Stretchy waistbands, soft high-quality fabrics, and cozy sneakers—comfort is at the heart of men's athletic fashion, aka athleisure.
The even better news: You can also use it to up your style game and you don't need to be anywhere near a sporting venue. The right sporty wardrobe staples and accessories can work for dates, social outings, and—when styled the right way—even the office.
Keep scrolling for a guide to the best sporty outfits for men.
The lowdown on men's sporty style
Though its roots date back to the '80s, when Run DMC released their hip-hop ode to Adidas, men's athleisure is undoubtedly having a moment right now. Kanye and Alexander Wang are just two of the style savants dipping their toes in the world of men's athletic fashion. And with good reason—Morgan Stanley predicts that sales for athleisure are expected to hit $355 billion by 2021.
You may have noticed the women in your life already embracing the trend, donning their yoga pants while running errands and meeting friends for coffee. Likewise, you probably already have some athleisure clothing in your closet—like joggers, T-shirts, hoodies, hats, and street shoes—that you can elevate beyond your sweat session.
But what's the difference between athleisure and your usual workout gear? The signatures of this men's athletic style are sustainable, high-quality fabrics and flattering cuts. Although you technically could wear this clothing to the gym, you'll likely want to keep them looking fresh.
How to put together sporty outfits for men
So how, exactly, do you pull off this ultimate hybrid of comfort and fashion? After all, you don't want to look like you've been binging Netflix on the couch all day or that you've just finished a marathon.
One important rule of thumb: men's athletic style doesn't have to be loose and baggy. It's all about balance when you're pulling together the most flattering outfit for your body shape.
Here's a breakdown of all the essentials.
Joggers and sweatpants
Yes, the best part about them is comfort and stretch, but they aren't those saggy sweatpants you wore in gym class. These athleisure staples have a slimmer fit and taper at the ankles. Pair a graphic tee with fitted joggers or slim sweatpants and a batting jacket for low-key weekend wear. Or slide on more tailored joggers (look for styles with belt loops and a zip fly) with a button-down shirt and tie, or a polo and dress shoes for a business event.
The high-quality sweatshirt is an athleisure favorite—and the key here is layering. You can take it up a few notches by pairing it with slim pants, dark jeans, or dressy joggers, and all-black sneakers. When it's cool out, amp up the formality by adding a blazer over the top.
Slide that ultra-soft graphic hoodie over a Henley with golf joggers or skinny jeans. Finish the look with all-white leather or casual wool sneakers.
Dress up a pair of trail-ready shorts with a Henley long-sleeve or short-sleeve tee and a structured jacket. A short-sleeve collared shirt and slip-on casual shoes work a treat for those outdoor weekend plans like barbecues and picnics.
Often made from high-performance fabrics, these are a step up from sweatpants. Pair them with a simple, well-cut tee, leather or faux leather racing jacket, and stretchy, slip-on canvas sneakers.
This accessory can top off any men's athletic fashion style, but if you're wearing a baseball cap, it needs to be in good condition. Dark colors and camouflage are excellent options for covering that messy bedhead when you need to.
These superstars of men's athletic fashion are where you can really make a fashion statement. Opt for a sleek black or grey sneaker for a more refined style, or a striking red or brilliant white to stand out. The cardinal rule: Keep them as clean as possible.
How to take care of your clothes so they last longer
Think of men's athletic fashion as investment pieces—meaning you'll want to take good care of them. They'll look their best and maintain their shape if you only wear them for everyday occasions rather than lounging or working out. Keep a separate set of clothes to wear when training for that endurance event, lifting weights at the gym, or lounging on the couch.
When washing your athleisure items, turn them inside out to help maintain color and quality. If the clothing is made from a high-tech fabric, consider using a delicates bag and washing it on a gentle cycle or using a special detergent. Read the directions about hanging dry or putting them on a low-heat cycle in the dryer so you don't shrink them (those crop shirts from the '80s and early '90s aren't part of the athleisure trends just yet). You might also want to wash clothes less frequently—if you didn't sweat in them, hang them out and spray a clothing freshener.