Athleisure Apparel: Ready to Exercise

One important message that I teach my clients and customers is that you can exercise with little or no special equipment. Dress in athleisure apparel, and you’ll be ready for fitness at a moment’s notice.

What is athleisure apparel?  Wikipedia defines it as “clothing designed for athletic workouts…worn outside of the gym to go to the office or shopping or other social occasions.” Wearing athleisure saves time and looks good on you.


As an owner of a fitness business and mother, I frequently go from training sessions to meetings, then stop by the school or home before heading back to the gym again. I need apparel that is appropriate for all these situations. I need and desire apparel that looks stylish and that I can also move comfortably and sweat in. I am a professional woman who enjoys dressing up, and I don’t like traditional “personal trainer” attire (polo shirts and wind pants).

Luckily there are so many great fabrics that allow freedom of movement but also look great and can be worn in the gym as well as out for coffee or lunch. Sometimes these fabrics mean a slightly higher price tag, but they are also high quality and durable, so they will last a long time. 

A basic athleisure outfit is a workout tank and leggings underneath a long shirt or dress. For yogis, flowy pants and shirts are an easy choice.  Runners can quickly slip out of their running shoes and into nice shoes or boots and throw on an oversized sweater.  Bicyclists can choose a cute skort made for cycling or multi-sports. Going to the gym? Throw a dress on top of your capris and tank top, slip into some sandals and throw your tennis shoes and a pair of socks in your gym bag with your water bottle.

I like to dress up by accessorizing. Scarves are great, even in the spring and summer. Choose a light color and fabric for an easy way to add style in spring. Jewelry dresses up any outfit and can easily be slipped on and off between lifting weights and a business meeting.


In case you’re like me and start sweating as soon as you start thinking about exercise, make sure to pack your deodorant, a washcloth or disposable cleaning cloths, some powder for your face and some freshening spray. Try Saucha, a lavender-based spray made in Minnesota, sold at Thrive Boutique at the Rochester Athletic Club. This will help keep the stale smell out of your workout clothes until you can throw them in the wash.

It’s important to me to be an example of how you can go to work, take a break, do a quick 20 or 30 minute workout and then head to a meeting.  Not having to change clothes allows me to seamlessly move through my day, saving time and feeling good about how I look.

Emily Watkins is a personal trainer and the owner of Empowered Wellness & Fitness Studio.