Elevating Athleisure Couldn't Be Easier (& May Involve A Pair Of Pumps)

A century ago, women's fashion was entirely focused on designs involving skirts and dresses, though simpler pieces were in vogue since World War I had recently concluded, and society realized the need to reserve resources (per Vintage Dancer). Though complicated hoop skirts and corsets were being removed from closets, women were still very much confined to lower-body attire made of open fabric and accompanied by additional layers of petticoats and underslips. However, with the utmost gratitude and appreciation for Coco Chanel, pants for women began making their way into wardrobes just about a hundred years ago from today.

It's believed that the renowned and groundbreaking designer began wearing pants borrowed from her male paramours as far back as the year 1918, per CNN. Then, around the mid-1920s, Chanel began adding pants to her fashion lines and marketing them to the public, thus effectively pushing the attire into the mainstream consciousness. Today's fashion exists at the centennial of the average woman's first foray into donning pants, and it's safe to say that Chanel did us all a favor with her bold raiment approach! Today, we have definitely embraced simple, comfortable pieces, particularly through the phenomenon that is athleisure apparel. In modern outfits, athleisure pieces regularly make appearances whether we're grabbing coffee, running errands, lounging at home, or getting a workout in. Taking inspiration from Chanel's leap of fashionable faith, it's time we do the same by enhancing athleisure apparel with incredibly easy, comfortable, upscale looks.

Go totally tonal

One of the easiest ways to create a clean look with athleisure pieces is by opting for tonal styling. If you aren't quite sure what a tonal outfit consists of, it can be anything of your choosing with the only rule of thumb being that the entire ensemble is of the same color, says P.E Nation. Some tonal outfits are put together using various shades of the same base color, which you can even turn into a head-to-toe ombré look, while other tonal regalia is entirely the same shade. To keep things sleek, stick with neutral colors like black, beige, and ivory for a more elite tonal athleisure style.

Metallic magic

Metallics are making a massive splash in fashion right now, from shimmery apparel to metallic manicures, and have even made their way onto the athleisure runway. Given the natural shine of metallics, whether opting for gold, silver, copper, bronze, or a pink rose gold, combining athleisure pieces with metallics will instantly add literal sparkle to your look! Try pairing the athleisure items in your closet with metallic accessories like handbags, shoes, and jewelry, including metallic armbands, hand bracelets, cuffs, and tassel headbands. Metallics automatically boost your look, so have fun choosing which glimmering pieces you'll pair with athleisure!

Accessories are everything

Metallic pieces aren't the only accessories that can elevate athleisure ensembles. In fact, pretty much any accessory can enhance an outfit's look and change the attire's vibe. With a tailored jacket over an athleisure top and leggings, you can fashionably wear comfy athleisure pieces to more formal events. Adding statement jewelry, like bold necklaces or eye-catching earrings, transforms athleisure apparel into the perfect regalia for a night out, whether you're having fun with friends or sprucing up your look for a date. Depending on what you're going for, use accessories to alter athleisure pieces into transformed styles.

Literally elevate with heels

Throwing on a pair of heels can instantaneously give both your outfit and your mood a boost! Think of yourself as Carrie Bradshaw if athleisure was as popular in the late 1990s as it is today. Accessories, cozy leggings, and a breathable sports bra can quickly be enhanced with the extra height from heels, pumps, or the shoe of your choice. Net-a-Porter suggests adding a pair of large sunglasses to your athleisure and heels for an extra splash of upscale energy, which has the potential for an Audrey-Hepburn-mixed-with-athleisure appearance.

Lean into leather-leisure

Athleisure gets an upgrade when it comes to adding an iconic leather jacket, leather leggings, leather boots, or even leather accessories like bags, headbands, and hats to your relaxed athleisure styling. Think of leather accouterments mixed with athleisure pieces as leather-leisure. Net-a-Porter advises choosing your accessories accordingly if you opt for a leather-leisure ensemble, recommending a baseball cap for a casual-yet-refined look and more opulent accessories for a leather-leisure look fit for a night out or business meeting. Remember that leather looks phenomenal with metallics! 

Boots give a boost

For an effortless transition from casual to something more elevated, take a pair of boots with you to put on after your next workout. You'll arrive at your workout in gym shoes and leave in boots with elevated style. Throwing boots on over leggings is also an easy look for a concert, night out, or even business casual. In fact, boots can boost your style and your mood. A 2012 study from the University of Hertfordshire discovered that when you wear an outfit that makes you happy, your overall mood and outlook will mirror your ensemble!