Fashion Psychology, Style Tips, Stylist 101

In Defense of Athleisure

three people wearing athletic clothing

December 19, 2022

I’m Abby!.
I'm a certified & published fashion stylist located in Silicon Valley with speciality in personal styling, color analysis and runway, commercial, and editorial styling.

When I first moved to the Bay Area three years ago, I was shocked by the state of the fashion scene. 

Sneakers. College baseball hats. Yoga pants. Yoga pants everywhere. As frustrated as I was, I’ve come to realize that the thing about the Bay Area is that success isn’t nearly as visual as it is in bigger cities in the U.S., like New York and Los Angeles, where a lot more of people’s careers are rooted in producing and appearing in visual media. Here, people make it big on the backend: programming the technology and platforms that your favorite influencers and celebrities rose to fame on. They know more than anyone about how precious data security and privacy in general is in today’s age, and it shows — many of the houses of Silicon Valley’s biggest names aren’t gated, with massive roundabout driveways around gaudy fountains. Granted, they’re definitely not shacks, but undoubtedly more lowkey, and hidden from sidewalk-view behind tall hedges. I don’t think either is better than the other: you could say that people in Norcal and Socal are characterized by what they value, and how they do or don’t display their successes.


This more lowkey-lifestyle doesn’t just appear in the style of houses and choice of cars, but also in the dress code. Even after years of personal styling for tech and finance professionals in Silicon Valley, I still don’t hate athleisure. I honestly think that it makes complete sense for people who live active lifestyles, are on their feet all day, and prioritize comfort over all else. Athleisure has also come a long way since the dark ages (recall the era of black leggings paired with tank tops with bold, abstract prints or a tight breathable long sleeve). These days, brands like Lululemon, Alo, and Vuori offer more than just exercise clothes: blurring the lines between pre- and post-yoga wear, and even expanding into work-appropriate attire, dresses for less casual occasions, and even the realm of trendy streetwear.

Are matching yoga pant and bra sets lazy, style-wise? Maybe. But the look also goes by many other names, like sporty-chic, model off-duty, it-girl, etc. From the stylist POV, I would of course love to help you branch out and develop your own style if athleisure is all you wear — but I also take your own values in comfort, functionality or quality to heart with my work. Want to chat more about ways to style athleisure, and how to build your wardrobe to fit your personal life or career goals? Book a complimentary virtual consultation here to get started.

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