Mastering the Art of Athleisure in 5 Key Steps

Words by Peter Minkoff

Once upon a time, the idea of a man wearing anything but a three-piece suit in an attempt to look classy and sophisticated was unimaginable to say the least. We’ve evolved quite a bit since those times, and we’ve officially entered the era of prioritizing comfort without sacrificing an ounce of style in the process. Of course, we’re talking about the famous athleisure trend, the one and only go-to look for many a modern-day celebrity that lets your skin breathe, gives you ample room to move and makes you feel invincible.

If you’ve been undecided when it comes to this trend, it’s time to embrace all the comfort and confidence that comes with rocking this sporty look. Here are a few key ways to infuse your style with athleisure in an effortless manner so that you can explore your options and discover what works best for you.

Footwear as the foundation

You’ll see guys wearing compression tights and bombers outside the gym, but if you’re not ready just yet to take that leap, but you’d like to have a taste of the comfort ensured by the trend, there’s no better way than to add a few pairs of trainers for a signature athleisure look. If they keep your ankles safe, your soles comfortable, and they let your skin breathe while you train, they will do the same outside of the gym, too.

Trainers are your greatest athleisure asset. They give an edgy twist to your everyday office look, and they have the power to transform an ordinary jeans-plus-shirt combo in a heartbeat. Look for brands that come with a promise of functionality paired with aesthetics, such as a classic pair of Adidas or Nike. You can never go wrong with clean white sneakers when you’re just about to give athleisure a go.

Athletic accessories to the rescue

Beyond your comfortable, supportive footwear, the safest bet for testing out an athleisure-inspired look is adding yet another functional piece to your look – a rugged gym bag for your everyday needs. After all, most will hit the weights after work, so carrying a stylish gym bag together with your laptop bag makes perfect sense. Look for shades that complement more upscale outfit combinations, such as textured grey, or the simple but powerful military green and leather brown for a purely alpha look.

Much like a pair of monochrome trainers, a gym bag is more than just a purposeful item in your ensemble. It’s an ideal choice for a man with fitness at the core of his personality, and one who likes to stay true to his fashion preferences even through accessorizing. Pair up your trainers and your bag in a single outfit and it still won’t be “too much” for a novice athleisure enthusiast.

Embrace those urban vibes

Athleisure has always carried a set of distinct features that come with the trend’s most beloved collections: they are youthful but timeless, they are rebellious, and they are by no means conventional or boring. Athleisure collections, especially the ones inspired by Japanese streetwear have that urban vibe expressed through a range of cuts, textures, and fabrics. From classic cotton, to distressed denim, oversized hoodies and tight trousers, athleisure has transformed the notion of streetwear to a great extent.

You want to go all in with your athleisure efforts? Go for these edgy alternatives for a night on the town or just your workout session at the gym, and you’ll see that they can impact your energy and your attitude with ease. Such pieces are designed to bring you confidence in addition to comfort, so they’ll never disappoint.

Clean minimalism as your go-to

Just in case you’re not yet ready to try on a fierce Asia-inspired look, you can opt for classic brands such as Jack Wills with a slew of long-lasting, purpose-driven items that come with a promise to upgrade your athletic style in no time.

But don’t be fooled by the clear minimalism that the brand and many others like it exude. Their simple use of white, off-white, gray, and black on trusted fabrics and with low-maintenance cuts is precisely what you need to let your love of minimalism endure while you embrace athleisure as a trend. Plus, they will serve you well in any situation, from your training sessions all the way to the office for that casual Friday.

Play with your color palette

Finally, athleisure is so much more than tees, baggy shorts, massive hoodies, and bomber jackets. It’s an attitude and it represents your healthy lifestyle and your respect for timeless wearables. That, however, hasn’t prevented major brands from producing colorful and vibrant garments that you can use to brighten up your look every once in a while.

So, when you’re ready, try new shades and new patterns often offered by brands the likes of Vuori that know how to implement the traditional charcoal hues and balance them with funky takes on nature-inspired colors.

It takes time and skill to refine your love for athleisure, but with a little bit of guidance and research, you can indeed embrace the trend in all of its glory. Use these tips to get your wardrobe into shape and to make sure that you’ve used all the perks that come with athleisure.


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