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The Athflow Trend is Here to Stay in 2021

Woman sporting a matching set of pants and top

During the early era of COVID lockdowns, the Athleisure trend dominated our closets. The gyms may have closed but cropped hoodies, leggings and athletic tops became the norm because this style of clothing made us feel productive and put together while still keeping us comfortable. As the pandemic dragged on and our living rooms became both the office and the yoga studio, the look took off. 

However, now that we are beginning to see the light at the end of a (very) long tunnel, we are starting to think about getting dressed up again; While it may not be totally acceptable to wear workout gear back to the office, there is a happy medium between function and fashion. Enter: Athflow.  Here is how to nail the look.

See also: The best at-home celeb fashion of 2020.


What exactly is Athflow

Pinterest has defined this trend as more “dressed up” lounge wear; pulled together without losing the comfort. It borrows some sartorial notes from the athletic gear we’ve been rocking, but looks a little more polished. Roomy jumpsuits, long wrap-around cardigans and sweatsuits show up in soft, flowy fabrics. This way of dressing will be a great transition as we get ready to leave the house again. No need to worry though, Athflow has comfort as a key component and these clothes will go from work back to the couch seamlessly.


How to make it work

Athflow is about pairing different pieces together to create a look that is both relaxed and stylish. The good thing is that a lot of brands are embracing this aesthetic and are offering a lot of mix and match options to create a look that feels like your sweatsuit’s chic cousin.


See also: We tried on some Knix products and here’s how it felt when we wore them.

Start with a classic matching set

As with athleisure, you can still rock a matching set but try switching up the look by choosing softer fabrics, like fleece.


Hypebae Fleece Crew $80
Hypebae Fleece Crew $80
Hypebae Fleece Pants
Hypebae Fleece Pants $78


Don’t forget the feet

Keep the comfort going right down to your feet by pairing your look with chic kicks, like these classic white Air Force Ones.

Nike Air Force 1 Low
Nike Air Force 1 Low $120

Related: Style cues to steal from ‘90s teen dramas.

Remember, satin is always sleek

Add a little satin for a dressier look, but remember to mix in a different fabric for the sweater to perfect the balance. The beads on this gray sweater add the eye-catching detail. 

Joe Fresh Women+ Satin Palazzo Pants
Joe Fresh Women+ Satin Palazzo Pants $23
Joe Fresh Women+ Bead Sleeve Sweater
Joe Fresh Women+ Bead Sleeve Sweater $28


Layer with a cardigan

Nothing feels more like a warm hug than a soft, long cardigan. 

H&M Long Cardigan
H&M Long Cardigan $30


Mix in a crop or fitted top

Remember that athflow is also about contrast so pair the cardigan with a fitted top and flowy pants. 

Ribbed Cropped Top
H&MRibbed Cropped Top $15

Related: Disney-Star to Style Icon: Zendaya’s Style Evolution.

Same, same but different

If your top is the focal point of that contrast, go for the same or similar material for the pants and embrace the Athflow look. If you’re going for a similar material, you can also play around with colour, choosing one that’s similar but perhaps a shade or two lighter or darker, or a close relative on the colour wheel.

H&M Rib-Knit Pants
H&M Rib-Knit Pants $35


Add height

For another stylish option to the clean white sneak, go vertical with this platform.

Superga Cotu Platform
Superga Cotu Platform $45



Jumpstart your day with a jumpsuit

The easiest way to embrace this trend is to rock a jumpsuit that is only slightly structured. Grab one and pair with some fly sneakers and you’re set for the day.

Gap Utility Jumpsuit in Poplin
Gap Utility Jumpsuit in Poplin $64
Nike Air Max 90
Nike Air Max 90 $160

All products featured on are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy through links in this article, we earn an affiliate commission.

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