Welcome back to another edition of Fashion A to Z. We’re working our way through the alphabet with fashion terminology. Today we are looking at two more A’s- anoraks and athleisure.
What is an anorak? There are some conflicting definitions and results if you start searching to buy one.
From Oxford- a waterproof jacket, typically with a hood, of a kind originally used in polar regions. From Webster- pullover hooded jacket long enough to cover the hips. They were made to block wind and cold and originally worn by the Inuit people in Greenland, Canada and Alaska. Anoraks were originally made of animal skins.
The consensus is that it’s a pullover, typically with a hood. Many also have a drawstring waist. If you see one that zips completely open, it’s not an anorak. That’s a parka. However, the fashion industry has mislabeled many a zip up/ open jacket as an anorak:
If you want to be technically correct and want a true anorak, you might be better off shopping the men’s section, although there are a few out there for women. You will do better to search for pullover hooded jacket as well.
How do you style an anorak? It’s really more of a utilitarian garment, meant for outerwear, but you might style one as part of your atheleisure.
Atheleisure- a fashion trend that involves wearing clothing designed for athletics or workouts- leggings, hoodies, joggers, sneakers- in other settings such as school, work or other casual occasions. It is NOT your late 80s or 90’s nylon wind suit. Who had one of those? sheepishly raising my hand.
We now have joggers out of softer more presentable materials. And they are cute with tshirts and denim jackets.
Athleisure is a fine line between wearing your gym clothes and not looking like you just came from the gym.
It’s also not a free card to wear any old ill-fitting, sloppy clothing you want. The key to pulling off stylish atheleisure is to make sure your chosen pieces are comfortable but fit properly. Mix in some regular items like a denim jacket or chambray shirt. Wear your sweatshirt with a skirt. Give your atheleisure some edge with a moto jacket. Throw on a ball cap or head band. Include accessories and jewelry so it’s clear you are not just in your gym clothes. Wear cute sneakers. There are so many cute sneaker options now and they can truly make an outfit.
I used to be one of those people who limited sneakers strictly to running or working out. I didn’t even own a pair other than the ones I run in. However, I slowly warmed to the trend and I now have four pairs that are not for working out. I love the pop of color my New Balance sneakers above give an outfit and those are the comfiest shoes I’ve ever owned. The Old Navy sweatshirt is from a previous year but I’d recommend any current sweatshirt because this one is so soft and cozy. It’s going to have to cool down a bit before I can wear it but it I will be wearing it on repeat when it does cool off.
I’ve also been on the hunt for knit joggers off and on for a while and I recently tried out these Amazon Essentials brand joggers. I was struggling to find a good fit or the right weight material I could actually wear in this climate. I’m wearing these in a medium and they are soft, lightweight and not too heavy. They are also not so lightweight that they show every bump and bulge. If you want to dip your toe into this trend without spending a lot, these joggers are the way to go. I’m also smitten with the looks of these Old Navy cargo joggers (it’s the pockets!) but I haven’t tried them on for fit or comfort yet.
The most widely accepted form of athleisure today is leggings. You can style your leggings so many ways. You can dress them up with sweaters and scarves and boots, or stay true to the athleisure trend with long tunic tees, relaxed sweaters and your sneakers. My favorite leggings are these 90 Degree by Reflex from Amazon.
Related: How to Wear Leggings At Any Age
Are you a fan of athleisure? I’ll admit that it had to grow on me, but most fall or winter days you will find me around the house or running errands in something similar to the outfits above.