While comfy leggings and racerback tanks will never go out of style (at least, not if we have anything to say about it), some people are speculating that the athleisure bubble is seconds away from bursting.
It’s true that there is a definite shift happening in terms of where the activewear and athleisure market is moving, but let’s face it: No wants to put on a pair of button-up, zero-stretch dress pants on Monday morning after a weekend in stretchy leggings and cozy sweats.
Enter what we’re dubbing workleisure, wear-all-day, business casual athleisure that you can pull off in the office—or on the couch.
“Our work and our lives are meshing together, and so are our wardrobes.”
Basically, workleisure takes technical, sweat-wicking, and flattering fabrics—which have made Lycra and oversized sweatshirts our everyday (chic) essentials—and incorporates them into work/dinner/happy hour-appropriate pieces. Think of it as a better blazer.
At Lululemon’s New York City-based Lululemon Lab, the overall vibe is functional fashion (rather than marathon-ready). Under Armour has also thrown its hat in the workleisure ring, hiring design veteran Tim Coppens earlier this year to perfect the balance between runway, athleisure, and street style in their new line, UAS. Brands like Carbon38, Bandier, and Kit+Ace are expanding their assortment, offering options like sharply tailored neoprene blazers, technical pencil skirts, and workout trousers that won’t get you any dirty looks from your boss.
“Our work and our lives are meshing together, and so are our wardrobes,” explains Nina Faulhaber, co-founder of workleisure obsessees Aday. “We want the comfort and simplicity of our weekend uniform, but every single day. At Aday, we believe the future of clothing is comfortable, versatile, and seasonless—so that’s what we’re creating.”
While this new market of clothing won’t replace your perfectly curated drawer of leggings (cue a sigh of relief), it will be serving up some serious competition for your office wardrobe.
Scroll down to see seven boardroom-ready workleisure pieces that should be promoted to must-wear status.
Still want to rock those leggings 24/7? Find out how to wear your favorite pants to every holiday happening. Or find a bag that does double-duty with the tote that every stylish New York is using as a gym bag.