Tuesday, January 31, 2017

THE GREAT DEBATE: (WORKOUT) PANTS

As a personal stylist, I try to stay informed about the latest fashion trends.  As a 40-something woman, though, I have to be mindful of trying the trends (and recommending the trends) in an age-appropriate way.  I admit that I occasionally miss the mark, as do we all, and as with anything creative and subjective, my clients and I sometimes disagree.

If you're a friend or a client, you've probably heard my advice on the "athleisure" trend, specifically the workout-pants-as-regular-pants phenomenon.  I have clients with drawers full of beautiful, bright, fun workout pants...you know, skin-tight, spandex leggings.


Adidas Floral Burst Tights

I LOVE that designers are motivating us to workout more often and to look and feel good doing it.  I was one of the first in line to buy these crazy, printed pants for boot camp!  But after boot camp, I came home, showered up, and got dressed for the day, leaving the leggings at home to be washed for the next workout.  (Full disclosure: There are definitely days when I simply don't have time to change, and I can be found in my sweaty workout gear all day.  Ew.  But, such is life).  In my opinion, workout pants don't count as regular pants, so my clients with drawers full of them generally get the following advice:  "Those are cute.  But they are for working out, and you didn't pay me to come help you put together workout outfits."

Recently, I've been challenged on that advice by a couple of super-stylish clients and friends, and I figured I owed it to them to open my mind a bit and style some workout pants for non-workout looks.  So, I headed over to my client, Morgan's house last week to work with her extensive and adorable collection.



Superfun Yoga Pants

Teeki brand from Superfun Yoga Pants

It wasn't hard to come up with a "formula" for styling leggings:
1.  Add a tunic-length top to cover the crotch and bum.  Keep it pretty toned down and let the pattern on the leggings do the talking.
2.  Put on cute accessories.
3.  Add another layer for interest or to keep warm.
4.  Boots seem to look best to finish off the look, but sneakers and flats could work, too.

If anyone can pull this off, it's Morgan!!  She's no slouch, this one, and those legs would look good in most any fabric.  She had just the right additions in her closet to take these looks from athletic to athleisure.  I see a lot of girls at my daughter's school wearing leggings-as-pants, making a creative statement, and I love it! I also think that if you're a fitness professional or someone who markets and sells this type of pant, it could be a lot of fun to wear them and style them in fun, new ways.   Otherwise, though, I'm still not convinced.  To me, the look is a bit too unpolished for the age-range of my typical client.  I'm all for creative expression through clothing, but I think there's a more sophisticated way to show your flair.

HAVING SAID ALL OF THIS -- One of the things I love most about fashion, is that it is so creative and so subjective.  I have, on many occasions, worn clothing that most everyone else thought was weird or ugly or unflattering, but I really loved it anyway.  (Many of you would question the "polish" and "sophistication" of my distressed jeans!)  I've also been known to change my mind about whether or not it's "ok" to wear certain things.  Self-expression is what it's all about!!  So, if you hire me for a Wardrobe Revival, and you really want to create some outfits around your workout pants, let me know!  We can do that.  I'll keep an open mind if you do!  (Also, check out Richmond's Superfun Yoga Pants for more really cute looks!)

Your thoughts?


As a personal stylist and personal shopper in Richmond, VA, I strive to make wardrobe choices clear and easy for women who are short on time, overwhelmed by their closets, or transitioning from one period of life to another.  Let's connect!  

19 comments:

  1. As a "mature" male, I think workout pants on women can be cute if you follow the "Waffle House" recipe: covered and smothered! Tunic or long sweater over them, boots (not sneakers ... to athleticie... is that a word?), and accessories! Having said that, even this look is dependent on the woman in question! It's sort of like wearing bike shorts in public. Some of us just can't pull it off! Just a male's viewpoint!

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    1. I think I've been officially overruled! Everybody seems to like these looks:)

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  2. All that matters is that you (we) wear what WE love! Loving your legging collection!

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    1. Agreed! Fashion is so fun!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I think as long as you're comfortable in what you're wearing, I think that is all that matters! Loving different leggings you styled :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Mackenzie! I appreciate your commenting💕

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  4. athleisure trend is a new word for me. I have noticed the trend but I didn't know the name of it. Thank for sharing! You style all the leggings perfectly

    -Brandi K
    www.cutebrandik.com

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    1. Thanks, Brandi! Glad I could add to your fashion vocabulary!! Glad you popped in.

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  5. I am always going back and forth on my thoughts on "leggings as pants" but you totally nailed this! You may have convinced this skeptic!

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    1. Ha! I hear ya! I'm not a huge fan, but seems like I'm in the minority here! Thanks so much for commenting:)

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  6. I usually side with you in that workout gear should be used for workouts. That being said - I love the first outfit! Dare I say they look like pants?!

    Gisel | www.mintandthrift.com

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    1. Haha! I know what you mean, Gisele! I totally confused myself with this post;). That first pair is exceptionally pants-like!! Thanks for reading:)

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  7. I am all about athleisure. Comfort is key! I love these outfits!

    Emily
    withstyleandgrace.net

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    1. Comfort is a good thing, Emily! I guess you just have to look thoughtful,rather than sloppy, when putting a look together! Thanks for your input:):)

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  8. I still don't think that I can pull off leggings as pants, but you did a great job styling these looks!

    Cheers, J
    www.cheersj.com

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    1. Yep--I just don't think it's my thing. But my thing doesn't have to be everyone else's, right?! Thanks for the compliment, Jenna!

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  9. You styled these perfect! I'm all for wearing leggings as pants, but I prefer to wear longer sweaters and tunics with them!

    xoxo,
    Amy

    www.styleandsequins.com

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    1. Thanks, Amy! YES! Even my 10-yr-old recognizes the need for a longer top with leggings!! Sadly, everyone doesn't get it 😂😂. Thanks so much for commenting!!

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