleisure looks, we keep it simple by buying just a few key pieces that are quality, neutral colors, and looks we really love.
I could kiss whoever came up with this whole athleisure thing! Clothing that is comfortable & cute, plus it can be worn to workout or to just lounge around?! Yes, please! I must admit…I own a lot of athleisure. But honestly, I don’t feel bad about it because I wear these clothes constantly.
First of all, I do wear my workout gear to actually workout! I belong to a gym in our neighborhood and I find that I’m much more excited to get a workout in when I’m wearing cute active gear. And then once I’m actually working out, I find that I have a much better workout when I’m wearing the right clothing. I know it may seem crazy to spend a lot of money on leggings, but I’ve found that higher quality ones are well worth the price! They suck everything in, don’t roll down, and don’t require you to pull them up every 15-seconds <– literally the worst thing ever.
These new capri ones are my current favorite! I love the detailing (a little bit scandalous…but still gym appropriate) and they are incredibly comfortable. I’ve bought cheaper leggings in the past, and have always been disappointed when they would pill and fall apart quickly.
This my first time buying leggings from Zella and I think they just might be my new fav brand.
Now let’s discuss my new zip-up. Man, it’s another obsession of mine. You know I love me some gray, and this sweatshirt is a new staple in my closet.
I often throw the zip up on over a tank when on my way to workout class, and then after the warm-up I’ll take it off.
But I also wear this hoodie constantly when at home. It is pretty much the best thing to throw on when our condo gets chilly. And the thumb holes on the sleeves make it ever better.
All in all, I’m all aboard the athleisure train and I don’t plan to hop off any time soon!
For those of you thinking that you love the leisure part of these outfits without the “ath”-letic part… you are my people! I’m sending you an air high-five from behind my computer right now.
In honor of full disclosure, when I wear outfits like this I barely wear them to the gym (am I horrible for even admitting that?!). Before recently, I barely went to the gym and when I did, wore super old and ugly “gym clothes”. Now that I’ve been going to the gym more often (cue the confetti emoji but don’t get too excited because it’s only January) I still tend to wear running shorts and old t-shirts. I like to save my athleisure looks for weekend errands, relaxing, and really any activities that involve no sweating. #isitjustme? <—- after reading Casey’s portion of this blog post, I kinda feel like it IS just me and I need to get my act together!
This is probably one of the main reasons why I’m the WORST person to give athleisure advice. The fact is that I like to have one or two of these outfits… tops… in my closet because I’ve found that since I don’t wear them to the gym and get them all sweaty, I grab the same outfit over and over again.
I’ve had these black “yoga”-like leggings in my closet for a long time. They have little zippers on the side, which makes me think they’re probably less yoga and more leggings. But either way I like this particular pair because I can wear them with athleisure gear (they’re stretchy just like yoga pants) or dress them up a bit with booties or boots and a long sweater. No one can ever tell the difference.
I recently bought this classic grey hoodie and am pretty obsessed with it! I’m not a huge fan of a traditional hoodie because I feel like it is heavy and constricting on my neck. Instead, I love cowl neck sweatshirts because they’re way less restricted and a bit more fashionable in my eyes. You wouldn’t believe how many people comment on the neck of this sweatshirt!
But the neck isn’t even my favorite part of this piece. See that zipper across the front? It unzips to create a huge compartment behind the pockets to hold all of your essentials. It’s almost like a kangaroo’s pouch and it’s a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I wore this outfit on the plane traveling to Mexico and kept my phone, headphones, and passport in that little kangaroo pouch and it allowed me to keep my belongings safe while being hands-free. And because there’s extra room in that area of the sweatshirt, you could hardly even see the treasures I had tucked in there. Honestly, I think I want to travel in this convenient sweatshirt all. the. time. because it’s pretty life changing. Or at least I’ll run more errands with it on the weekends so I don’t have to deal with a purse. <— that counts as “running” right?!
On cold days, this outfit pairs well with my winter coat or this Northface vest I’ve had for the past few years. I love how the cowl neck adds a bit of fun to the front of the vest without bringing the bulk of a hood.
I may not hit the gym as often as I should, but I promise you I get plenty of wear out of my few athleisure pieces. I usually wear them until they are old and ragged and then splurge on a new quality piece.
Regardless of how you use your athleisure gear, here are some of the quality pieces we’re currently loving. The best part is that only a few pieces in your wardrobe can make a huge impact.
1 Gray Zip-up (Casey’s) // 2. Cowl Neck Hoodie (B’s) // 3. Asymmetrical Hoodie
4. Athleta Leggings // 5. Gray Tank // 6. Black Capri Leggings
7. B’s Gymshoes // 8. Casey’s Gymshoes // 9. Swell Water Bottle // 10. No Show Socks
So what do you think, do you love athleisure gear as much as we do? And more importantly, do you actually wear your athleisure gear to the gym or everywhere BUT the gym?!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.