In case you haven’t noticed, athleisure — casual items like yoga pants, sweatshirts and sneakers serving a purpose beyond getting a great workout — has taken over. But how do you dress up this trend for a fashion-forward look at work? Stylist Alisa Frederico, who runs the brand Dressing Jane, gives us tips on the do’s and dont's of incorporating athleisure into your professional wardrobe.
Find out the rules of your workplace.
Every workplace is different and you need to identify how strict your office dress code is. “If you work in a super stuffy environment, this trend may not be possible,” says Frederico. “If you work in a more open environment, you can get away with incorporating leggings and slouchy tees with a cute sneaker.”
Leggings are not a replacement for trousers.
Your leggings need to be of quality because if they’re too thin, you might as well be wearing stockings. Frederico advises that for the office, dark solid colors are ideal. “Black, dark grey, burgundy. Don’t wear wild workout pants in a professional environment,” she says. “Also, make sure your bum is covered" with something like a long sweater or blazer.
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Strike a balance between casual and structured.
To make athleisure work for the office, it’s important that you keep the look grounded by pairing it with something dressier. “I love doing a sweatshirt with a pencil skirt,” says Frederico. “You can even put a blouse underneath a casual sweatshirt.”
Accessories play a huge part.
Think you’re finished once you’ve layered your clothes? Think again. “You need great jewelry to look polished,” Frederico says. “Make sure you have a killer necklace on and a pair of earrings.” And if you’re the kind of person who is constantly cold, wearing hats is another option. “Slouchy beanies and pom hats are a great way to add to the look,” she adds.
Keep your footwear clean.
Wearing your everyday gym sneakers to the office is a definite don’t. “If you’re going to do a trainer or a little sneaker, it should be clean and new — not the pair you just hiked nine miles in,” Frederico says. “I love the Adidas Gazelle. They come in a range of colors and add sleek comfort.”
For more style tips, be sure to follow Alisa on Instagram @dressing_jane.