Athsport layering is the sportsluxe trend all dressed up
Words: Dylan Muhlenberg | Photography: Katinka Bester | Styling: Gavin Mikey Collins
By now you’ve no doubt heard the portmanteau ‘athleisure’, the trend that takes inspiration from activewear that isn’t intended to work out in.
Simply put, it’s about dressing as if you’re going to the gym, and then doing something better. So go ahead and dress to impress in apparel typically worn by football hooligans and PE teachers, but be warned, while the trend is about comfort these aren’t the stinky sweats you’d typically train in. Athleisure is a much more streetwear inspired take on the type of thing Rocky wore - that’s trainers you’d never train in, technical fleecewear and stain-resistant, moisture-wicking, crease-proof synthetic fabrics.
If you’re ready to wear the athleisure trend in more formal settings you’ll need to focus on pieces that play nice together. Like the combinations we’ve put together below. Five looks that incorporate athleisure staples to redefine business casual and will help you to achieve your personal best.
Suit x Hoodie
One is the quintessential uniform worn by man, the other an item of clothing that lent its name to a particular type of juvenile delinquent. Confuse everyone by wearing a hoodie underneath your suit and add even more drama with a bucket hat and technical sneakers. But what’s the point? Well, the suit is still the most essential part of the masculine silhouette and in this case you’re stepping outside of the norm and making it yours. Meanwhile you’re taking the hoodie from chavwear to a layering item that will protect you from the elements far better than an upturned collar ever could. Structure your layering with lightweight synthetic hoodies worn with a wool suit, or heavier grey marl jersey options that can make a summer suit winter ready.
Blazer x T-shirt
The blazer over a T-shirt thing became played out just as soon as every rad-dad in advertising started doing it with jeans and his Chucks, without paying attention to fit. Bring the look up to date by wearing with a grown-ass man’s shoes and layering with a rain jacket for a style that’s both laid-back and sartorially elegent. By pairing a street inspired graphic tee under a businessy blazer you balance the look, and if it’s a quality T-shirt with a slim-fit blazer it’s not lazy, it’s a modern cheat that’s less stuffy than suiting all the way up. Just remember that this is a modern look, so you want a slim-fit blazer with a single button and thin lapels, while a sheen in the fabric or less traditional colours. It’s all about the fit, man, so make sure your jacket sleeves hug the arms and the rest of the jacket skims the body. Now this highly versatile item can be dressed-down to the point that even if worn with a pair of tracksuit pants it will still stand up to most dress codes.
Jogger x Blazer
Well that escalated quickly… In the same way that Levi’s 501 were originally built for working in the mines, the jogger is sportswear that’s evolved into something you can now wear every day. The jogger and blazer combo was originally a look worn only be the most experimental of fashion types, who through their courage have made it perfectly okay for you to juxtapose the dressiness of a blazer with what’s essentially a pair of tracksuit pants. Except they’re not just tracksuit pants, are they? Tailored, tapered and manufactured in quality fabrics, the slim line silhouette makes sense to match with a blazer. Note: it must be stated that in the same way that a T-shirt will accentuate any hint of belly fat, these tight fitting pants will not be able to hide any, er, tumescent protuberances, which is why you should always keep all thoughts as pure as this look is, which has been completed with a poloneck, colour pop overcoat and Chelsea boots.
Sneakers x Suit pants
Perhaps the very reason we’re even speaking about the athleisure trend at all. When sneaker manufacturers started to create kicks you could wear off the courts, it ushered in a whole new way of wearing athletic wear. If you’re not ready to commit yourself fully, dip a toe in by rocking your pumped up kicks with the trousers from your suit, which if you treat as two seperates you'll get a lot more wear out of it. First teamers can play a captain’s game in a logo sweater and overcoat. These monochrome Asics set the pace nicely for the rest of the outfit, and are smart enough to wear with the slim, dark trousers without looking as if you’re suffering from an ingrown toenail.
Polo shirt x Cropped chino
And you thought you were edgy popping your collar back in 06? Take your Polo shirt to the next level by wearing it over a polo neck and then adding the cropped chino, which are perhaps the best trousers to show off your sneakers after the cuffed jogger. Now that doing up your top button has gone from the height of minimalist formality to ubiquitous hipster fad, wearing an unbuttoned polo over a polo neck is the next best casual way of looking put together. It’s a look that channels the irreverence of Joaquin Phoenix as Doc Sportello, who wore a polo neck under a collared shirt in Inherent Vice, and takes its cue from women who have been wearing polo necks under sleeveless dresses, loose silk T-shirts and with crew neck sweaters for a while now. Remember, it’s still not okay to pop your collar.