Fashion with Function: The 7 key activewear items for your athleisure wardrobe

Princess Diana: one of the early athleisure wear devotees

Princess Diana: one of the early athleisure wear devotees

2020 marked the reign of the comfortable, loungewear-fused wardrobe, and the trend continues. Multiple items for leisure and for work join style to function. Instead of having to change outfits between home, gym and office, all you need are a few basics; a form-fitting athletic base worn under some soft, supple sweater or cute cropped hoodie. The “athflow”, or “athleisure”, trend burst into the open when Princess Diana stepped out and about in her cycling shorts and oversized wool sweater but it’s taking the post-pandemic moment to bring it out into the full summer light.

A plus to sustainable styling is that it takes fewer items to create more outfits. So taking Stella McCartney’s mantra “You can be stylish, and sustainable all at the same time” more and more active-wear brands are coming onboard with sound ethics and eco-conscious materials.

Whether you’re just starting out or stepping up your active wear game or are already a mix-n-match expert, here are the 7 key items you may not want to miss when building a timeless athleisure wardrobe that can be worn season after season:

The biker shorts

These body-fitting, hip-lifting mid-thigh shorts are chosen as the first essential item on our list (forget those black leggings that have been around since forever). A hybrid between athletic shorts and full-length leggings allow you both comfort, breathability and just that little bit more for a casual outside the gym look. Try bright neutrals like cream, yellow, willow or lime green and you’ll be surprised how much biker shorts – originally only worn by runners and cyclists – can alter your entire look.


Girlfriend Collective




Move Bike shorts in Saffron Yellow


The versatile crop top

Imagine this one top that you can wear all day: in the morning home-gym session, at lunch under a denim jacket, and at work under a blazer. That’s the versatility of these fitted crop tees and tanks, which can do well both in supporting your chest during a workout and being a base for everyday outfits. With moisture-wicking properties characteristic of sportswear, these tops guarantee all-day comfort.




Girlfriend Collective


Girlfriend Collective


The sleek unitard

They’re bodysuits, but better. The design-for-performance make unitards a reliable choice for all day comfort wear. We’re not sure whether there will be a comeback of the 1980s television aerobic workout (where are you Jane Fonda? Oh right, protesting in your red coat the Climate Catastrophe), but the one-piece, multipurpose athletic wear is definitely one of our favorite closet staples.




Live the process


Live the process

The better leggings

Tight stretchy pants that complement your silhouette remain a must-have for every closet. But, this year, why not step it up a notch with more vibrant hues or leggings with pockets? We’re saying french blue, raspberry sorbet, mango, amethyst orchid, illuminating yellow and different shades of greens like deep mint and green ash. Also, check out the return of the original yoga pants, now under the name “flared leggings” or “bell bottoms”

Happy Earth Plant-Based Leggins


Girlfriend Collective



The matching set

When in doubt a matched set pulls your look togehter. We’ve been talking about a tight fitting base, now it’s time for a softer, slouchier silhouette with zero sacrifice in style. And that’s where baggy fit sweaters, hoodies, zipped up fleece and coordinating trousers come in. The tracksuit is truly the core of the whole athleisure, sporty and chic trend. Thing is, it can be more than a base – try throwing on a pair of shades, a handbag and shoes, you’ll see how achieving that casually cool look is just… achievable.





The wide-leg track pants

Wide-leg pant silhouette has been embraced for a long time, for a reason. The combination of medium-to-high waist, heel-covering hems and mono shade equals maximization of the lower body. Coming in more different cuts and saturated colors, track pants and joggers give you ample space for a retro or a more techwear-infused, futuristic look based on how you style them.



The tennis skirt/skort

Tennis wear is making a comeback this summer. It just ticks every box on the athleisure checklist: the right balance between freedom of movement and understated chic daywear, the well-fitted monochromatic set of upper and lower pieces. Plus, tennis and golf performance clothing gives us that on-vacation, on-and-off-the-court appeal that we all covet after such a draining lockdown. These miniskirts are small, feminine, playful, and perfect for summer. And they are supported with tight shorts underneath to ensure zero wardrobe malfunctions happen all day long.


Outdoor Voices


Outdoor Voices

Adidas Tennis Primeblue skirt

–Jacqueline Pham

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