When I want to take a break from denim I usually opt for activewear or leggings, of course in my favorite color, black. I adore a brand that can make edgy pieces with stylish detailing without relying on prints too much. Boldness without being too eye-catching, dark with a twist or edge without flair. I’m not sure if that makes a whole lot of sense to most readers, but that’s how my mind’s flowing at the moment while I’m trying to describe my preferred style. It also goes without saying here, if you’ve been reading my blog long enough, that if a brand can encapsulate all this while being sustainable gives them major points in my book. I prefer to spend a little more for those doing their best to clean up our environment a bit and have a purpose other than simply helping us look good. I’m a fairly big fan of adidas, and I’ve known about their collaboration with Stella McCartney for awhile, but somehow I only now recently learned they’ve got something much more going on within their already-awesome stylish activewear collections.
When I’m not obsessing over jeans, it’s always because I’m spending a little more time on my alter-obsession with activewear. My attention span kind of wobbles between the two, mostly because there have been so many athleisure brands over the last several years that fit my darker (and maybe slightly gothy, post-apocalyptic or dark-futuristic at times) streetwear tastes. Since I definitely have living an active lifestyle sitting solidly at the top of my daily priorities, this comes fairly naturally for me. I love the comfort of gym clothes, but I don’t wear my gym clothes for anything other than sweating in. My more everyday stylish activewear is only used for running around town or, just being myself. Athleisure was a new term coined a few years ago as gym clothes emerged to the streetwear scene, is also a term that spans into the loungewear realm, and I know a lot of us are doing quite a bit more of that lately. Whenever you prefer to opt for instead of reaching for your jeans when you’re looking for an even cozier aesthetic, it’s nice to find pieces that also fit your style or maybe even provide some kind of function if you want to get fancy. Cozy joggers are always something I love to grab, especially in these colder months, and I definitely have a few favorite pairs already. I’m always keeping my eyes out though, as this look is always catching my attention.
I can write about denim all day (as I have for about 7 years), but lets take a little break into something else. As an avid gym-goer and someone who integrates fitness into my everyday life, I’m also just a bit obsessed with activewear. I have some pieces for sweating in, and some to wear as “athleisure” when I’m feeling like actually taking a break from denim in my everyday life, mostly in regards to leggings. There are so many fun brands out there with some pretty dope leggings, and sometimes denim even takes a bit of a backseat when I start discovering a lot that tickle my tastes. Of course, I like looking at sustainability, or whether or not the brands I purchase from are independent. Threads 4 Thought is an awesome sustainable brand that’s been around for quite a few years now, and I’m definitely a fan of their eco friendly activewear, basics and loungewear collections.
Depending on where we all reside and whatever laws are in place in our areas for the current pandemic, many of us are reinventing the way we stay active to stay in shape while our gyms are closed. Personally, I am already a runner alongside my gym activities, but I found myself hitting the pavement more often than ever. Thankfully I live in an area where it’s fairly easy to avoid people and stay six feet apart, so that isn’t a problem. But I digress…I know several people have picked up running for the first time in order to stay sane during these tough times! Finding the right shoes can be difficult if you aren’t sure what you are doing, but I prefer going with basic, lightweight, no-fluff options for the best performance. My trusty Asics are nearing their retirement age, and I’ve been keeping my eyes out for the next pair. Enter Allbirds, a sustainable footwear brand that I just discovered, that offers earth-friendly running shoes without all the bells and whistles.
I know I’ve been posting a lot more about activewear than jeans lately (I mean, my last post featured said subject)…and I’ll admit, the current state of affairs might have something to do with it. Staying home for longer amounts of time means I’m grabbing for more comfortable apparel in my closet, and as surprisingly comfy as many of the jeans I’ve written about in the past are, my leggings have never shined brighter. I honestly just wore a pair of jeans for the first time in months last week! Anyway, it’s interesting watching the market change, as well as our styling preferences. I’m sure many of us might also be investing more in gym clothes for our home workouts since now we have more time to take care of ourselves. American Eagle is one brand that is constantly on it when it comes to industry trends, so it’s no surprise they have been churning out a ton of cute activewear, or athleisure (if you’re doing less gym and more lounging or running errands in your gym clothes), under their sister brand Aerie.
It’s definitely been more of a challenge these days to stay fit while sheltering in place. I’m definitely a gym rat, so it’s affected me a whole lot, but I’ve gotten creative with weights at home and HIIT sessions with Insanity. During my days at the gym pre-COVID, I was lucky to build up my own kind of motivation to keep up my game based on…well, feeling on top of my game, but it definitely wouldn’t have been the same without proper activewear. In the beginning, I didn’t care about workout style…I was grabbing anything cheap I could find at Ross. However, over time, once I established my routine and momentum, I also built up my favorite, higher-end wardrobe. This wasn’t just for style, but also comfort, ease of movement, sweat management…and just for the fun factor. It really can be motivating and confidence-building to break a sweat with a little attention to your workout style and some fun new pieces!
I know, you’re probably all sick and tired of hearing about activewear. After all, it’s proven to be a fairly trendy—and thus lucrative—business, so it seems there are new companies popping up every day trying to cash in on the trend. However, H&M isn’t quite new to activewear. I bought some of theirs way back in 2006 once on a trip to London, when I realized that yes, I still had the urge to go on jogs even though I was on sort of a vacation…so I went shopping for the cheapest workout clothes I could find. I still wear those items today, and am surprised how long they’ve held up. Over the years I’ve moved to purchasing from tried and true active brands like Puma, Lolé, and Under Armor, but I’m still always curious what brands that don’t cater primarily to the activewear market come up with in that department. H&M isn’t completely new to sustainability, so it’s no surprise that on December 28th of last year, they released a collection of eco-friendly activewear!
Here we go again…more dark fashion awesomeness…totally my kind of thing. As a fitness fanatic, I definitely love that side of the activewear/athleisure industry, as fitness kind of gives an extra bit of badassery to edgier apparel, if you ask me. It also makes this kind of style a lot easier to wear around on a regular basis, since activewear is meant to move with you and stay comfortable, and even wick moisture if you’re wearing it on a hot day. This also makes them prime items to wear out when I’m DJing or attending a late night party! I’m not really into wearing gym clothing on a regular basis, but sometimes, I can make an exception—if it doesn’t exactly look like it’s meant to be in a gym.
I’ve started to see activewear a little like I see jeans…I just can’t have enough! The explosion of the “athleisure” trend a few years back brought us so many beautiful designs that crossed between gym and street life, and I just love shopping and collecting unique pieces! It probably helps that I’m very active myself, but that’s only part of the appeal to me. Zobha is one of the activewear brands that I follow, and I already own four items from them. It all started when I found an army green jacket on RueLaLa which really looks more like something to wear everyday than on an active endeavor, as well as a super comfortable black and white tunic (also from RueLaLa). Since then I acquired their Dakota Sleeveless Hoodie and Jett Wide Sleeveless Hoodie, both of which I used at the gym when it got a little chilly this past winter. Everything is of such amazing quality, and so well made and beautiful that it’s hard to want to sweat in it all! I wrote about Zobha a little over a year ago, and it’s definitely one of those brands that deserves a revisit here.
I think I’ve finally, officially, fallen for the athleisure trend. I’m a very active person as it is, so I have my decent little collection of gym clothing, but I really wasn’t ever into activewear as every day wear, per se. Over the years, as “athleisure” has taken a front seat in the style world, I’ve discovered several brands (like Zobha), that have made me drool. I like darker, edgier, more creative street-style elements, and there has been plenty of that on the market sold as activewear lately. I prefer outerwear rather than leggings and tops when it comes to everyday wear (as I still prefer saving those for the gym) but there have been a lot of awesome pieces out that are starting to pull me in that direction. Now, I just found the popular and trend-breaking denim brand Diesel has solidified their stake in the athleisure industry with Diesel X, and these pieces are hitting all of my tastes.