Tan France Talks Bike Shorts, Motivation, and How Saying 'No' Is Self Care

Find out which athleisure trends he's over and which ones he wants to bring back.

Tan France
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Even via video chat from a different time zone, Tan France is as sharp and candid as ever when it comes to sharing his opinion on style and trends.

That's likely because the Queer Eye star and fashion expert enforces strict boundaries in order take care of himself, even during the busy holiday season. "Making sure I have decent amounts of time off each week to actually decompress and spend time with my husband and my child," he says. "That's something that makes me the happiest."

Right now, France is taking interviews as part of his partnership with global shopping service Klarna, where he's curated a collection of holiday gift ideas (getting his shopping done easily this time of year is another way he practices self care). Though he's surely looking forward to some well-deserved rest once his work is finished. "I need the time to recover," he explains. "It's the only way I can be the best version of what the public expects of me and what my family expects of me."

He playfully attributes his ability to say "no" in order to maintain these boundaries to his British roots. "I love the Americans and I'm now an American," he says. "However, the Americans are a lot more passive-aggressive. And you guys don't say 'no' easily," he continues. "I will give you the best version of me, but at a certain time, no one better knock on my door. I don't want a phone call, I don't wanna text."

France also tries to maintain a regular exercise routine in order to feel his best. For instance, when he has the flexibility to do so, he won't schedule work until after 8:00 a.m. so he can make it to the gym at 6:00 a.m. "If I don't work out, I don't feel good," he says, adding that "it's not about physical appearance." Rather, exercise "makes me feel less stressed," says France. "I can process my feelings whilst I'm working out."

As for what he does at the gym, France enjoys the treadmill, but he's the first to admit he hates running. Instead, he hops on the machine for a steady incline walk. He's also a fan of the rowing machine and lifting weights. "I really try and mix it up," he says.

Keep reading to learn some of France's hot takes on the latest athleisure fashion trends, including bike shorts and flared leggings. Plus, the trends from the past he wants to see make a comeback.

How to Style Bike Shorts

It's no secret bike shorts have been having a moment this year, and France is totally on board, as long as wearers keep a few styling tips in mind. "I do love a sweatshirt with a bicycle short," he says. "I like oversized with tight because I appreciate a balance of proportion." Of course, he's all for tight on tight if that's what you feel best in while working out.

Flared Leggings v. Regular Leggings

"Okay," says France at the mention of the "flared leggings" trend. "I know everyone's gonna disagree, especially on TikTok. I do not like them," he says. "And let me say why: If they're cropped somewhat, if they're not dragging on the floor, I can totally be down. When they're bunching over a shoe or...the back is on the ground, it just feels too [much like] my high school. And I just think I've lived through that trend and I learned, and I don't need to see it again," he says definitively.

Colors You Can Leave Behind

Another trend in the athletic space France is ready to leave behind in 2023? "All the neons," he says. "I would just like to see another color. All I see at the gym right now is neon, neon, neon, neon," continues the reality TV star. "I still like it, but I would love variety."

Instead of electric hues, France is more interested in "bold jewel tones," he explains. "I would love to see a maroon. I would love to see a teal. I would love to see just ruby colors. Something just could still be bright and playful, just not always a neon," he says. "Or, I always love a rust. It's so chic," he says.

The Trend Cycle

France is no stranger to the cyclical nature of trends. "I'm now of an age where style trends come back every 20 years or so," he explains. "And so the trends of my late teens, early 20s are now back. And I just think I learned from those mistakes. I look back five years after the trends and committed to 15 years of never going back," he says.

While he's happy to leave flared leggings and neon colors in the past, there are some trends he wouldn't mind welcoming back. "You know what I really wish came back," he says, letting out a giggle. "Men in a crop top, like a tank top crop top. [In] all the 80s movies, the jock was in a cropped tank top," he explains. "I'm like, if it was good enough that bro, the jock bros in the 80s, why can't it be good enough for us now?"

Another 80s trend comes to mind for France as well. "I will always love a leg warmer, always," he says. "And just leggings in general, not just athleisure leggings," he adds. "They were massive [around] 2003 when I worked in retail, and I wouldn't mind them coming back."

Dressed to Sweat

While there might be some days when you couldn't care less about you wear while working out, France thinks there's something to the idea that a cute gym outfit can motivate you meet your health goals. "I so wish I could be the person that said, 'Who cares, as long as you're working out and you're getting healthy, who cares [what you're wearing],'" he says. "But I know from experience, up until 15 years ago, I just used to go [to the gym] in whatever sweats I could find and an old T-shirt. And I didn't feel motivated," he explains.

"As soon as I started buying specific clothes for the gym, it changed the way I viewed myself," he says. "It changed the way I viewed my participation at the gym, wanting to go to the gym — thinking I've spent some money out on clothes, I should probably get my ass there."

It's not unlike how fashion can influence the way you feel anywhere else, according to France. "I also feel that way with regular clothes in the workplace, when you're going out, it gives you confidence that you can't get any other way."

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