Out of the Gym and Onto the Street

By Callie Martin

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By now, you have seen women shopping at the grocery store or picking their kids up from school wearing clothes that look as though they’re either on their way to or from the gym. While that could be true, it’s more likely they have simply come to the same conclusion the fashion industry highlighted this past year: that looking good and being comfortable are not an “either/or” option.

“Athleisure” wear is defined as clothing that has the appearance of allowing reach and flexibility of the wearer, while keeping her looking on-trend and stylish. This is a trend not just for gym-goers, but for all women.

For athleisure wear, comfort is priority one. No constricting jeans or ill-cut tops will make it past designers for this line, which emphasizes the wearer’s ability to wear the items while doing just about any task. One of the hallmark staples of athleisure is leggings and/or yoga pants.

Leggings, as the name suggests, are leg-huggers that come in a variety of colours, patterns and styles. All share the basic makeup of being a blend of (typically) cotton and spandex, allowing for a full range of motion. For women over 50, avoid “loud” prints (anything neon or capable of glowing under a black-light is an immediate “pass”) and stick to neutrals like grey, navy or black, the latter of which is the most common and versatile.
To avoid the fashion faux-pas of dressing like a teenager going to the mall, it’s important to pair an athleisure item with a more classic one when wearing it out in public. A pair of black leggings with a mid-length skirt or dress is both appropriate and comfy. It is important to remember that when it comes to the “are leggings pants?” debate, for most women (not girls), the answer is no. Pair your leggings (under a skirt, dress or long tunic) with a cute summer sandal, and you’re definitely rocking the trend without compromising your style.

If you prefer to wear a pair of athleisure pants versus a pair of traditional leggings, look no further than the ever popular “yoga” pant. Made with thicker (and, therefore, less transparent) fabric than leggings, yoga pants often come in “boot” and “flare” cuts, with the former being more conservative and adaptable.

Yoga pants are usually black (with an optional colourful waistband) and are great for running errands on a busy day, or for keeping up with grandchildren on a sugar-high at your next family get-together. What also makes them so amazing is that you don’t have to worry about getting messy – these pants wash beautifully (and hang to dry). They are built for durability, so go ahead and play in the mud or roll down a grassy knoll with the kids. Grass and sticky-finger stains have never been so fashionable (and easy to wash out!).


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