Let’s be brutally honest here…
Stop for just a second. Close your eyes. Imagine your entire wardrobe laid out before you. The skinny jeans, the business casual attire, the pencil skirts, that dress from eight years ago that you’re *definitely* going to fit into again one day.]
Now – riddle me this: What is the most comfortable item in your wardrobe (not counting your PJs)?
Probably your sweatpants or gym tights? Amiright?
Straight from the stylists’ mouth, our very own Alarna Hope tells me, “Comfort should always be part of a persons’ style, whether you’re dressing for a board meeting or picking up groceries!”
Amen to that! And we are here to put the ‘tights are not pants’ debate to bed once and for all.
If Karl Lagerfeld, the man lauded for saying “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat”, sent tights down Chanel’s autumn 2019 runway – then I believe it’s time we all embraced the practicality and comfort of tights and athleisure wear.
If you’re still a little unsure, let me help you by giving you my top 5 tips for taking your tights out of the gym and into the streets.
1. Keep it simple
If you don’t want to have to keep up with fitness fashion trends (and yes, there are trends), stick to dark, neutral coloured sports clothes in a matte finish. My go-to tights are a matte black and my fave jogger pants are a merino knit in grey!
2. The Squat Test
Good quality tights, made from performance fabric, are quick drying, odour resistant, moisture wicking and some feature compression zones which are great for enhancing blood flow, as well as flattening and supporting your tummy.
But, most importantly, good quality tights are not see-through! Unlike the cheap cotton kind. You know the ones I’m talking about. They cost $10 from the Bonds factory. So, ladies, please make sure your tights pass the squat test.
Stand in front of a mirror (or a trusted confidante) and squat! If your pants are see-through, have visible panty line or are bulging in the wrong places then they are not pants! #sorrynotsorry
Oh, and P.S If you’re worried about showing the world your amazing derriere – just wear a shirt or jacket that’s longer at the back and covers the butt ???? ????♀️
3. Keep It Casual
Morning coffee run? Fine. At the grocery store or brunch? Working in the office but not expecting to see clients? Even after dinner drinks. Totally fine to wear your tights.
BUT weddings and funerals, definitely not. The more formal the occasion, the less likely it is that you should wear your tights.
4. Mix it up
Remember you don’t want to look like you are actually going to the gym. Just maybe like you could sprint after that person who stole your parking spot and still make it to your appointment on time!
Back to Alarna here, our Stylist Extraordinaire explains:
“If it’s all tights, runners and exercise tanks – that’s just gym wear. Athleisure style is about incorporating basics like your leather or denim jacket with some sportier pieces.
Great items to mix with gym gear are slightly tailored. A trench or a mac over some cropped ankle track pants, or even a hoodie worn under a trench with tights and sneakers can all be winning combinations.
And remember to keep those ankles visible if you’re trying to make the look feminine.”
Another Good Shoe aficionado, Rosie Dumbrell, from Lenny Rose Active also has plenty to say on the subject of activewear taking to the streets,
“I recently read that more than 60% of women buying activewear actually do use it for that purpose, but tend to wear it much more broadly as a replacement for streetwear much of the time… Athleisure is a massive growth market, having grown over 500% in the last 4-5 years, and is predicted to continue to rise.”
Her personal fave? “Our classic black dressed up with some heels, a nice shirt and blazer!”
I, myself, like a jogger pant with a fine merino knit, scarf, leather jacket and our Apache Sneakers. If I’m trying to avoid the paparazzi I’ll throw on a baseball cap as well ????
Which brings us to our final point…
5. Shoe Game Strong ????
You know this is my jam!
When wearing tights as pants, stick to flats, sneakers, or thick, chunky heels. And remember shoes and accessories will either make or break your outfit – so don’t ruin your chic athleisure look with a pair of dirty white sneakers or scuffed boots.
Now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to get that extra large burrito. Stretchy pants FTW! That For the Win, ladies