Under the COVID pandemic many professionals have been working at home and spending the vast majority of their working hours in some form of "stretch pants." More fashionable and "elevated" athletic wear is more life-relevant than ever before. Men's athleisure wear has benefits, which make them perfect for working at home. Since athleisure wear was designed and made for comfort, versatility, and practicality, they are great clothing to wear in a lot of situations in your current life. One athletic outfit will work at the gym, the office, and running errands --- they even work for the Zoom call from the couch.
It is important to understand the features of men's athleisure clothing, how to wear athleisure wear, and to be able to spot great choices in the genre.
Athleisure itself, is a category of casual wear, combining attributes of traditional athletic wear, "tech wear," and popular street wear, which ha been made even more popular fashion influencers, social media and celebrity culture. Tech wear tends to put function over looks, where athleisure wear is the skillful balancing of the two clothing categories.
The mother of all casual wear providers was Lululemon and their ubiquitous yoga pants, which were introduced in the early 2000s. First followed by women and later men, the company gave perfectly good permission to seek comfort over conventionality in clothing. Before long wearing your yoga pants to the grocery store and high tech t-shirts to the office was acceptable and almost universal.
Both athletic wear and athlesiure wear focus on high tech fabrics, comfort, and function. Don't make the mistake of choosing low-priced loungewear from brands such as Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. Well-made, stylish, well-made clothing almost never comes in a multipack from Target. You want to look put together, and a ten dollar pair of sweatpants isn't helpful and isn't going to cut it.
High Tech Fabrics
Most activewear uses materials like polyester, nylon, rayon, and spandex. These highly flexible fabrics offer fit/comfort, a wide range of motion, and dryness through their moisture-wicking properties. Great for travel, these fabrics don’t easily wrinkle, which makes them great choice for jamming into a suitcase. High tech fabrics are also used in most outerwear, which are created from technical waterproof fabrics. So they can be practical for both the early morning commutes as well as a weekend hike or camping adventure.
Athleisure separates itself (possible elevates itself) from both casual and athletic wear by providing a superior fit. Men's athleisure wear's trim, form fitting style directs attention to a man's body and provide for athleisure wear's typical "just left the gym" persona. This effect is the opposite of baggy gym clothing, which makes men look like they stayed up too late and just rolled out of bed. The secret is well-designed and well-fitting clothing that shows off your athletic body. And any man will be seen as more put together, despite effectively wearing sweatpants.
Athleisure is also extremely practical and versatile. Most athleisure items feature drawstrings, snaps, or zippers rather than the buttons found on conventional clothing.
How to Best Wear Athleisure
Even if you are wearing casual clothing, you can still look well put together and sharp. Choose top-quality, well-fitting items, and you will look like you meant to wear that, instead of something you threw on as you left your house.
As tops, lean towards mainly forms of t-shirts and sweatshirts, sticking to technical fabrics. Every man looks better in slim-cut sweatshirts and lightweight tees in athletic performance materials.
Match your well-fitting tops with some form of sweatpants, joggers, or shorts. Stick with a slim fit, tapered legs, performance materials and functional fit. Following this advice will always have you look well put together.
The Athleisure category offers a wide variety of choices in outerwear. You can maintain your "put-together" look with a hoodie with great fit and fabrics. Unless you live in an extremely cold environment, this is a practical jacket you’ll use for years into the future. Its a great "bang for the buck" choice to select a jacket or hoodie that works well for daily wear, traveling, and any outdoor activity.