3 Ways to Wear Workout Clothes Not For Working Out

Because who has time to go to the gym when your clothes want to party?

05.26.16

This is not a confession so much as it is an admittance of habit, but I’m going to share a discovery and the findings may surprise you: there is no current reality in which I choose regular clothes over athletic wear. None. Unless, of course, I can wear Gucci, in which case, bring on the Sanpietra von Gufftenshaefen!

I’ve been trying to reconcile the rapport I’ve built with stretchy pants and have decided: gym clothes got really cool. No, really cool. I know this is not new information: there’s been a conversation fluttering around Outdoor Voices and Tory Sport and Lisa Marie Fernandez for a while but man, that textured compression fabric on leggings? Arguably the new denim.

They suck you in, tighten you up and evince the spirit of a job well done, a weekend spent completing important errands and better than that: done efficiently.

If you’re someone who identifies as invested in their personal style, athleisure presents a unique challenge when you’re wearing it to not work out: how do I make this me? And of course, there’s always an answer: excessive earrings, too many bracelets, a jacket (or robe!), sparkly socks and footwear that concerns itself not at all with ankle support. You can even take this a step further, which I did, and integrate your hero pieces into a week of work outfits. See below.

Your Favorite Leggings are Also Your Favorite Capri Pants

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Isa Arfen jacket — similar here, Vilshenko top, Beyond Yoga leggings, Paul Andrew sandals

I know, I know, Carrie Bradshaw called, she wants her look back. But she can’t have it! I want to keep it! Here I’m wearing a pair of Beyond Yoga knee cap leggings with an embroidered button down blouse and a starchy silk jacket that swiftly covers that sausage making that is a shirt tucked into leggings. Heels are kind of the key here — there’s something about this knee-cap length that makes them look like amplified versions of themselves.

That Thing You Wear Running While it’s Raining? Great with Brocade!

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Tory Sport track jacket, Marques Almeida skirt, & Other Stories socks, Chanel shoes and bag, Gentle Monster sunglasses

Bring on the color and be super weird about it. You might recall this nylon hoodie as one akin to the kind you wear while long-distance running in the rain but it also pairs great with a counter color and printed mini skirt (though shorts or high waist pants would suffice). What’s great is that it is so thin, it will effectively tuck into anything. Including–yeah!!!–leggings.

A Sports Bra is Just Another Layering Device

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Laain sports bra, Rosie Assoulin top

So treat it like one! Give your off-the-shoulder tops a reason to exist! Wear it over a button down shirt or t-shirt. Try it as a crop top — why not? Show your breasts that even though they’re being compressed, you admire and respect their willingness to comply, so give them the night off by dancing in your living room while topless.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.

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  • Andrée Celeste Brentini

    I LOVE all three of them, seriousy.
    I was in NY last week and was impressed by how many girls and women mixed sports leggings and much more refined pieces. Love that!

  • Haley Nahman

    The 2nd lewk is my favorite and I’m going to make a teeny doll of you wearing it for my desk

    • Kelly

      Yes, the second look is amazing. Those colours are fabu!

    • Catalina

      but with potatoes á la eternal sunshine of a spotless mind

  • Hanne

    the white rosie pants are IT, such a cool twist to the ripped-knee flares.

    and the second setting is so cool, the backdrop is super fitting, amazing work choosing this!

  • M

    athleisure needs to die.

  • Amelia Diamond

    One Tory Sport track jacket for me, plz

  • EJS

    Photo 12 !!!!!!!!!!!!! Girl frame that!!!!!!!!

  • marvelaaas

    Yas, def among my fave #closetXXXtrachallenge. A GirlbossingxFitchachosxNexus outfit is a pretty efficient path towards GetYour(Fit)ShitTogether vibes (doesn’t hurt that it also goes well with the Rocky soundtrack to slay deadlines and painful partners with). Just a power jacket and some fab heels away and voila, Super Woman on either spectrum.

  • Awesome!I love this guide.

  • Alternative Ageing

    Great ideas, thank you, as I spend too long in gym gear and not enough dressing up. I often add a black and white scarf to my black & white gym gear plus vintage sunglasses. That works! x

  • Sophie

    Great post as always! 🙂
    http://www.ofsilkandsatin.com
    I post every Monday and Friday, check out my blog if you have time! 🙂

  • BK

    the Chanel pumps + beige socks = actual alchemy

  • as someone who works out as a job, I’ve been mixing in my ‘real’ clothes for some time but think the track jacket + Chanel shoes combo is nothing short of divine inspiration!

  • Kay

    O m g is that a shirt tucked into leggings? Bold, bold. I want to try that but fear the inevitable pile up around the waist.

  • Lex Macgowan

    pic 7 is the stunner here. 2 cents please.

  • Pixi Cycling

    Love your blog, obviously another amazing post feat. your amazing style 🙂