Sit down, get a drink and put your critical thinking hat and smart glasses on because we’re tackling a really important topic today. Is the rise of the athleisure a good thing or the worst trend since really low slung pants. See I told you it was important. Is it okay to live in leggings or should they only be reserved for active sporting time? I know what we decide here may literally change lives! If you follow me over on the gram you might notice that I have a lot of cute fitness clothes. Like a whole dresser full, almost half a closet full and well a giant bin in the entrance and while I do appear in public in them I save them for workouts only basically. I do that because then it’s exciting and special to wear them but then… I gotta workout to do it. That doesn’t mean I don’t grocery shop in it occasionally. Personally I don’t really care what people wear to any event or in the world mostly. But I’ll confess sometimes do look at someone and think ‘maybe you could have made a better outfit choice today.’ I do know it matters to certain people so I do try to dress appropriately just in case it matters to someone else. For this post I decided to include some pictures of me from my everyday life, not just fitness ones!
Point: Athleisure is comfortable and functional
Maybe you live in leggings because you have an unpredictable and very active life. At any moment you need to be ready to chase a bear or leap from one building to another. If that happens (again, ugh) you’ll be prepared right? Plus not having seams and living in stretchy fabric all the times feels pretty great too. Why not be super ready to spring into action and comfortable right?
Counterpoint: It’s almost the most never appropriate outfit
Not that long ago people had work clothes, weekend clothes, party clothes and if they worked out then they had workout clothes. Baring some sort of minor emergency you wore the category of clothes for the activity you were currently doing. That also meant that you wore appropriate clothes in the appropriate situation. Sometimes these outfits were not all that comfortable. Skin tight pants and a baggy sweater was not deemed appropriate for most outside the house activities and some would say that hasn’t changed. It certainly isn’t appropriate everywhere. I used to work with a lady in lab, a very informal work environment who wore gym clothes all the time. It honestly didn’t come off that well. If it looks like you could run in it that outfit probably isn’t prefect for most work environments, funerals, fancy dinners and any sort of formal function really.
Point: It’s pretty much flattering on most bodies
Leggings look good on everyone, full stop. They suck in your stuff, highlight that rear and smooth everything out. Big, small, short or tall they make you look taller, thinner and hotter. Who doesn’t want that? What are you going to wear with your leggings other than the matching bra, top or sweater. To be fair those cute leggings are hard to match to anything else. Plus no matter how many times you wash it it looks crisp and brand new. Not to mention that they often have a phone pocket. Just a sidetone but that’s pretty cool too.
Counterpoint: Umm… it doesn’t ALWAYs look great
So… this isn’t always the case. Maybe the rearview was great when you were turning to look in the mirror but it might not be cooperating with your undies or something else. We’ve all seen that in action right? Plus we all do a see through test when we’re trying on leggings but do you test them again after 50 washes… one pair of undies good, next pair not good. Probably best to do a daily check. I don’t but… it’s still a good idea. Plus it only looks great if it’s well fitting. If your shirt has shrunken in the wash or lost it’s elastic or you’ve changed sizes it might still be comfortable but not look as great as it once did.
Point: It’s just so convenient if you’re working out that day
Athleisure clothes are just so darn cute now that you can skip most of the gym bag and just wear them in to the gym, do your workout and then wear them right back out. Now that it’s totally acceptable to wear workout clothes in every situation why not? In fact wearing it all day might even make it possible to workout when it wasn’t other wise. The very fact you don’t have to change twice means you have to carve a smaller hole in your day. Or maybe you’ll have time to add a few miles onto that run. Wearing workout clothes can actually make you workout more and that’s cool.
Counterpoint: It’s not that big a deal to change clothes
Ummm you’ve been doing this since you were three. If it’s taking you more than 2 minuets to change your clothes you need to practice more and maybe that’s a bit weird. For most workouts the actually getting dressed part takes the least time. Putting on all those accessories, driving to the gym or hell just finding your favorite water bottle can take a lot longer. It’s also not hard to change your clothes of find a spot to do it. The backseat of your car, the bathroom at your mechanics, behind a well placed tree or wherever you are really are all options. Plus if you really are sneaking a workout into your day you can always double dress partially or completely. So you could wear your running clothes under your skirt or throw a blazer over your running shirt.
Point: Really it is all you need
We’ve established that wearing athleisure clothes is super comfortable and can at least make most bodies look great. It’s actually helps motivate you to workout and helps you sneak more workouts in. The better brands are well made garments easily surpassing similarly priced options in longevity and they look as good after 50 washes as the first wear. I even follow one You-tuber that built a capsule wardrobe at Lululemon. Honestly when you add all that up why would you ever wear anything else?
Counterpoint: It’s a weirdly expensive choice
Many, many popular brands of athletic clothing out there are weirdly expensive. Shirts run $50 and way, way up for sweaters and well north of $100 for pants. These are the brands that everyone wants to wear with lots of brand recognition. You can buy a lot, lot less expensive tops and bottoms from lots of other brands that actually go on sale from time to time. Even though I workout regularly in the winter I only have one pair of winter running pants. If I wore these sorts of pants every day I’d have to have multiples and I can’t afford that! Athleisure wear is more of a status symbol at this point that anything to do with actually working out.
How I roll
You may be wondering what I do for the most part I don’t really wear athleisure out in the world mostly for a couple of reasons. One is I make it a point to only work out in these clothes. One thing is they are really expensive and I don’t want to ruin them by ending up wearing them to work. The other thing is that I love them and I’m super excited to wear them but by allowing myself to only wear them when I workout I sort of bribe myself out the door. Save them for special and sweaty occasions if you will. That doesn’t mean I don’t run out to the grocery store after a run, or bike there from time to time to pick up a few things in my sweaty clothes but I don’t dress that way unless I’m actually working out.
At work I dress like a homeless person and most (okay all) of my work clothes have dap, PL premium, spray foam and paint on them. Actually a lot of my work clothes are workout clothes that drive me nuts while I’m running and so don’t make the cut. I’m often wearing two layers of pants and three sweaters. My winter jacket gets ripped and destroyed in a season. We work long hours at least 6 days a week and so on the rare occasion I get to dress the way I want I find myself longing to dress like a human girl! Getting to wear skinny jeans and a nice sweater or dress is rare for me so I tend to go ALL out when I have the chance. Thats not to say I don’t rock a Lulu scuba hoodie to a low-key family dinner from time to time.
So I guess we can agree given all the pros and cons that you should wear exactly what you want! What’s you take on athleisure wear in the world? Is the ‘are legging pants debate finally dead? What’s the one place you’ve seen it where it just wasn’t appropriate?