Arbitrary Criticism

Change Your Yoga Pants, Change Your Life

Making Athleisure-wear work for you.

By Catherine Martin December 15, 2014

Just headed to my morning meeting; nothing to see here.

We all know at least one woman who likes to run around town in her athleisure-wear. Despite the fact that she has always, no matter when you see her, just finished up with her morning/afternoon/evening/after-dinner workout, she is never sweaty. Her hair is perfectly pulled back in a pony-tail. Her clothes fit exactly to her skin, showing off the fact that she has not been overindulging this holiday season.

We all want to be this woman. She is always punctual. She remembers to hydrate throughout the day. Somehow, despite her hectic schedule, there are never bags under her eyes.

How to become like her? Is it diet, exercise, attention to detail? No. It is the power of the athleisure-wear she dons each morning. These name-brand yoga pants and sweat-wicking shirts, the expensive, top-of-the-line tennis shoes and the ramrod straight, standard issue ponytail are the source of her power.

Business schools toss out the maxim on Day 1 in Getting Rich and Successful 101: dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Here, we’re dressing for the lives we want rather than the lives we have. Soon you’ll find that you suddenly have exactly as many hours in the day as you need. The maintenance on your car will be up to date. All your library books will be turned in on time, and the milk in your fridge will never go sour.

Exercise enthusiasts have long known that the right shoe will put the pep in your step that leads to the finish line. Now that pep is available to the rest of us, just by spending an insane amount on spandex.

The downside of athleisure-wear is that as your life becomes more successful, your responsibilities will become less avoidable. No longer will you be choosing between Thursday night happy hours; now you’ll be attending high profile events like royal weddings and state dinners. It’s important to learn how to accessorize your athleisure-wear so that you can seamlessly go from day to night.

A delicate, sophisticated touch to an otherwise powerful outfit.

Image: Auntie P

Remember that pearls are always classic and graceful. A short strand around your neck and maybe your grandmother’s pearl earrings will give the entire ensemble the right amount of elegance. Go for a scoop-necked work out tank with this look; a V-neck could come across as trashy and unsophisticated. Long sleeves could create a boxy look; use with discretion.

A square silk scarf, knotted preppily around your neck, can lend a touch of taste to any Lululemon outfit. For state dinners, make sure you match the color of the scarf to the administration in power. Even a blend of red or blue in a pattern can quickly turn into an embarrassing political gaffe. Monochromatic is a safe choice. Ensure that the rest of your outfit follows this axiom as well; brightly colored tennis shoes are an amateurish mistake.

It seems like a lot to handle all at once, but rest assured that all the work you do today can be undone tomorrow. If the pressure of being powerful and successful ever grows to be too much, you can always throw on a pair of jeans and go back to your un-optimized life. Lying on the couch and sleeping through meetings is, after all, just like riding a bike. 


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