February 13, 2019 at 07:05AM by CWC
I think there are few trends from the past several years that have dominated the fashion industry as much as athleisure. It’s cool, it’s easy-to-wear, it makes me feel like Gigi Hadid, and allows for my on-the-go lifestyle, minus the fuss. That said, athleisure, as a rule, is much more than just a workout look. In fact, it’s more about how to pair those favorite sporty pieces, technical or not, with other more tailored wardrobe staples to create a look that’s equal parts casual, classic, and pulled-together.
When it comes to athleisure essentials for this coming spring, fashion and brand consultant Devina Foley says, “It’s all rooted in nostalgia.” It seems apt, of course, as some of today’s most popular streetwear styles were the ones that were initially in-demand a decade or two ago. Among them are ’90s staples like Adidas track pants, Champion sweatshirts, and the retro sneakers like the Reebok Aztrek, Nike M2K Tekno and Air Max ’97, and Fila Disruptor. But, while Foley looks to the past for a little inspiration, she’s keeping her looks current by embracing bright and bold options for some of those throwback styles that pack a little bit of a stronger punch.
From leopard patterns to exaggerated wide-leg shapes, here are all the athleisure essentials you’re going to be seeing everywhere this spring—and what to shop to get that head-start on the trends that are about to hit it big.
“Some may say this trend never died,” says Foley, “but it’s definitely having a revival moment right now in both fashion and in performance wear.” Leopard print is particularly exciting because it acts as both a bold pattern, as well as a pair-with-anything neutral. Foley is currently loving leopard performance pieces from Adam Selman’s new activewear collection A.S.S., which will hold up in any kind of workout but also style effortlessly with everything in your ready-to-wear repertoire, from structured blazers to slouchy denim.
Neon is a great way to add a little color to your look to instantly make it feel a little sportier, even if the pieces themselves are not specifically athletically-inclined. Foley urges all athleisure lovers to go bold for spring, though, citing “Nike’s head-to-toe looks as a fresh change for the brand.” She specifically calls out the brand’s choice to introduce electric details to an already bold legging style. “Don’t miss the hidden zippers on the thigh that reveal a mesh panel if desired,” she says. Personally, I’m all about Gigi Hadid’s new platform sneakers from her first full-scale collection with Reebok, bringing that sporty vibe to more casual streetwear.
This luxe texture first started gainly favor with activewear and athleisure designers a few seasons back, but it truly hits its stride this season. “In stark contrast to the neon,” says Foley, “feminine neutrals bring velvet into spring, helping bring some optimism to the never-ending cold.” She specifically calls out a nod to Juicy Couture, which is experiencing a resurgence by way of new jogger silhouettes and hoodies that make unexpected layering pieces—a style option that also showed up on Tom Ford’s FW19 runway.
A head-to-toe athletic look is always a great go-to when it comes to nailing that athleisure style, albeit on the more casual end of the spectrum. While seasons past have brought with them a sports bra-and-legging look, Foley challenges that sleeker silhouette, sharing that the matching set of the season is “now a sweatshirt and a legging.” She adds that it’s perfect for this time of year, as we look toward warmer weather ahead but still struggle to battle the brisk winter winds.
When it comes to new silhouettes, Foley predicts that shapes are about to become more exaggerated in the world of athleisure, calling out wide-leg bottoms as “so fresh and a great alternative to leggings and joggers.” A voluminous pant is an effortless way to take that sporty style into a more tailored realm, choosing a more streamlined shape than a slouchy jogger you might have reached for in the past.