While your arsenal of going-out clothing likely stayed the same over the past year, chances are your activewear drawer doubled (or, perhaps even tripled). Now, even as restaurants and bars are lifting prior restrictions, your new sports bras, bike shorts, and leggings still hold a valuable spot in today’s wardrobe. And as you’re gearing up for the new season, the 2021 summer athleisure trends should certainly be on your mind when you’re planning outfits.
These days, you won’t just spot athleisure in the gym or on the track. “The merging of activewear and loungewear into daily wardrobes is a trend that began in lockdown, but is expected to explode in 2021,” Lizeth Hernandez, founder of new Los Angeles-based activewear brand Lazy Hype, tells TZR. “We can expect people to get more comfortable wearing leggings, sports bras, sweats, and other workout pieces all day, not just for physical activity.”
Additionally, Emma Vollrath, CEO and founder of Emma Lou, says, “we are wearing athleisure more than ever due to ‘the new normal,’ so I predict that comfort will start to get more creative; athleisure for summer 2021 will focus on fun colors and interesting cuts, but still really honing in on that monochromatic workout combo.” To add to that, Jon Schwartz, founder of Splits59 says transitioning athleisure clothing from your workout to a night out is a big trend for summer. “Styles like bike shorts, easy tanks, and sports bras with some detail that can be worn to work out or go out,” he tells TZR.
Ahead, find eight summer 2021 athleisure trends that experts predict will take over. From your spin class to happy hour, these looks can be styled for almost any activity.
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Summer 2021 Athleisure Trend: Tennis Dressing
According to Alejandra Hernandez, designer at Year of Ours, tennis is a sport you’ll continue to see grow in popularity this year. “Tennis styles will carry through to off-the-court and be extremely popular this summer,” she explains. “There are so many fun pieces like the tennis skirt or matching sets that can be worn to play but also look just as stylish as lifestyle wear.” Even if you’ve never picked up a racket, you can still get in on the trend with a cute tennis skirt or dress.
Summer 2021 Athleisure Trend: Cropped Pants
Hernandez thinks longer bike shorts and capris will be a continued trend this summer. “Again, more and more people are seeking comfort in their apparel choices, and I think they are going to opt for these styles that are easy to wear for both active and lifestyle.” To that point, Robyn Berkley, co-founder of Live The Process believes anything cropped, including leggings, tops, capri, or crop flair will be quite popular.
Summer 2021 Athleisure Trend: Terry Fabric
“Mid-weight cotton terrycloth is not only comfortable, but transitional for the warmer months,” Candice Morgan, lead designer for Spiritual Gangster, says about her favorite fabric this summer. Choose the material in cozy sweatpants or shorts, and style it with a ribbed tank and jewelry.
Summer 2021 Athleisure Trend: Pastels
“For summer 2021 you’ll see a lot of pastel and light sun-washed active sets, as opposed to bright colors that are traditionally associated with summer,” Morgan says. “Pastels always offer a sense of nostalgia and remind us of being young and carefree. You can’t help but feel happy wearing these shades.”
Summer 2021 Athleisure Trend: Non-Traditional Sports Bras
“Lately, we're witnessing a lot of ‘non-traditional’ sports bras making an appearance,” Joy Byrd, CEO of Beach Hours, tells TZR. For instance, she says to expect to see styles like backless tops or low-rise cuts featured in the front. “They still meet the requirements of high-impact support or day-to-day wear, but with more risk or a cuter silhouette.”
Summer 2021 Athleisure Trend: Cutouts
While she believes high-waisted pieces will remain prominent, Berkley also thinks people are itching to show more skin. “Expect cutouts and ruching and tasteful sexiness with a cardigan thrown over the top,” she explains. “This is just the result of going through the pandemic and wanting to feel good and inspired but very styled.”
Summer 2021 Athleisure Trend: One-Pieces
According to Byrd, you won’t want to sleep on one-piece jumpsuits this summer. “They are definitely here to stay for a while, especially as we enter summer,” she explains. “With more companies avoiding head-to-toe matching suits, this is a great option when you can’t find the corresponding bra to the leggings.”
Lizeth Hernandez agrees that one-piece activewear will be huge for summer 2021. “The ‘80s moment will continue with jumpsuits, onesies, and bike-short rompers.”
Summer 2021 Athleisure Trend: One-Shoulder Tops
Lindsey Carter, CEO and founder of Set Active, says the brand’s community is craving fun takes on classic silhouettes to wear this summer, particularly tanks. “We just dropped our Weekend Tank, which is a one-shoulder tank with a semi-cropped length in the most perfect stretchy rib-knit fabric,” she tells TZR. “We suggest swapping out your traditional tank tops with this top to make any look seriously sophisticated.” Though the style is already sold out, opt for its one-shoulder sports bra while you wait for it to come back in stock.