From matching workout sets to trendy ruffles and backless top-and-sports-bra combos, there’s hardly been a shortage of stylish activewear options this summer. As Labor Day approaches, though, it’s your cue to rethink your workout wardrobe for fall.
Below, experts at Carbon38, Bandier, and SIX:02—give their fitness fashion forecasts for the months ahead.
You’ve seen them all over your Instagram feed and you better believe the bike short buzz is only just beginning. “This is, by far, the biggest trend in athleisure,” says Jennifer Bandier, owner the upscale fitness boutique. “[Bike shorts] will continue into the fall because they look cute when layered and styled with long sweatshirts.” Stephanie Dardenne, director of merchandising for Carbon38 agrees, explaining how the bike short is better than ever for fall. “[It’s] here to stay and one of my favorite looks for fall is pairing a biker short with a chunky knit sweater.” For more of a high-fashion look, she recommends Carbon38’s just-launched Takara Biker Short—a high shine version that arose from their best-selling legging.
From bold shades to timeless motifs, leopard is the print for fall. “Exaggerated, oversized or popped with unexpected colors, there’s a lot of playfulness infused in this season’s take on animal prints,” says Dardenne. “Leopard, as well as tiger print, is being used in unique ways,” Bandier adds. “We sell exclusive Haus by Golden Goose sneakers that have awesome leopard print detailing. This is a great option for those who love plain black leggings, but still want to make a statement.”
Both Bandier and Kirta Carroll, SIX:02’s vice president of brand marketing, report that fall is the dawn of the all-in-one movement. “Bodysuits have been a slowly growing trend,” Bandier explains. “Now, there are so many awesome styles and more and more people are rocking them.”
Fall is the dawn of the all-in-one movement.
Being able to balance a workout onesie is important adds Carroll. “Wear tighter pieces with longer, looser bottoms, or vice versa. Too much interest in one outfit is overkill.” Bandier likes anchoring an all-in-one with basic sneakers. “The bodysuit is anything but basic. I also love a long sleeve tee shirt tied around your waist for a bit of a styled look, especially in a dance class.”
“Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in the demand for neutrals. As we move into fall we have transitioned into deeper, earthy tones that look beautiful on every skin tone,” Dardenne explains. “Army green is the new black, it goes with almost everything,” Bandier proclaims, noting that the trend touches everything from activewear to sweats and outerwear.
Thanks to brands like Outdoor Voices whose Exercise Dress flooded our Instagram feeds this summer, dresses are another new silhouette gaining traction. “There are different modes to women’s activewear and a sport dress is the perfect way to go from a workout to the streets to lunch with friends,” Carroll explains. Her style tip? Pair a dress with a jean jacket and retro-inspired shoe by Reebok or Fila.
Synonymous with spring and summer, sweet pastels remain for fall this season. “The trend is evolving from the runway and ready-to-wear designers to activewear brands like Varley, says Dardenne who notes it in all forms from bras to leggings. Lilac is unexpected and fun,” says Bandier, who carries a range of powder shades from soft blue to pale pink. “I think that brands are looking for ways to differentiate. Most athletic brands launch with black, grey, navy—basic colors that are sure to do well. Certain brands have developed their personality and their fans are looking for their favorite silhouettes in new colors.”
Crop tops continue to trend, according to Carroll and Dardenne, but are evolving for cooler weather. “As we head into fall, consumers are replacing their cropped tops with cropped sweatshirts,.” says Dardenne. Both experts are for balanced styling, such as a slouchy cropped sweater with leggings for a nostalgic look.
Sneakers have undergone a new-age transformation from the “dad” look to futuristic silhouettes á la Louis Vuitton and Prada, and Carroll is for wearing chunky styles or sneakers embedded with a platform anywhere, anytime. She also says that the fall marathon season plays into sneaker trends this year. “Whether you’re a serious runner or just busy running your life, pair a technical running shoe with your everyday look so you’re always ready to get out. Today’s running shoes transition much better between run and street.”
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