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How to wear activewear casually

The "athleisure" trend combines sportswear with snappy dressing.

The “athleisure” trend combines sportswear with snappy dressing.

Keep your sense of style active

Adding a hint of sports style to your otherwise casual or smart casual outfit has become fashionable in recent months. I have previously written about the horrors of wearing sports clothing casually, but seeing that the “athleisure” look has slowly but surely turned into a trend, perhaps it is time to revise that stance. There is no denying that sportswear is far more comfortable than jeans and button-downs, and there is a lot to be said for comfort.

You will always look more respectable if you dress well. Athleisure is a challenging look, and you would be best advised to shun the fashion and focus on dressing in a classically stylish manner. However, if you are insistent on following the activewear trend, here is the correct way to do it.

It’s all about contrast

The athleisure trend is not about merely throwing on your old gym shirts and a stained tee shirt, and declaring yourself as being in fashion. The style draws its appeal from the juxtaposition of high performance gear with smart casual attire. This is why the athleisure trend is so difficult- it takes a trained eye to judge whether two pieces have enough contrast without clashing horribly. To follow the athleisure trend, try just throwing one or two sporty pieces in with your usual outfit. One athletic main garment (such as pants, coat or jumper) and one athletically inspired accessory (such as a name brand gym bag) can be combined with an otherwise sleek outfit for a sports luxe look.

Don’t wear loose with loose

Gym clothes look sloppy. Avoid the unkempt slob look by keeping one half of your outfit reasonably fitted. You can wear sweatpants with a tight tee shirt or a loose basketball top with chinos, but you cannot combine a baggy top with baggy bottoms.

Tapered sweatpants

Enjoy the comfort of sweatpants without the slack look by opting for tapered pants. A slightly baggy crotch will draw attention to the area (some women seem to like that), but the tighter fitting ankles will show that you have some semblance of style. Make sure you pair the tapered sweatpants with a sleek top half. A sports coat or even a leather jacket over a plain top will give you a fashion-forward look.

Hooded sweatshirts

A warm, worn-in hoodie is everyone’s guilty pleasure. You probably have one that you wear around the house (and if you don’t have one, you should get one). Time to take your hooded sweatshirt out into the world. Those with a zipper down the front are perfect for layering, whether as the finishing touch to your outfit or as a small detail under a leather jacket or sport coat. A hooded sweatshirt with no zipper is even easier to wear: just add a pair of skinny jeans and your outfit is done.

Tread carefully

Incorporated a stylish, name brand pair of sneakers into your shoe wardrobe is an easy way to adopt the athleisure trend. However, it is easy to wear sneakers with an outfit that does not go with them at all. Wearing sneakers with suit pants is a truly horrible idea. Sneakers can go quite well with chinos or jeans, but are tricky to pair with anything more formal.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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