If there were ever a doubt you were born in the right era, the athleisure trend should be enough to knock those worries to the wayside. It’s stretchy, can be bright or subdued, and is often designed in a variety of cuts to flatter any figure. Pieces that exemplify this fashion movement that embraces comfort can be worn almost anywhere. But we’ll show you the five places that you can never, ever, under any circumstances wear activewear.
1) THE OFFICE
We’ve all seen her. The girl who drapes a Lycra hoodie over the back of her chair, just in case the A/C starts blasting. No one thinks anything of it. Then one day she’s got her leggings on because she’s “going to the gym” after work. When she discovers she likes the gym and the ease of not having to change - because taking the 5 minutes to change must be terribly inconvenient - she starts wearing her full on athleisure suits without shame every single day. She may be in the best shape of her life, but the promotions are gonna pass her by.
The Lecture: You are forbidden from wearing comfort clothes to a professional office. We’d even discourage wearing them any time you’re working anywhere, because the stretchiness encourages bad posture, and bad posture leads to browsing the internet, and browsing the internet leads to definitely not doing something productive. Come on girl, you’ve got a better work ethic than that.
2) THE CLUB
She doesn’t want to go. She never wants to go. “Can’t we just hang out at your place?” she asks. “I’m tiiiiiiired.” But you insist! You’re only young once. Get busy living or get busy dying. Carpe diem, and other platitudes that prove ineffective on your Debbie Downer friend. To make her point, she throws on a sparkly top over her black yoga pants. You’re aghast. “No one will know,” she says defensively. But you’ll know, and she’ll know, and… no. Just no.
The Lecture: Yoga pants are not party pants. Yoga pants say, “I’d rather be doing anything but the thing I’m doing right now.” They’re great for chaturanga dandasana (low plank pose). They’re made for trikonasana (extended triangle pose). But they have no business being anywhere that constitutes as “out” with your friends. Take them off and show yourself and your best girls some respect, or you’ll be making them want to leave you behind in savasana (corpse pose).
3) THE NORTH POLE
The thrill of the outdoors always brings something unexpected. On a recent camping trip with friends, one of them brought her favorite pair of joggers. “I only brought one pair of pants!” she declared, proud of her minimalist tendencies, while the rest of us looked on in horror. The evening was set to dip into freezing temps, and the cotton of her pants wouldn’t fare well if she got splashed in the creek while hiking. She could tell by the looks on our faces that packing a single pair of joggers was a monumental fail.
The Lecture: Just because clothes are comfortable doesn’t mean they’re warm. Research the temps for your outdoor activities and plan accordingly. Your rough-and-tumble, woodsy self needs to stay cozy for the long haul, and easygoing activewear isn’t going to cut it. The fabrics used in clothes intended for cold weather are a world apart from fashionable athletic wear. Do your research and bundle up, girl!
4) A WEDDING
Just because you’re not a bridesmaid doesn’t mean you get to be bitter about it. Just look at all those gorgeous people, dressed to the nines, doing their best to honor the bride and groom on their special day. Then the camera pans over to you in your… tennis skort? Skorts are made for courts. And shopping at the farmers’ market, and a light lunch with friends, and, tennis, of course. But no one wants to see short pleats at their nuptials.
The Lecture: Please, remember that for all the big life events (births, deaths, and weddings), athletic attire is off the approved list. Your formal wear must be, well, formal. If funds are a problem, borrow a dress from a friend or check the clearance racks for a great deal. But don’t get caught with your skort on.
5) TO PICK UP YOUR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
It’s the day you’ve worked your entire career for. You’re being honored for your deep thinking, your pursuit of truth, and your contributions to humanity. Those in the room rise to their feet and your name is called and you begin to make your way to the podium. But the room starts to stir when they get a look at your ensemble. Is this high achiever wearing… a zip-up hoodie?!
The Lecture: No one can argue with the idea that sometimes the clothes make the woman, but part of the battle in achieving your dreams is showing people how badly you want it. When people are there to recognize you - and a photographer might be there to document the occasion - think of your children and your children’s children. You don’t want them asking, “Why was grandma wearing a sweatshirt when she got her award?” Think of posterity.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
Even considering the locales where athleisure is looked down upon, there are oh so many places to give it a go. It is made for weekends, perfect for errands, and delightful for a dog walk. You can wear it on the “road” part of the road trip, with cool sunglasses at the airport to throw off the paparazzi, and on laundry day…athletic wear is now fit for just about any occasion.