The story of today’s athletic-inspired trend starts in September of 2011, the month Isabel Marant sent old school gym class jerseys with matching track pants down the runway and Rag & Bone made mesh a stape of their Spring 2012 line. Like all new looks, it didn’t catch on at first; only a few forward-thinking street style stars test-drove neoprene and baseball caps that spring. Things didn’t really take off until the 2012 Olympics wrapped, and fashion was left with an insatiable taste for all things sports-related.
In the season that followed, the shows not only showcased tons of collections that nodded to gym life, but the editors, bloggers and It-Girls in attendance showed up to watch in designer sweatshirts (here’s looking at you, Kenzo tiger top) and snapbacks. From there, clothing only got more casual: over the last two years, it’s become perfectly acceptable to pair sneakers with anything at most any occasion, and do sweatpants at the office. Forget about painful stilettos, confining wiggle dresses and too-tight skinny jeans! These days, style is all about sporty comfort.
There is, however, a fine line between being comfortable and looking like you’re heading to a yoga class all day, everyday. To ensure you never cross it, I’ve explained the right way to make five major types of exercise pieces work when you aren’t planning to sweat in the slideshow above. Click through to never have to deal with stiff fabric, blisters and too many buttons again (and still look amazing in the process)!