A look that taps into a sporty aesthetic is not a novel concept in terms of fashion inspo. Style stars from the likes of Princess Diana to Kaia Gerber have demonstrated countless times why biker shorts are the perpetual hero pieces to own, and athleisure has become the go-to street style look amongst those with an effortless, “cool without even trying” vibe. The topic of how to wear athletic shorts, however, is often left out of the sporty style discourse. Unlike cycling shorts or classic denim cutoffs, the whole selling point of the roomy bottoms is that they’re made for high-intensity activities — meaning they won’t restrict your movement or ride up as you go about your day.
In addition to offering a looser alternative to tight biker shorts, relaxed sweat shorts make for cool options to don during the warm-weather months. Often times they’re even made of sweat-wicking materials, which will provide optimal temp-regulated comfort. Ahead, you’ll find some celeb trendsetters — ranging from Bella Hadid to Gabrielle Union — who have already nailed the trend and have some excellent how-to tips to share. A coordinating crop top adds breathability and a style factor, while chunky sneakers consistently align with the shorts' athletic essence (not to mention they also nail the ‘ugly’ dadcore trend). Whether you’re heading out for your morning sprint, running some errands, or lounging on your day off, the celebrity-approved looks, below, are guaranteed to provide ample advice on how to style athletic shorts.
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Gomez kept it simple in a sports bra and coordinating black shorts while leaving a workout. She styled the look with crisp white sneakers and a white top, which she casually draped over one shoulder.
On April 14, Graham showed off her matching navy and crimson set from the Umbro and Rowing Blazers popular collab on Instagram. By leaving her top unbuttoned, the model revealed her black bra underneath, which helped create a look that felt equal parts playful and fashion forward. Graham chose a leak-proof nursing bra for her look, but when composing your sporty outfit, any bra top will suffice.
Union opted for a matchy-matchy moment when styling her lightweight shorts. She even tied in the touches of neon yellow from her tie-dye set by sporting a pair of luminescent running shoes. Thanks to a few coordinating elements, the star’s look feels put together yet casual.
The singer’s outfit leaned into the “I just left the court after a game” spirit. Rosalía added a few high-fashion touches to her ensemble with a Dior monogrammed jacket, waist bag, and a pair of sneaks from Air Jordan’s collab with the French fashion house. The pièce de résistance of Rosalía’s look — her Eytys athletic shorts — are still available to shop.
Always one to put her eclectic spin on the leading fashion trends, Lipa added touches of maximalism to her gray sweatsuit look with a colorful scarf bandana and candy-like jewelry. The exact brand where she sourced her necklaces is unknown, but you’d be safe to snag a quirky piece of your own from it-Girl beaded hot spot Ian Charms.
Adding some off-duty-model flair to her outfit, Smalls paired her athletic shorts and coordinating track jacket with a black, high-cut mesh bodysuit. As well as the flirty-meets-sporty vibe her peek-a-boo bodysuit exuded, Smalls’ wrap-around strappy heels further elevated the look into the realm of date-night looks.
The actor performed some housework in a simple ensemble of comfy shorts with a graphic T-shirt. Her Adidas shorts in the white colorway were fashion forward while her stylishly placed knot twist in her tee was a clever style trick to elevate the casual staple.
The model paired a pink Brandy Melville cropped tank top with Patagonia pink board shorts. The color-coordinated ensemble toed the line between sporty and sweet. She upped the polish level with some gold hoops from Jennifer Fisher and Reality Eyewear sunglasses.
Hadid took to Instagram to share her backyard crafting skills while wearing a pair of high-waisted black athletic shorts by Chrome Hearts. Although her exact pair isn't available, the ASOS option is just as cool with its white graphics and subtle side slit. Plus, the bottoms will match Hadid’s black Air Force 1 sneakers.
If you follow the model on Instagram, you know that she's passionate about both fashion and exercise so it's no surprise her activewear is on point. EleVen by Venus Williams’ textured fitness shorts mirror the style of Hosk’s mini pair. And although Hosk’s baby pink Gucci crewneck is sold out, a similar style from Martine Rose or Balmain (in an extra cropped style) is still up for grabs.
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