When was the last time you wore professional clothing? Depending on your work environment, you may not have needed to wear a suit and tie, but many offices had either a written or unwritten sartorial code. While the pandemic wasn’t the birth of athleisure wear, it was the start of the work from home (WFH) uniform, allowing remote employees to be both relaxed and free from fashion judgments.
Being both comfortable and stylish was once a hard task to accomplish and track pants were once regarded as a symbol of personal defeat—but not anymore. With the right style (and some added confidence) track pants, leggings, and sweaters can be suitable for the office too, not restricted for going out. One day, people will find themselves back in the office, but they may be able to sneak in a bit of comfort from home. Here are our top picks for athleisure brands that you can get away with wearing at the office.
Arguably the company that started it all, Lululemon is a brand that makes it possible to look and feel both comfortable and well dressed. The brand increased its online sales during the height of COVID, due to a majority of people being confined to their homes. Athleisure attire is no more a trend than denim is, and it will remain part of the fashion world for many years to come. Sweatpants were introduced back in the 1920s and have been improved ever since, becoming more tailored and subtle; Lululemon has more than that in its closet.
Kit and Ace
Whether it’s their commute joggers or loungewear, Kit and Ace has the right balance of athleticism and professionalism. Much like Lululemon, Kit and Ace allows the consumer to do so much more with their leggings, joggers, and tops so they can breathe in the boardroom and then sweat in the gym. The brand focuses mostly on neutral colours with the exception of a few bolder options to choose from. It’s always important to have an outfit that can be worn to any occasion, especially if you’re attending a function with a more fluid dress code.
If you’re following Halle Berry on Instagram, then chances are you’ve noticed her rocking Alo Yoga in her training videos. You may not think that you can get away with wearing a tank top to work but if you put a cardigan or kimono over it, your boss or peers won’t know the difference. Its yoga-inspired look is transferrable to the office, but don’t think of trying to pass off their baggier pants—that won’t fly with even the most liberal of bosses.
When it comes to sweatpants and joggers, guys can’t go wrong with the Ace sweatpants by Mack Weldon. This comfortable pick is specifically for the guys and has a more tailored silhouette that gives a dressier vibe. The pants appear more professional than they actually are, which can allow more versatility throughout the day. Pair them with a sweater or blazer and you’re at ease in the office as well as on the street.
Owned by The Gap, Athleta often gets confused with Lululemon, due to their similar appearance. While they may look similar, they each have their own identity. Depending on how relaxed your office dress code is, you can get away with almost anything from this women’s athleisure brand—if you know what to wear it with. If your job has you on the move, but also requires a professional dress code, then you can’t go wrong with this choice.
Dontei Wynter | Contributing Writer