Athleisure has been dubbed one of the biggest style movements of the past decade, and it’s far from a passing fad. The street style trend of cropped leggings and low-top Nike Air Force 1’s is now a norm in day-to-day dressing.
The Atlantic stated in 2018, “Athleisure isn’t the future of fashion. It’s the whole damn thing.”
In the 1920s, René Lacoste invented the polo — then nicknamed the “tennis shirt” — as a more comfortable alternative to long-sleeved athletic attire, as noted by The Atlantic. Roughly 50 years later, in March 1979, Nation’s Business magazine seemingly gave athleisure its modern name, according to Mirriam Webster’s investigation into the semantics surrounding the trend. Described in the bygone magazine as “apparel and footwear designed for those who actually participate in sports — and those who just want to look as if they do,” this preliminary definition has rung true over the next several decades.
Since the late ‘70s, athleisure has always been in the fashion zeitgeist, manifesting in various iterations that have become synonymous with their respective decades. In the ‘80s, it was Spandex and legwarmers. In the ‘90s, it was biker shorts and chunky sneakers. And by 2015, Juicy Couture sets of the 2000s were replaced with sports bras and leggings.
But with a new decade comes new trends and, of course, a new take on athleisure. From Y2K-inspired neon colors to Princess Diana’s reemergence as a sportswear icon, GRAZIA USA is breaking down the top athleisure trends of 2022 — and more importantly —helping you style and shop the looks with fresh pieces from Alo Yoga’s summer collection.
SPRING/SUMMER 2022 ATHLEISURE OUTFITS
- Princess Diana-Inspired Looks
- Country Club Chic
- Monochrome Sweatsuits
- Y2K-Inspired Pink
PRINCESS DIANA-INSPIRED LOOKS
While off-duty models like Gigi Hadid once reigned supreme when it came to athleisure icons, this trend has recently adopted a more regal It-girl — Princess Diana. When the late royal wasn’t sporting polka-dotted formal wear, a grand wedding gown with a 25-foot train or the iconic revenge dress, she earned her title of “the people’s princess” with her every day, sporty-chic style. Often pairing biker shorts with oversized graphic sweatshirts, Diana’s go-to combo has become a modern sportswear staple worn by the likes of Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber — who even recreated some of the beloved royal’s most iconic athleisure looks for Vogue Paris.
This summer, we are channeling our inner Princess Diana by layering Alo Yoga’s Alosoft Suns Out Onsie with the Renown Crew Neck Pullover, finishing the look with classic white sneakers and mid-length socks.
COUNTRY CLUB CHIC
It’s not just royal influence that has brought athleisure to new heights. Over the past several months, preppy fashion has fallen back in style, appearing everywhere from the Miu Miu runway, to TikTok fashion vlogs and, of course, several glossy write-ups. A stark departure from its strictly sporty roots, this take on sportswear centers on trending staples like the tennis skirt, collared tank tops and oversized sweatshirts to capture that country-club casual aesthetic, for a polished yet relaxed look.
Ace this look on and off the court by paring Alo Yoga’s pleated Varsity Tennis Skirt with the Charmed Collar Bra Tank and the Unisex Throwback Sock, for a modern take on country club chic. Toss on the Polo Henley Pullover and you’re ready for your next match … or brunch.
In 2016, figure-hugging sets were the name of the game when it came to athleisure, with skin-tight sports bras and even tighter leggings, constituting the pinnacle of fashion. But (thankfully) times have changed, heralding the popularity of a brand new (and much more comfortable) silhouette — baggy on baggy. Dubbed the “WFH Sweatsuit” by GQ, matching, monochrome baggy sweats have become a post-pandemic staple in the athleisure-verse. Proving yet again that comfort and fashion can — and do — go hand-in-hand, the trend has several famous fans, including Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber and let’s face it, most of us at home while binging a Netflix marathon.
Look chic while hitting the gym, or the couch — we don’t judge — with Alo Yoga’s Cropped Tailored Crew Neck and matching High-Waist Tailored Sweatpant set. With a geometric midriff-bearing sweatshirt and straight-leg pants — all crafted from a luxe crinkled jersey — this duo is just as comfortable as it is chic.
Like low-rise denim, crochet tops and apparently reviving our old iPod Nanos as hairclips as modeled in a particularly infamous viral TikTok, it seems the Y2K revival trend has made its way into the world of athleisure. Just as we proudly sported our hot pink Juicy Couture sweats in the mid-aughts — a look only completed with a pair of Ugg boots and a pink RAZR cellphone — the bright color is back, but with a polished twist.
Labeled “The Color Trend to Rule 2022” by Harper’s Bazaar, hot pink has become a recent red carpet staple, with stars like Saweetie, Billy Porter, Serena Williams and Miranda Lambert all sporting the bold hue at major events over the past several weeks. But rocking a bright color isn’t just for celebrities attending award shows and galas. Translate this eye-popping trend to everyday fashion with a simple, monochrome matching set. We recommend pairing Alo Yoga’s Goddess Ribbed Cross Crop Top with the Goddess Ribbed High-Waist Hot Short in Magenta Crush for a polished, retro-inspired look.
All products on GRAZIA are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, GRAZIA may earn an affiliate commission.