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Athleisure: Fitness Meets Fashion

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Gone are the days of velour jumpsuits and matching windbreaker sets. The fitness and fashion worlds have collided RADicals and now your workout clothes can be your everyday clothes. I love the fact that the gear that I get sweaty in can also be the gear I am sassy in, so if sleek cuts, edgy designs and undeniable comfort is your go-to in fashion, then get ready to learn how to join in on the fun of today’s “athleisure” movement.

This trend is huge sis. In fact this rapid growing athletic trend is so big in fashion that it was even present during the 2014 New York Fashion Week. With designers such as Oiselle and Athleta hitting the runway there is no doubt that sporty yet sexy apparel is here to stay. And this is just the beginning boo – according to the Wall Street Journal, Barclays estimates “the U.S. athletic apparel market will increase by nearly 50% to more than $100 billion at retail by 2020.”

So if you’re down to rock clothes that you can workout in and go out in then memorize these three essential categories as you shop this new RAD trend.

1. Sweat Approved Fit Gear

The first category you want to focus on as you build your “athleisure” section of your closet is your functional gear. Also known as the gear you’ll sweat in. With over thousands of brands available the key is to find the perfect fit, so don’t be afraid to squat it like it’s hot or serve up a few jumping jacks before checking out. By doing so you’re ensuring that you wont end up with leggings that roll down when you sweat or sports bras that can’t handle the bountiful bouncing of your twins.

2. Fashionable Fitness Fashion

Then once you have your functional fitness staples in order start searching pieces that can take your studio gear to the street. Think a faux fur vest, edgy printed high tops or a drapey long sleeve silk blouses. I call these items my transitional pieces. They pack the power to transform your athletic gear into a leisurely fashionable statement (hence the term “athleisure”) therefore often times your fashionable gear will not double as your fit gear. Because I mean I’m pretty sure cashmere isn’t wick free right?

3. Fashion Meets Function: The Fusion

And then there’s the gear that can swing both ways – the fusion of fashion and function. These are your prize-winning staples as these babies can withstand the demands of your favorite spin class yet look super stylish when you hit the streets for a night out. Everyone loves a light gym bag so pack less and turn heads more with several items that are both fashionable yet functional.

Where To Shop?

Okay, so I bet you’re wondering where you can get all this “athleisure” fashion at? Well I recently had a chance to hang out at two fitness fashion boutiques here in New York and absolutely had to let you in on the fun.

My first stop was ID10 x Deka in Soho. Their mission is to be the premiere apparel destination for women who desire unique wardrobe featuring both utility and style – and after less than 15 minutes in their gorgeous Soho location I was convinced their mission was completely accomplished. The staff was beyond friendly and the apparel was organized so beautifully it made styling not only fun but quick. Deka, which is Greek for 10 is symbolic to the company’s desire for it’s clientele – to feel like a perfect 10. So if you’re in the New York area check them out in Soho or visit the original location on Lenox Road in Atlanta.

Next up – if you want to dance around while you shop around then head over to Bandier in Flatiron. This new New York City fitness hangout is the perfect fusion of fitness, fashion and music. After it’s summer debut in Southhampton last summer the brands owner Jennifer Bandier graced us fitness fashionista mavens with a popup store here in NYC.  “I wanted to provide our customers with a unique store experience that embraced their personal style. Just like their everyday clothes, women are looking for exceptional quality in their workout wear which is something we pride ourselves on with the brands carried at Bandier,” she says.

New gear drops daily, so if you see something you like get it, don’t wait. Speaking of dropping – if the fitness fashion is not enough to lure you in ladies then the music certainly will. You already know I’m a part-time FitGirl part-time party girl, so understand that music is an integral part of what they do at Bandier. Upon entering the store, guests are greeted with carefully selected music that sets the tone for a fun, exhilarating shopping experience. The store also carries music and fitness accessories, including Beats by Dre – so dance your way to what I believe is bound to be the nation’s top fitness fashion go to asap girls!

Can I see your fit gear? Tag me in your pics and use the hashtag #RADfitgear so I can see your fitness fashion ladies!

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Robbie Ann Darby is a Texas-born, California-raised actress and dancer turned fitness expert. She has over 10 years of experience in the fitness and wellness industries and currently lives in New York City. Be sure to follow her fun and sweaty life on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more RAD tips!

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