The Curvy Girl’s Guide To Athleisure

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Fashion fads come and go, but every now and again a style breezes into our lives which remains a constant in our wardrobes forevermore – and if there’s one popular summer trend we’re happy to welcome into the chillier months, it’s athleisure chic.

The craze for wearing workout clothes saw a huge boost over the summer as off-duty models, including Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, decreed that wearing workout clothes as street wear was the only way to go, liberating legions of women from their rigid workwear and structured silhouettes.

Better yet, active wear is a comfy, chic and versatile look for curvy ladies looking to inject life into their transitional-season dressing. By mixing sporty basics such as elasticated joggers, cosy crew-neck jumpers and this season's must-have coat – the bomber jacket – alongside smarter staples in your existing wardrobe, you can achieve an effortlessly cool look that will flatter your figure as well as show that mastering a hot trend is second nature. Your cheat’s guide to athleisure starts here!

DO Mix Sporty And Casual

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Be sure to make the most of both athletic wear AND leisure wear – the two work perfectly in tandem and deserve equal attention. Soft grey joggers have received a contemporary upgrade this season, with pleather detailing and a textured finish. Twin an ankle-length pair with a marl T-shirt and Sporty-Spice zip-up for an on-trend look.

The gentle fall of the joggers delivers a flattering silhouette for bottom-heavy body shapes, while a tapered ankle gives a delicate focal point that stops you from looking overwhelmed by cosy layers.

DON’T Resort To Hoodies

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Hoodies paired with sweatpants are fine for snuggling up on the sofa, but their loose-fit won’t do curvy body shapes any favours outdoors. For brisk autumnal weather, invest in structured essentials that you can easily layer with other staples from your wardrobe.

A crew-neck sweatshirt and soft leggings will streamline the silhouette, and work perfectly with a leather jacket slung around the shoulders. Experiment with texture and colour with a slogan T-shirt, graphic patterned jumper or long-sleeved colourblock T-shirt to contrast the muted palette of athleisure basics. Or try a denim jacket for a more casual vibe.

DO Pair Leggings And Tank Tops

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Get acquainted with black workout leggings – they’re the staple of your athleisure look. Invest in a high-quality pair with a structured waistband to control your tummy, or opt for a patterned pair with stylish mesh inserts for off-duty model cool, a la Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevigne. With your outfit staple, layer a loose tank top in white or linen-grey, making sure you opt for a flared hemline that skims over the hips and thighs.

A scooped neckline is the perfect canvas for a fashionable sports bra – let the strappy detailing peep through on the shoulders to create visual interest on your top half. Finish with a pair of Nike wedge-trainers to lengthen the silhouette, and a plaid shirt tied around the waist to break up the widest part of your body. Nobody need know it’s only there as a fashion statement.

DON’T Stick To Black

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There’s no need to stick to a pre-defined palette of black and grey just because you’re working a more casual look. Let your individual style guide your athleisure style choices, mimicking the colours, shapes and textures of your everyday wardrobe. If you’re drawn to bold colour and graphic patterns, let your personality shine through with a pair of bright leggings. Or, if you love cropped tees, opt for a cool mesh tank to elevate the sporty vibe.

Balance neutrals with accents of colour, such as a pop-bright sports bra, cami top or trainers, which create visual interest without using block colour to draw attention to problem areas. For a stroll about town leggings, a slouchy longline sweater and Converse and will keep you feeling cool and collected.

DO Wear a Bodysuit

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Aren’t fitted bodysuits for super slim young things, I hear you say? Judging by the array of awesome curvy celebrities celebrating the power of a figure-hugging one-piece (see Beyoncé’s Ivy Park for more details), the answer’s a definite no. They complement all body shapes and sizes, and can easily be dressed up and down.

A good bodysuit is designed to shape the figure and enable you to exercise comfortably, but they’re also bang-on-trend, making them the perfect go-to piece, whether you’re off to yoga or out brunching with friends. As easily worn with super-soft joggers as a pair of high-waisted jeans, the versatility of this piece knows no bounds, and leaves a smooth silhouette as opposed to a top bunching around your waist. Look to a long-sleeved scoop-neck bodysuit in a bold autumnal hue – such as navy, orange or green– for high-impact.

DO Learn To Layer

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Layering is a smart tool for the transitional autumn season, and there’s no better place to start practising than with athleisure. From sporty separates to sophisticated statement pieces, the possibilities are endless when it comes to curating a look that’s both functional and cool. A T-shirt dress complements a range of body shapes and is a versatile staple for women on the move – pair with stretch leggings and hi-tops for understated chic.

An oversized cardigan, meanwhile, makes for a cosy cover-up when worn over a plain white tee and joggers. For something a little different, look to a panelled black stretchy pencil skirt and a casual T-shirt for a whole new take on a workwear classic. Pencil skirts cinch you at your smallest point, while a mid-calf cut creates the illusion of length for shorter body shapes. Play with proportion even further with a chunky knitted scarf.

DO Accessorise

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There’s no better time than the present to get creative with accessorising, especially now that a distinctive nineties spirit is back in fashion. Emulate the classic athleisure beauty look with a high ponytail and fine gold hoop earrings, or mix ’n’ match casual and glam with piles of dainty chains over a soft crew-neck jumper. Keep your outfit pared back if you’re amping up the details – think bold tees and dark joggers for a clean contrast.

Looking for More Curvy Styling Tips?

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Why not check out these workwear tips from curvy celebrities, and read our essential  curvy girl’s guide to dungarees.
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