Holy hoodies! Lately we've seen a plethora of high-end designers get super sporty. Hermès has shown tennis sweaters, Alexander Wang praised the pigskin with football-inspired shoulder-padded sweatshirts, and Bottega Veneta hit the dojo, sending karate-influenced looks down the runway.
And, for fall, designers ranging from Jean Paul Gaultier to Miu Miu to Tommy Hilfiger to Lacoste to L.A.M.B., continued to cheer on sporty styles.
"There's a really fine line between yoga chic and athletic styles," "My Body My Style" stylist Sam Saboura tells StyleList. "The athletic trend in fashion right now is about taking sophisticated fabrics to create a really cool athletic style."
But how do you dress with a sporty vibe that looks chic, and not like you're headed out to a tennis match? We called on fashion champs Saboura and Steve Birkhold, president and CEO of Lacoste USA, to coach you through the trend and keep from committing a fashion foul.
Points for color:
- "Color plays a really big story in wearing sporty-looking styles that are inspired by the athletic trend, but without looking like you're going to the gym," Saboura says. "You want to avoid colors that are always associated with sports, like orange and bright blue. Navy, richer burgundy tones, soft mauves and dusty slate blues look more sophisticated and fashion-forward."
- "You need to mix something sportswear-inspired with something a little more structured," Saboura says. "Even a pair of jeans are going to make something more relaxed look a little more sophisticated. Choose one piece of athletic-inspired clothing and then mix it with something more structured and more sophisticated that you already have in your wardrobe."
- "Dressing head-to-toe in sporty style can be easily achieved since sportswear has developed into a fashion-forward market," Birkhold says, adding that "beautiful materials, durability and high quality finishings" are key details when it comes to sporty styles.
- "A piece of outerwear or some sort of layering piece that's a topper, like a hoodie or anorak is a safe place to start when it comes to choosing athletic-inspired fashion because you can mix and layer it with other items to keep it from looking too sporty," Saboura says. "I think you want to avoid mixing sporty pieces with a classic T-shirt or a tank top or something that immediately reads you're heading to the Coffee Bean."
- "Find an athletic style from your favorite designer, like Alexander Wang, or Vince does really cool anorak jackets, or Burberry does great athletic-inspired jackets, and invest in one piece," Saboura says. "Look for a piece of outerwear or a cute little sweatshirt style that you can throw off your shoulder and wear with a skinny jean and great shoe. ."
- Just don't overdo it. "I don't think women should go so deep into the trend, like choosing reflective and translucent jackets, even though designers were doing it," Saboura adds. "Take your favorite thing that you love from this trend and mix it with what you already own. That's going to make it feel more natural, and not too trendy and contrived -- so you're on trend, but not trendy."
- "The revived version of a sweatpant is kind of cool, too," Saboura says. "Mixing them with booties is cool. Just make sure your shoe is not a sneaker. I think people aren't used to mixing an athletic style with something a little more polished, but that's what makes the style feel modern and kind of different."
Are athletic looks not your thing? The check out our tips on how to dress like a lady.