Yoga leggings and athleisure wear combine style and comfort to create a versatility that flows from workouts to the street. At New York Fashion Week 2017, athleisure wear evolved into couture.
Vogue profiled the many ways designers transformed comforting athleisure favorites into the latest must-have styles of the season. On the runway, Balmain paired fire-red leggings with a tailored feminine blouse and gloves. And Stella McCartney layered sheer trousers over a bold red polka dot unitard for a look that seamlessly blended high fashion edge with relaxed casual.
In her article “The 5 Golden Rules of Athleisure: Is It Really Acceptable to Wear Yoga Pants All Day Long?,” Vogue’s Rachel Marlowe gives the do’s and don’ts of the favorite fashion staples: follow the trends, invest in items that are fashionable and comfortable, don’t go crazy with accessories, dress appropriately and stick to neutral tones (if you’re an athleisure fashion novice).
Create looks inspired by the runway and celebrate the season’s athleisure style explosion by investing in some of the hottest leggings that are the best in form, function and high fashion:
1. Neutral Capris.
Shorts are so difficult. Too short? Too long? Just don’t bother. Capri leggings are comfortable, breathable and look cute with long tanks, tunics and t-shirts. Did you shrink that little mini dress? Guess what…wear it over cute capris. Problem solved. Every woman should own a pair of neutral Capri leggings.
The ‘80s will never die! Follow Balmain’s lead and choose bold hued leggings. Pink, yellow, orange, and flaming red all play well with the yoga legging. Choose full-length solid neon leggings or go with a subtle punch of bright with a stripe of bold neon. When choosing a full length solid neon legging, opt for a neutral long top. Neon shines bright, so don’t try to compete with the color. Keep that top simple…and long.
Some of the most awesome leggings feature celestial prints. Swirling cosmos, stars and planets create artistic interest on the leg. Pair out-of-this-world leggings with a top that features a coordinating color from the pattern. If the print is fairly monochromatic, opt for a bolder color top to help the outfit pop.
4. Black Full-Length.
Every woman needs a pair (or more) of black full-length yoga leggings. These are the go-to leggings that can be paired with anything. Yes, they can even be worn under dresses as a breathable substitute for tights.
A camo print is one of the on-trend looks this season. Opt for the classic khaki and olive green print, as it plays as a neutral, white pastel or pink camos nudge toward a more youthful vibe. When choosing a pastel or pink camo, toughen up the look with a black or grey top.
Long or Capri floral leggings scream spring. Anything goes with these leggings, as they are quite classic. Molly Ringwald’s character Andie brooded over Blaine in a pair of floral leggings with a lacy vest and a blue sweater in “Pretty in Pink.” For a modern take on Andie’s look, pair feminine florals with a flowing blouse topped with a denim jacket. Take the look punk/grunge and pair floral leggings with a moto jacket and Docs.
7. Polka Dots.
Equal parts pin-up and business, polka dots are fun, a little flirty and even a tad flamboyant. How they style depends on how they are worn. With leggings, small polka dots can almost feel like a solid color. They add a dainty hint of interest and in black and white can be paired with any color and style top. Bolder dots--like those used in McCartney’s fashions--display loudly, so keep tops and blouses simple. Color is fine, but let the dots be the center of attention.
Yoga leggings in houndstooth look adorable in Capri styles. For summer, Capri houndstooth leggings look chic and stylish. Have fun with flowing tops, simple long tanks or even short mini-dresses.
9. Cultural Prints.
Yoga is rooted in the cultures of the East, so it’s only fitting that many of the most popular leggings feature prints inspired by Asia. Choose prints featuring designs that evoke henna art or opt for a design featuring the blooming lotus. These prints need to be seen, so pair them with a top that allows the design to shine.
10. Mad for Plaid.
Think Burberry and Great Britain. There is a plaid for every woman; you just have to find your pattern. Pastels, monochromatic or bursting with bold colors, plaids are diverse. Long plaid leggings are a fun choice for workouts and look great with tanks or even a sports bra. When heading out of the studio, dress plaid leggings with a tunic (denim looks great!).
On the runway and on the street, athleisure wear--including yoga leggings--dominate. This spring and summer, add black full-length styles and creative prints to create looks that will take you from the studio and into an on-trend street style without missing a beat.