Fashion has had many love affairs over the years: Some trysts are more long-term; other trends are thrown away like yesterday’s Snapchats. Fashion is uniquely fickle and faithful and gets a laminated get-out-of-jail-free card, forgiven for any of its flighty discrepancies. Despite the flightiness of some of fashion’s affections, fitness and fashion have been flirting since the 1930’s and 40’s, when American designers started to create functional, more breathable garments for travelling and playing sports.
Let’s fast-forward to the 80’s, when hip-hop culture made active wear staples like tracksuits, sneakers and sweatshirts its signature style. Next, the 90s characterized a movement to a more form-fitting, body conscious sporty style for women. Donning sports bras as fashionable tops became popular in the female R&B culture. On the runways in 2011, we really began to see the lines between fitness apparel and couture blur as high-end designers incorporated zippers, jersey, and hoodies into their fall lines. In 2015, fashion and fitness are in a full-blown, budding relationship. Designers are teaming up with active apparel companies and erasing the thin line that once separated the two. No active wear left behind! Enter: Fitness Forward Fashion.
What exactly is fitness forward fashion?
Fitness Forward Fashion is when your favorite pencil skirt meets your most stylish sneaker (and not just because its super functional to run errands in after work); Fitness Forward Fashion is when the sports bra you wear to the gym can also be your sexy, cutout bra all in one. It’s chic. And what’s more, it’s functional. Fitness forward fashion is the blending of active wear staples into your everyday style story. From sexy back detailing on bras to mesh cutouts and wedge heeled sneakers, active wear has transitioned into fashion forward territory, and we are all about it.
So here we are. If you are asking yourself, ″What should I buy?″ and/or ″How can I transition my look from the gym, to the everyday runway?″, just keep reading. You can start by determining how active of a lifestyle you lead. If you are running from taking your kids to gymnastics and soccer, to the gym for a kickboxing class followed by a hip hop class at the dance studio, you may want to jump onto the fitness forward fashion bandwagon, and invest in a few items:
A pop of color can brighten up an all-black fitness ensemble, whether it’s from your shoes or your sports bra. A stylish active outfit can say that you are fashionable and serious about fitness. The boost of confidence may even encourage a few more trips to the gym every week.
If you are looking for more options, The Chalkboard has 17 fitness forward trends to transition from a workout to real life.
But wait! Fitness forward fashion isn’t only about being fashionable while perspiring at the gym (and in the moments in between running to and from); it’s also about uniting your everyday style staples with your fitness apparel to create a comfortable mashup of functionality and fashion−ality (see what we did there). The most popular way to achieve the look is to pair athletic shoes with an outfit you wouldn’t usually pair it with. It’s all about the juxtaposition of sporty and sexy (Sporty Spice figured it out years ago, no?). It may sound a bit weird, but hey, who hasn’t been longing to couple a blazer with a pair of running shoes? Don’t answer that. Stylecaster gives you 85 ways to wear sneakers with your favorite fashion staples so, no thought process needed. Bam.
When fitness meets fashion, the product we want is effortless, chic but comfortable style. The key is not to overdo it; try to keep the accessories to a minimum and let the activewear shine. Fashion has thrown us a comfy bone with this one (finally). We want your input: What are your thoughts on fitness forward fashion? Do you think that buying fashion forward fitness apparel will encourage you to become more active? Leave your comments below!
This is a guest post by Shannon White, the choreographer of the MECKids Dream Team.