How the look evolved
If you would've been a teenager thirty years ago, the only place you would've worn your tennies is to the gym.
Then came the athletic boom of the '80s.
The movie "Flashdance" and countless aerobic videos spurred a trend toward dressing like you were going to work out (even if you weren't).
Ripped sweatshirts, leg warmers, leggings were everywhere; sporty clothing became acceptable as everyday wear in the '80s.
And although athletic-for-everyday has toned down a bit since then, anything sports-inspired remains very hot.
All Stars - '70s
In the ‘70s, Converse Chuck Taylor’s went from a basketball shoe to a fashion statement with teenagers.
Sturdy and durable, these sneakers were realistic and versatile. Even today, teens (especially punks and Emos) wear these classic high-tops. Now they’re available in updated colors and styles including pink, purple, and teal shades and low-top and backless versions.
Aerobic Look - '80s
During the aerobic craze in the eighties, the ultimate combination was tight, shiny stretch leggings paired with an over-sized, off-the-shoulder sweatshirt, a la "Flashdance."
To dress the look up a little, it was often worn with a pair of classic pumps. Cute. Other dance-inspired pieces that were seen as streetwear include wrap sweaters, leotards, and aerobics sneakers.
Baggy sweatshirts and spandex leggings were not’t the only fashion items that made it out of the dance studio: leg warmers, "scrunch" socks, and super-wide headbands were also part of the whole ‘80s aerobics scene. Scrunch socks were worn most often with the popular Reebok shoe (high top with lots of Velcro!) and leg warmers were worn with everything from leotards to mini skirts & heels!
All sorts of designers have put their own spin on either athletic clothing or sneaks. In 1980, Norma Kamali debuted a very cool athletic-inspired collection featuring jackets, dresses, and suits all made of a gray sweatshirt fabric, so that all pieces could be mix and matched.
Now, top notch designers frequently use the athletic look: Burberry plaid can be found on tennis shoes, Marc Jacobs made a high heel version of the classic Converse high-top, and Yohji Yamamoto collaborated with Adidas to make one fabulous sneaker!
Once a very male-dominated market, brands like Nike (makes sense, considering Nike is the name of a Greek goddess) have come out with women’s lines of clothing and shoes. Besides, do you really think guys care about trends in athletic clothing? Didn’t think so.
Yoga clothing – as easy to wear as pajamas – is now worn as streetwear as often as it’s worn for actual yoga class! All pieces are clean-cut and simple, usually in earthy, neutral colors.
The best finds include drawstring yoga pants and capris, either very slim-cut or very loose. Pair them with a tee and flip flops for a cute, yet comfortable look. Top-wise, easy-cut tee shirts and fitted wrap sweaters and cardigans are the way to go.
The definite must have, easy-to-wear trend this fall is the tracksuit, which generally consists of loose, low-waisted pants and a matching hoody in either velour or terry cloth.
The best thing about this look is its versatility. You can wear the sweatshirt with jeans or a little skirt and the pants with a funky tee.
You could zip the jacket up, or leave it undone exposing a camisole. Keep your eyes open for original, fun colors and don’t be afraid to mix-and-match shades as long as you tie them together with a tee or accessory.
Sneakers were once outdated and tacky for non-gym wear, but now they’ve reached chic and sophisticated heights. These days, techno and retro are key words when choosing trainers.
A pair of cute sneakers is required for any fashion-conscience girl – a great change from boots and heels! Just remember that under no circumstances should you have to sacrifice style for comfort.
For old-skool looks, check out Puma, Adidas, and Sketchers. If high-tech styles are more your vibe, look for Nike, New Balance, and Diesel.