A new year means setting new goals to accomplish. Perhaps for you, that entails giving yourself more time to relax and unwind or better focusing on your health. When it comes to the latter, going to the gym or taking a daily walk around the block are common resolutions for many. But, starting a habit and sticking to it are two different things. To keep you on your feet and moving around, 2022’s top athleisure trends can serve as an extra layer of motivation — you can treat yourself to outfits that make you feel good when you get to work. Between pretty floral prints and interesting bottom details, working out has never looked so stylish.
It turns out you won’t just be spotting these up-and-coming styles at your SoulCycle studio or neighborhood gym. According to Laura May Gibbs, founder and creative director of Nagnata, folks want to invest in pieces with high versatility. “We all live such busy lives that ease and functionality are key considerations for a studio-to-street wardrobe,” she tells TZR. “The use of color teamed with classic lines is one way we explore personal style and identity without compromising on comfort and longevity.”
Adding to that, Eleanor Haycock, co-founder of Year of Ours, notes “the outdoor ‘vibe’ and aesthetic crosses over not only into athleisure but into daily life and our daily wardrobes as well.” In fact, she says people are looking to build wardrobes that prioritize comfort and functionality. And what better way to curate your arsenal than with the most popular athleisure styles?
Below, experts give the 411 on the top athleisure styles that will take over in 2022. Whether you’re planning on wearing them to the gym or running errands on the weekend, you’ll definitely be right on-trend.
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Katie Warner Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Carbon38, is seeing a rise in non-traditional necklines. “Tanks and sports bras will feature scoop necks, sweetheart, or [be] one-shouldered,” she explains about the emerging trend. “We are all looking for pieces that are more fashion-forward and daring after several quarters of cocooning.”
“I definitely expect to see more textured fabrics,” Toyin Omisore, founder of Roam Loud, tells TZR. “We will continue to see ribbed fabrics, faux leather because it looks gorgeous, and the incorporation of reflecting fabrics.” This is especially good if you scooped up a trendy matching ribbed set over the past year or two.
“We are betting on bottoms that are a little more formal than the standard legging — think flare or split-leg pants,” Johnson says. “Our customer is craving something dressier now that the world has opened up and a little extra fabric at the ankle is akin to a swishy skirt — perfect for dancing in the streets.” Note: These specific silhouettes might be a better option for casual activities in comparison to strenuous sports (read: there’s a better chance of tripping over a flared bottom).
Alejandra Hernandez, Year of Ours designer, believes that “cottagecore” prints will make their way to athleisure next year. “Cottagecore pulls inspiration from countryside living, [like] greenery, florals, and more,” she tells TZR. Pro tip: Team up a cottagecore floral print top with loose denim for a sporty-chic vibe.
Robyn Berkley, co-founder of Live The Process, says dance-inspired activewear is always on-trend, especially when layered with knitwear. “So, [you’ll see] lots of bodysuits [next year],” she tells TZR. Additionally, she says dance-approved pieces like wrap-around bra tops, leg warmers, and off-the-shoulder layering tops will be big.
“Outside the usual staples like clean sweatshirts and excellent sneakers, for me the top athleisure trend will be accessories,” Marguerite Wade, founder and creative director of Full Court, tells TZR. “I’m really feeling that right now, [for instance] technical hats, headwear, [and] socks to name a couple.”
Gibbs says that as the fashion industry turns its eye to sustainable practices, there are more eco-fabrics on the market these days. “Recycled nylons and polyesters from plastic and unused yarns have been popular choices for brands,” she tells TZR. “These fabrics are relatively affordable and good for printing and making performance garments.”
According to Johnson, chocolate is the new black. “Also be on the lookout for juxtaposing colors. Earthy subtle hues paired with soft pastels like a butter yellow, [is] an unconventional pairing for activewear but very prevalent on runways,” the expert adds. “It's fun to see how permeable the membrane between high fashion and active fashion has become.”
“For me, layering is something that never gets old when it comes to athleisure,” Wade explains. This could translate to shorts and skirts over leggings or track pants, as well as layers of color. Plus, some brands have pieces that feature built-in layering, like Live The Process’ Taurus Long Sleeve, above.