Want to mix your gym clothes in with the rest of the pieces in your closet this spring? Fashion experts explain how to do it right.
Athleisure is now a major word in almost every designer's vocab, not to mention all of our closets (how many drawers devoted to leggings and sports bras is too many??). But figuring out how to incorporate workout clothes into your everyday life (without looking like you hopped straight off the couch) is easier said than done. That's why we tapped style experts to give us the rundown on their best sporty-chic styling tips for spring.
Start from the bottom.
Begin your look with your shoes—specifically super-comfy ones, says Julia Engel, the founder of Gal Meets Glam and designer of the Gal Meets Glam dress collection, launching this month. "I usually focus on footwear when it comes to athleisure, and then I mix it with my feminine style, for example by wearing sneakers, something like the Vionic Joey sneaker, with a cotton dress," she says. That way, you can easily transition the same look to nighttime by swapping out your shoes for a heel or wedge, she says. (Get a head start on the trend with some sporty-feminine pieces that totally suit your budget).
Wear fun leggings as pants.
Embellished leggings are a go-to bottom layer this spring, says Sona Gasparian, the makeup artist and beauty guru behind Simply Sona and founder of Pérsona Cosmetics. "I always like to start with leggings since they're the most comfortable (making them great for traveling, too!), and then layer a simple t-shirt with a buttondown and a sweater or jacket over that,” she says. "Layering is key to looking stylish while staying cozy when the weather changes from day to night." Her favorite picks for spring: A metallic, leather, or lace-up legging.
Go all out with the tracksuit trend.
Tracksuits and two-pieces have been all over the runways the past couple seasons. "I'm loving the trend of a monochromatic look with a cropped sweatshirt or hoodie," says Rachel Parcell, founder of Pink Peonies and designer of Rachel Parcell INC. "Anyone can pull off the tracksuit trend! If you're nervous, start with black or navy, but don't be afraid to try a color too—they look sleek and stylish."
Add a black jacket.
What you throw on over your two-piece workout set after a studio class can change your outfit and make it totally street style acceptable. "If you're on a time crunch or forgot an extra set of clothes, a classic black jacket—whether it's a sports coat or a hoodie—is a must-have staple to transition your look," says Christine Andrew, the fashion expert behind Hello Fashion and ILY Couture. "I also love having an extra pair of shoes in my car (classic Nike and Adidas are my go-to—they have so many options to choose from)," she says.
Bring back the '90s.
The hip hop–inspired style of the '90s is more relevant than ever this spring (trendsetting queen Cardi B's "Finesse" outfits are confirmation), and it provides super-fun looks to play around with. Janelle Lloyd of the blog Wait, You Need This, is slaying the trend. "Crop tops are so '90s and so back in style! For an athleisure twist on the trend, rock them with high-waisted or drop-crotch sweats," she says. If you choose to go with a full-length sweatshirt, keep it more form-fitting. "A little slouch is a good thing, but it can sometimes veer into sloppy. Tuck your sweatshirt loosely into just the front of your pants to give yourself a defined waist."
When your look is more casual, mixing it in with traditionally dressier pieces keeps athleisure playful and wearable. "If I'm wearing sportier pieces like track pants or a sweatshirt, I try to add a heel or thigh-high boots to dress it up," says Becca Tilley, creator of BeccaTilleyBlog.com. "I love wearing a cross between a sock boot and stiletto, like these Steve Madden Gallery booties. They're the perfect shoe for easily elevating any athleisure look. Pairing these heels with a cute mini skirt, like I did here, or even a pair of shorts, is a quick and easy way to add some glamour to a more simple outfit," she says. Feeling inspired? Start shopping some of the must-have athleisure styles for spring.