17 Athleisure Buys That Can Pass as Office Wear

Athleisure wear is poised to become the new work clothing standard. For those working remotely in their stretchy pants, going back to slacks is torture. So what if we didn’t go back?

Activewear that can pass as business wear will help you cheat the system and look like you’re in work clothes when you’re as comfy you were back on your couch. If we all do our part, we could be burning our pantsuit collection in 2021.

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Work clothes after quarantine.

People across the world have tasted the forbidden fruit that is working in sweatpants and now the prospect of going back to the office and having to dig out our real pants has us sweating. 

There have been countless articles espousing the benefits of wearing your work clothes even when you work from home.

Some have even argued, like the Los Angeles Times in an extremely judgey way, that unlike people wearing casual clothes, people like him who are staying in their work clothes won't have to deal with the shock of going back to how uncomfortable work clothes are because they never stopped. 

That's the worst argument I've ever heard for not wearing sweatpants at home.

Maybe it's because I'm a Millennial, but if that's your reasoning--let's just not go back to work clothes. If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that just because things have always been done a certain way, that doesn't mean they can't change. 

If you want to wear work clothes at home because it makes you feel better, no shame there, but let the rest of us have our yoga pants. As far as I can tell, it comes down to two different types of people. My husband is working at home in quarantine and his work clothes help him leave work behind when five o'clock hits. Meanwhile, I've been working from home more years than not and I will never not work in my comfy pants. Fight me.

Are yoga pants in the office too good to be true?

Maybe not. After all, many of the clothes we consider standard office wear started out as athletic gear according to an article in The Atlantic

Think about it. The polo shirt, a quintessential office shirt, used to be athletic wear for tennis and polo. The sports jacket was created for hunting and horseback riding. It has "sports" right in the name. 

Skater dresses come from the style of dress made for competitive ice skaters. 

The Atlantic also argues we should never go back to mandatory work clothes--that American professional clothing standards have been declining for years, so why not let them finally go? I'm keen to agree. 

Every office will be different but now is a good time to talk to your coworkers about how you want to handle the dress code when you go back into the office. If you're all in agreement, you'll have more power to affect change. 

Activewear vs athletic leisure.

This is a little bit of a squares and rectangles situation where all athletic leisure clothes are activewear but not all activewear is athletic leisure. 

Both styles are designed to be worn during exercise or other physical activities. They tend to be moisture-wicking, cooling, comfortable, and supportive. 

The leisure side of this encompasses clothing that is designed to be worn during exercise but has a look that could easily be worn when you're not jogging. Yoga pants are great for yoga but they're also great for sitting at your home office desk. 

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