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Athletic Clothes Infiltrate the Workplace and Beyond

How far can—or should—we take the athleisure trend?

As someone who works from home most days, I’ve been at the forefront of the athleisure movement for quite some time. So I wasn’t disappointed when fashion gave me the official go-ahead to take my favorite compression tights and running shoes from CrossFit to brunch with my in-laws to a client meeting. What’s next: Weddings and funerals? 

A look from new athleisure brand ADAY

A look from new athleisure brand ADAY

Why not? High-fashion (and high-price-tag) designer launches and collaborations—Adidas’ partnerships with Rick Owens and Raf Simons, NikeLab’s work with Sacai, and athletic lines from Theory, Stella McCartney and Cynthia Rowley, among many others—make a very good case for it. If you’re going to hand over a grand for a pair of Balmain sweatpants, you’re not actually going to sweat in them. This is what I told myself, anyway, one April afternoon when I pulled on a jersey jumpsuit with a drawstring waist and a pair of Vans to go to a christening, followed by Easter at a friend’s. Who needs an Easter dress when you have Easter leisure wear? My husband agreed as he laced up his “good” Chuck Taylors and held up two Under Armour performance hoodies: “Gray or navy?” he asked, before slipping on the gray beneath his blazer. It wasn’t what my mother—and, judging by the judging looks, many of the churchgoers we encountered—would call our Sunday best, nor was it any cheaper than the more formal wear we might have donned just a year ago. But hey: High fashion’s not for everyone. 

In main: A look from Rebecca Minkoff’s athleisure line, launching this summer