With more and more of us feeling we should be hitting the gym, especially as a New Year Resolution, it makes sound economic sense that we’d start introducing more workout garb into our everyday attire.
It doesn’t really matter if you play sports or not, if you’re fit as a fiddle or your hobbies involve sitting down for long periods of time, the sports element of anyone’s wardrobe is pretty much academic. As well as being the most comfortable items you own, recent reports estimate that the athleisure market was worth around $35 billion last year and now makes up 17 percent of the entire American clothing market.
Luckily, when styled correctly, it also looks sharp. But it’s all a matter of personal preference.
Fashionistas have long had a problem with sportswear and made sure it wasn’t taken seriously on a grand, global scale. In the past couple of decades, however, what we wear has started to be influenced more and more by pop and street culture. Our heroes in music, sport and film all wear sportswear, so that’s how we want to look.
Here’s a breakdown of what you should and should not be doing when it comes to working casual sportswear into your wardrobe.
Far removed from the massive jersey and towelling versions worn by your average Joe, these are the sweatshirts primarily made for hobby athletes. Designed with ergonomics in mind, slim-cut sweaters in hi-tech materials can add an all-new dimension to an outfit. Fits tend to run extraordinarily close, but sporty sweatshirts will lend themselves well to being worn under a minimal overcoat in winter or even on its own once it eventually warms up again. When it comes to the traditional team footie shirt, however, on-field versions tend to be extremely form-fitting, which is fine if you’re a professional athlete with an eight-pack. As well as the snug fit, the cost of football shirts can be off-putting on their own. Instead, pick up the replica version, which will fit more like a regular T-shirt and are usually less expensive.
These tend to come in two iterations: the everyday tapered jogger and slimline jogger. The difference might not seem extremely obvious, but it’s all in the material.
Probably one step removed from performance tights, the extreme tailored jogger is an essential athleisure staple and are incredibly comfy. To keep them on trend they need to be dressed up, not down: try teaming a pair with a longline button-down shirt and loopback cotton sweatshirt or something similarly formal up top, not a football shirt.
Brands have cottoned on to the fact that not only do people want a trainer they can run in, they also want to be able to wear it every day too.
Again, Adidas and Nike are ahead of the game, combining their decades of success in producing fit-for-purpose athleticwear with up-to-the-minute fashion hits. The brands’ trainers offer supreme comfort and performance, yet are cool enough to wear with a pair of slim, dark wool trousers.
Far removed from the 80’s hate figure of your closet, that extra hood on your jacket can be vital for avoiding elemental intrusion and for making you feel like a Rocky taking on the steps. It’s also a great way to structure your layering, with a thin tech-material hoody nicely dovetailing with a hoodless jacket worn over the top.