Why Not . . . Wear Athleisure Wear?

May 25, 2016

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In a matter of months, having moved to Bend changed my approach to what I wore outside of my home. Now, don’t get me wrong, my capsule wardrobe was in tact: blazers, wrap dresses, pencil skirts, camisoles, white button up shirts, shift dresses in summer as well as maxi dresses, etc., but because I was nearly everyday taking my dogs for long walks as I explored the many trails and hopping on my paddle board from time to time, I found that I was wearing what I wore walking and on the water to do errands before I would return home or on my way to the trailhead. Which meant, I wanted to look presentable.

Of course, yoga pants, typically black had always been part of my workout wear, but after attending a few yoga studios in the past few years, I began to see playful signature leggings on many of my fellow downward dog lovers. As someone who isn’t necessarily into bright, I found that some of the leggings were still quite unique but in gray, black, blue or something more neutral.  Realizing that I could have fun without letting my pants scream at other participants, I looked a little further.

It was during December of 2014 that I began dabbling in athleisure wear with a pair of Prana leggings (see below), and then in the fall of 2015, I decided to invest. After all, I would have more conversations with either strangers, neighbors, acquaintances or friends while out exercising and enjoying the outdoors as the most inexpensive way to socialize in the beautiful Central Oregon is to get outside. So, I took a serious look at Lululemon.


~TSLL Instagram: Prana pants and Aurorae thick yoga mat~


~TSLL Instragram – December 2015~

Seen above is a warmer legging for the chiller months, but I also picked up one more pair for the spring and summer as well as wearing with my rash guard tops when I am on my paddle board.

After watching CBS Sunday Morning this past weekend, editor after editor after editor professed that this was a trend that was here to stay. Perhaps a bit of a contradiction. Better to say, this is a style that is here to stay, and I must wholeheartedly agree. Why?

1.Good Health = A Good Life

As the population becomes more savvy and aware of how to stay and remain healthy, and as more options become available both indoor and out, people will continue to make working out a part of their daily lives.

2. Disposable Income

More and more young professionals and seasoned professionals have an income to allow them to invest. And while at first $75 for a pair of leggings may seem excessive, if they last for more than a couple of years, retain their shape and allow you to look and feel your best, the Cost Per Wear equation proves the purchase to be a great buy.

3. When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good you are more present and able to enjoy life.

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2014 that athleisure wear had increased 7.8% while jean sales had slowly decreased. Now, I will ardently cling to my denim stretch skinny jeans, but the numbers suggest people are feeling more and more comfortable wearing leggings, bright, beautiful, contouring leggings to more casual occasions than just to work out.

Is this advisable? Would this be considered a fashion faux pas? Is this the 21st century version of letting yourself go and wearing sweatpants? Fair questions, each one, but sweatpants are not leggings. You must feel confident to wear body-clinging leggings. If nothing else, they perpetuate the motivation to get outside or go to that class or roll out your yoga mat at home to get and stay in great shape. Working out can be fun and chic.

How to wear Athleisure wear leggings beyond the gym, trail or class?

1. Strike the balance

Since your leggings are tight, wear a loose top, a knit or something that breathes. Balance must also come in the print vs. solids, bright vs. neutral. If your leggings are a bright, bold print, pair with a black, gray or solid neutral top.

2. Wear a knee mid-thigh or knee-length trench.

3. Wear under a casual loose dress that hits above or at the knees.

4. An oversized cardigan for evening casual around the house with your significant other.

This combo is one of my favorites. In fact, simply an oversized boyfriend sweater is a great transition from work clothes, but pre-pajamas. It’s cozy, it’s presentable and it looks great.

Don’t forget:

  • a great print is great at camouflaging
  • a great color can complement your skin tone
  • wear invisible lingerie. Commando makes great and affordable options

A few businesses dedicated to Women’s Athleisure wear that I highly recommend:


Lululemon offers free delivery and free returns, similar to Zappos. Making it that much easier to order multiple styles, sizes and colors and then ship back what doesn’t work without the headache.


Co-founded by Kate Hudson, this athleisure company can be shopped as a guest or a VIP member. The VIP label enables you to receive exclusive news of the newly released items (each month), and receive special discounts.


Best known for their pants, especially if you need your classic black pant in any size, these will keep you pulled in and create a flattering silhouette.

Title IX

Beautifully made clothing and a company confident that you will love what you buy. So much so, they offer a full-refund or exchange within one year of purchase. No joke.

Sweaty Betty

Full of color, full of great designs. I was first introduced to the brand while traveling in London and have been a fan ever since. With the goal of empowering women through fitness, this brand if strong, feminine and absolutely fun.

Before I wrap up, some street style inspiration of how to wear and style athleisure into your routine.











Have fun working out in more ways than one. 🙂


~Why Not . . . Feed Your Body Well?

~Why Not . . . Treat Your Body Like a Temple?

~Love Food; Love Your Body: 10 Simple Tips

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10 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Wear Athleisure Wear?

  1. Thanks Shannon for this great post! I bought a pair of New Balance a few months ago but didn’t find a way to wear them that seemed great. But obviously I see a lot of other girls who succeed! I’m going to give it another try 😉

  2. There are a lot of blogs that frown upon athleisure wear I glad to hear someone have a positive take on it. It is a 20 minute drive from my house to where I practice yoga. When I am in ” town” I like to run errands as well. I have to wear yoga clothes for running errands. It would be ridiculous to keep changing. I throw a jean shirt or sweater over them and then go. I live kind of in the country and our neighborhood is a very active community. Most of what I see my neighbors wearing is athleisure wear. I feel they do it in a very presentable way. Some look better in their athleisure wear than I do then when I dress for work.

  3. Athleta has a great selection too. Work out gear + ‘athleisure’ clothing. Great quality and better prices vs lululemon.

  4. I LOVE wearing athleisure wear, but have avoided it because I thought it made me look sloppy. The pictures show a very different story and I am going to put together some outfits this weekend. Thanks, Shannon, for sharing and promoting a comfortable, active, efficient and great look!

  5. Live in “athleisure” after work & in free time as i am a 55 yr. old very fit landscape architect who spends her entire work life in denim and boots. A few caveats. Age appropriateness must be considered for fashionability. At my age, and younger even, in my opinion tops must be at least tunic length. Must. I will often top with Mesheeky skirts. Doesn’t matter how fit you are- no one wants to see your older lady part contours. cover it. Right footwear also critical. High heels with leggings are for teens and 20-somethings. Don’t dress like your college age daughter, even if you’re the same size. (which i am. 6) As you said, proper undergarments are key. Seamless.

  6. Shannon, I LOVED these athletic photos! Our Canadian store, Aritizia uses lots of running shoes in their advertisements. Your fashion photos are my favorites, so thank you for the guidance and fabulous ideas. I was in Vancouver when LuluLemon started and remember the excitement of seeing the logo and the amazing fit for the first time.

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