Easy & Chic Examples: How to Wear Activewear Outside the Gym

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I know I’ve said this in regard to other kinds of clothing like our “work wear”, but it applies to all of our clothes. What I’m talking about is the best way to wear our activewear outside the gym is to stop thinking of it as activewear only.
It’s clothing. So why not wear it as you would your other clothing?

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Quote of the day: “Science progresses best when observations force us to alter our preconceptions.” Vera Rubin

Ways to wear your activewear outside the gym
1-What is activewear?
2-Tennis skirts
3-Leggings (2 versions)
4- Swimwear
5-Other inspiration

Altering our preconceptions isn’t always easy. It’s only normal to buy clothing that is categorized as one thing or another, and only wear it for that occasion. If you’re anything like me then we tend to do this with our office clothing, our sleepwear, and our activewear.
Half the time we even store the clothing in different places so, of course, we don’t think about wearing them for other occasions.

Yet, when we really stop and consider how to wear our activewear outside the gym, I bet you’ll agree with me. It can be super easy!

The three of us will talk about 3 easy examples (should I say the word again? EASY. This is not rocket science) of activewear in our closets that you can wear for a day on the town. And I’ll include some other ideas as options that will make your closet bigger.

Chic examples of how to wear activewear outside the gym

What is Activewear?

First, let’s talk about the term activewear. We know that our society has embraced everything more casual in the last 10-20 years. Heck, I hear my friends in my retirement community talk about the days they couldn’t wear pants to school. And now kids wear athleisure wear to school.
And as much as some of us wish life wasn’t as casual (me!), it’s only normal that life evolves and fashion changes.

Yet, I’ll be the rebel and figure out how to wear activewear outside the gym and look chic while doing it. But there’s another reason to think about this idea. It makes our closet bigger which can be especially helpful when you are traveling.
In fact, most of the pieces in our closet are really much more versatile than we think. You just have to stop categorizing the clothing.

Now don’t laugh, as I go off on a tangent and don’t even answer the question of what is activewear. The definition will vary depending on who you ask, but for most of us, activewear is made to be worn while we are active.
It’s going to be comfortable and have some stretch so that you can move and groove.

Once you realize the functionality of any kind of activewear, it only makes sense that you could style them in an everyday look.

Insider tip: The term athleisure wear has been used a lot in the last 8 years too. It’s interchangeable with activewear and sportswear.

You should definitely sign up for the emails below. Besides the free eBook, my email family gets personal tidbits of what’s going on in my life along with other happenings, sales, information, giveaways, extra photos, and interesting articles.

Tennis Skirts

Wear activewear outside the gym with style
Skirt: Dona Jo c/o~~Jacket: Chicos-thrifted~~ Top: Banana Republic ~~ Shoes: Vince Camuto ~~ Necklace: Sally Hoffman Designs ~~ Earrings: Sally Hoffman Designs~~ Purse: Goodwill

Since sportswear has become a huge trend, tennis skirts and dresses have exploded onto the market. Maybe you’ve seen a lot of the younger girls wearing them?
Well, don’t be tricked into thinking that older women can’t wear them too. In all reality, tennis skirts are basically the same as skorts, which Lesley wears all the time.

I recently worked with a company called Dona Jo, which has longer-length tennis skirts, including 17″ and 19″. Heck, they even have ones with attached capris so you’re really covered. You can see my short video showcasing 3 different lengths. The longer skirt in my video is 17″ which is what I’m wearing in the above photo and I’m 5’2″ tall.

I decided to wear this longer tennis skirt when running errands as proof you can wear activewear outside the gym and look cute.
The skirt has a flare to it, so I copied that flare with a peplum top. And then a cropped denim jacket. I wore fashionable sandals and even added in a beautiful necklace and earrings to make the outfit intentional.

Leggings: How to Wear Activewear Outside the Gym

Leggings. Aren’t they super versatile?? You wear them to the gym. You wear them under tunics. Heck, I would say that you could wear them in place of tights.
Both Charlotte and Lesley used leggings for their example of how to wear activewear outside the gym. It’s not rocket science that they can be worn for a casual day.

Lesley-Black Leggings

Easy way to wear activewear outside the gym
Leggings: Go2 c/o~~ Vest: JM Collection-Macys~~ Top: Chicos ~~ Shoes: Lifestride~~ Purse: Steinmart

Black leggings are as functional as black pants. There is no reason why these leggings can’t be worn for working out, and as part of an everyday outfit.

In fact, you may not realize that these are compression leggings that the three of us have showcased in the past. You just can’t tell the difference between “workout” leggings and “fashion” leggings, can you?

The details that create an everyday look with these leggings are the button-down blouse, a knit vest as well as sandals. Since the other elements aren’t activewear pieces, the entire outfit seems like a normal look you would see out in public.

Adding a 3rd Color to the Look

Lesley even incorporated a third color into the look by carrying a red print purse as well as donning a red bracelet. These details tie in fabulously with her red lipstick and create a more interesting outfit.
In fact, you could say that she is print mixing since the purse has two prints on it plus her shoes are a print also.

You’ve seen this same vest recently when Lesley wore it for a football game in the warm weather. She used it to create a wrap for when the sun goes down and it gets a tad chilly in that example. In today’s look, she is using it as a topper that covers her bum.

Notice how she tied up the front ends (kept in place by a hair elastic) to create a tighter silhouette and close the panels together.

Insider tip: Just because your cardigan doesn’t have closures, doesn’t mean you can’t create your own. Another option is to use magnets (found on Amazon) or pins.

How to wear active wear outside the gym

Charlotte-Colorful Leggings

Pink tunic with leggings
Leggings: My mom made it~~ Tunic: Fashion c/o~~ Shoes: no label-thrifted ~~ Purse: Amanda Smith-thrifted

Leggings come in all varieties of colors and even prints. Charlotte is showcasing her pair of burgundy leggings with a beautiful tunic top as well as her sparkly sneakers.

My mom even made these leggings, which is a perfect way to get the color or print you want.

Adding Sparkles and Bling

Even though the leggings tend to have a more casual vibe, that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate sparkles into the outfit.
Charlotte did this with her sneakers and even included bling with her rings, bracelet, and her purse.

Any day is a good day for bling because every day is a gift to enjoy!

Long tunic with leggings to wear activewear outside the gym


Ideas of how to wear activewear outside the gym
Skirt: Splendid- thrifted ~~ Jacket: Boohoo ~~Halftee: lace sleeveless ~ Tankini: ~~ Shoes: Jambu “Sandi” c/o~~ Earrings: Target~~ Purse: DSW

Do you think your swimwear is only for the pool or beach?? I used to until I started following Sheila on Instagram who lives in Bali. She is a master at taking her pool outfit and adding something here or there to make it dinner ready.

And it makes sense, especially with the two-piece options. Many of our swimwear is too pretty to hide away only for swimming, so I decided to wear a tankini with my everyday look.
Would you realize that it’s not a beautiful floral top under my blazer?

Insider tip: Some tankinis or swim tops have wonderful support for the girls so you don’t even need a bra. Now if that isn’t the best reason to try out this option, I don’t know what is.

How I Wore My Tankini for Everyday

I just love the print of this tankini, but it did seem too low-cut for the day. But never fear, I had a Halftee to fix that issue.

Insider tip: Halftees are made to provide coverage without bulk at your midsection. After trying out their products, I applied to become an ambassador which means you can get 20% off with the code Jtouch20 and I do get a small commission from any sales.

Tying a Scarf to Your Purse

Scarves always take a back seat in the summer, yet if we have them, I think it’s great to use them in other ways.

Which is exactly why I wrote an article this summer about that.

And adding a scarf to your purse is an easy way to add color and interest to a solid color purse. Instead of tying this scarf on the handle, I just places it under the flap of my purse and tied it on top.

Insider tip: Here’s a short video showing how I did it.

The Extras for an Everyday Look

I included all of the extras that I enjoy with my skirt, tankini, and blazer. There’s a bling pin on the label of my jacket, a barrette in my hair, and statement earrings.

I wore my newest Jambu sneakers since we would be walking all day. This version is called the Sandy and the foam footbed creates a comfortable walking experience. The best part about these shoes? There’s a zipper to get them on and off so I don’t have to tie them each time.

Insider discount: Right now until the end of October, you can get 20% off with code Style20 on all Jambu purchases. This is a company we have worked with for over 4 years since we love the comfort and functionality of the brand.

Add a blazer to a casual skirt
How to incorporate athleisure wear into a casual look

Other Inspiration for How to Wear Activewear Outside the Gym

I would say that almost anything you wear for keeping fit and working out could be part of your everyday outfits.

Other items to consider for wearing activewear outside of the gym:
1-Active tops. Any of the t-shirts would be perfectly paired under a blazer or cardigan.
2Sports bras. Many sports bras have interesting straps that can be showcased when you have backless or low-cut tops.
3Sneakers. The obvious shoe of choice for working out can also be a fun addition to other casual or not-so-casual looks. I’ve seen great outfits that pair sneakers with a business suit or dress.
4Yoga pants. I wore a pair of yoga-cropped pants when discussing proportions this summer. They are the orange pair of “capri pants” yet I bet you’d never realize they are wicking material and made for yoga.

Can you think of anything I missed? I bet now the idea of wearing activewear outside the gym doesn’t seem so silly!

We have also shown this same concept in previous articles that might spur you to think differently about your activewear pieces.

1-How to style your after-gym outfit in winter
2Ideas for post-workout looks in summer
3Casual outfit with leggings
4Dressing up your leggings

You can wear activewear outside the gym and look chic

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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