Scroll through Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest, and you’re bound to run into at least a dozen influencers decked out in the athflow aesthetic. Thinking “ath-what?” Know that you’re not alone. And that’s precisely why we’re giving you the full run-down on the trend, ahead. (Spoiler alert: You likely just categorize the clothing style under a different name—but pish-posh!)
What is the athflow aesthetic?
First recognized as a trend by Pinterest style analysts back in 2020, athflow is, more or less, an elevated take on athleisure. “When athleisure meets elegance—that’s athflow,” explains Jenna Landi, who is the head of brand insights at Pinterest. “Athflow is all about comfortability and style. Think: Flowy pants, casual jumpsuits, and oversized outfits—all professional enough for a work-from-home look, but stretchy enough for the yoga mat.” (Or the couch, she points out.)
Leggings, yoga pants, camis, and crop tops were cornerstones of the 2010s. Over the years, those separates (complemented by oversized sweats, slides, sneakers, and, shocking as they may seem, Crocs) became known as athleisure and started popping up everywhere from designer runways and magazine cover shoots to the sidewalks of New York, Los Angeles, and many markets in between.
While comfort and casual-vibes are still key, elevating the look—à la the Kar-Jenners, Hailey Bieber, and Arianna Grande—is the ultimate goal of athflow. And nowadays, there’s an added emphasis on texture, too.
“Within Athflow, we saw ‘soft outfits’ continue to trend up throughout 2021,” Landi shares. “Looking ahead to 2022, we think these soft outfits set the stage to enable Flexercise—a trend where we predict people of all ages will fall in love with low-impact ways to move their bodies, from starting a daily stretching routine to nature walks.”
What’s more, Landi says that the Pinterest Insights team is noticing the same soft outfits trend taking over people’s bedtime attire as well. “We predict people will take their nighttime ensembles seriously and embrace satin sleepwear and classic nightgowns,” she explains, emphasizing the comfort-meets-style premise of athflow at its core. (Intrigued? Let this be your excuse to treat yourself to a pair of Lilysilk Pajamas ($289).)
5 items that perfectly all within the athflow aesthetic
Now that you're brushed up on one of the year’s biggest trends—not to mention one that’s bound to flourish even further in 2022—you may be looking for some inspiration on how to incorporate it into your own life. We’ve got you covered. Ahead, find five wardrobe staples that you’ll be thrilled to own every time you slip into them.
Celebrities and everyday folks have been swooning over Kim Kardashian’s Skims cozy line ever since it first debuted back in 2019. What started out as a robe, crop top, shorts, and pants has since expanded into pullovers, bralettes, hoodies, and wrap tops. Each top and bottom is designed with the softest stretchy fabric and is specifically made to pair well together, so it’s no wonder that these styles so regularly sell out—especially in the time of the athflow aesthetic, where cozy, looser-fitting coordinating styles are all the rage.
Another celebrity fave? Just about anything by Barefoot Dreams. Particularly adored by Chrissy Teigen, Barefoot Dreams is renowned for its CozyChic fabric (it’s been copied more than a few times but forever remains the OG), which is made with a mix of nylon and rayon, making it an incredibly soft and stretchy textile. While many Barefoot Dreams clothing items fit well within the athflow aesthetic, we’re particular fans of this wrap that looks positively office-ready but feels like one of the brand’s cult-favorite throws. Seriously, as soon as you envelop yourself in this cozy delight, it will be a miracle if you stay awake—so proceed with caution.
Remember: Athflow is all about loose silhouettes. As such, these stylish high-waisted, wide-leg pants are a shoe-in. Designed with an elastic ruched waist, these geometric trousers, which are sold in three colors, move with you. One thing to note about these comfy pants, though, is that thanks to their semi-shiny, silk-like nature (despite being made of polyester), they’re dry-clean only.
Cozy, casual jumpsuits are a facet of the athflow aesthetic and rightfully so. They’re easy to layer, making them a versatile style fit for just about any wardrobe. With that in mind, we can’t take our eyes off this top-rated V-neck, wide-leg jumpsuit. Although it’s technically designed for sleep, that just means it’s soft enough to nail the athflow outfit on the head.
If you’ve yet to discover Hill House’s Nap Dress, take this as your warning to secure your wallet because, trust us, you’ll likely want to buy more than a few. The soft, 100-percent cotton dresses are made with ample stretch, so they never feel restrictive—hence their name, which indicates that, yes, you can wear them to work, but they work just as well for a snooze, too. The beauty of the nap dress is that it looks as stylish on its own as it does over turtlenecks, and it’s sold in a handful of colors at any given time—but act fast! These babies sell out quickly.
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