Athleisure Gets Upgraded to Glamleisure (and We Get an Excuse to Wear Tracksuits to Dinner)

Sometimes the origin of a trend is hard to pin down. For example, why did interest in teddy jackets jump 1,200 percent year over year on Pinterest? Sure, they’re cozy and maybe the street style set was responsible for the uptick, but how did tastemakers collectively decide that fuzzy coats were a must-have this season? Well, when it comes to glamleisure (athleisure’s fancier sister), the source of the movement is pretty clear: Valentino.

The Valentino Resort 2018 collection was all glammed up.

Valentino’s Resort 2018 collection was full of elevated athleisure pieces; Images: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

Back in May, Pierpaolo Piccioli released a resort collection chock-full of tracksuits fit for a red carpet. Inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s short-lived Netflix show The Get Down, the designer gave us sportswear as eveningwear, a way to rock comfy, sporty basics with a glamorous twist.

“I am thinking of a conscious person who experiments with the versatility of fashion in their everyday life, and who therefore feels the need to mix different languages and juxtapose formal and informal elements with complete freedom. One does not need to uproot their individual values, but to take full advantage of different opportunities,” Piccioli schooled The Cut on who glamleisure is designed for.

Glamleisure was a big part of the Spring 2018 collections: Gucci Spring 2018, Isabel Marant Spring 2018, Peter Pilotto Spring 2018

Gucci Spring 2018, Isabel Marant Spring 2018, Peter Pilotto Spring 2018; Images: Imaxtree

Valentino lit the spark, but other designers had no problem carrying the torch. For Spring 2018, plenty of brands decided to go glam with athletic pieces clearly not meant for the gym. Gucci gave us a bedazzled, colorful tracksuit styled with vibrant costume jewelry, a crossbody and glitzy footwear. It took a French girl spin at Isabel Marant with models outfitted in structured blouses teamed with matching track pants and windbreakers fashioned as tops paired with everything from sporty swimwear to paper-bag-waisted shorts. Peter Pilotto presented flashy tracksuits designed more for date night than a workout, including one set that swapped out track pants for a coordinating patterned skirt.

Celebs demonstrating how to do glamleisure IRL: Rita Ora, Gigi Hadid, Blake Lively

Celebs demonstrating how to do glamleisure IRL; Images: Neil Mockford/GC Images/Getty Images, Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images, Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images

Celebs have also picked up the trend and run with it. Rita Ora tucked in her track jacket into a pleated black leather skirt and capped off her luxe look with a socks-and-sandals combo. Gigi Hadid sported an embellished Sally LaPointe sweatsuit (full disclosure: the model, who has an uncanny ability to be ahead of the trends, actually rocked the outfit back in April, before glamleisure became a thing). And Blake Lively attended a movie premiere after-party in Monse’s Spring 2018 flashy basketball jersey with tearaway track pants amped up by drop earrings, red pumps and a red coat draped over her shoulders.

If you’re keen to up the athleisure ante, you don’t have to drop designer dollars to get the look. It’s all about incorporating some cocktail hour pieces with athletic basics like sweatshirts, track jackets and sneakers. For guidance, check out the eight outfits below that walk the line between working out and going out.

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