How to Choose the Right Athletic-Inspired Pieces for a Sporty Business Casual Look?

April 17, 2024

Ladies, we all know that helping our men choose clothing can sometimes be a bit challenging, especially when it comes to mixing casual and business attire. But there’s a trend that makes this task easier, and it’s called "Athleisure". It’s a style that combines the comfort of athletic wear with the polish of work-appropriate pieces. The key to mastering this style is to choose athletic-inspired pieces that look smart and sophisticated, not like they’ve just come from a sweat session at the gym.

Incorporating Athletic-Inspired Shirts and Jackets

The foundation of any outfit, whether it’s for a casual or business occasion, starts with the shirt and jacket. The right combination can elevate an everyday look into something more refined and stylish. In the realm of athleisure, the focus is on pieces that blend comfort with a semi-formal aesthetic.

Sujet a lire : What Are the Best Organic Cotton T-shirt Designs for Dress-Down Workdays?

When it comes to shirts, you might think of polo shirts, which are a staple in both the athletic and business casual realms. These can be paired with dress pants or jeans, depending on the formality of the office. Try to choose a polo shirt that is made from a high-quality fabric like pique cotton, which will hold its shape and look a bit more dressed up than a typical cotton tee.

Jackets are where you can really inject some athletic influence into a business casual outfit. Consider a bomber jacket made from a sleek material like leather, or a track jacket in a refined fabric such as cashmere. These pieces contribute to a cool, sporty look but still appear stylish and professional. Remember, the key to pulling off this style is to balance casual and dressy elements.

Dans le meme genre : What’s the Best Way to Incorporate Crystal Embellishments in Daytime Work Attire?

Choosing the Right Pants and Jeans

Just as critical as the shirt and jacket are the pants or jeans. They can make or break the balance between athletic and business casual. When considering jeans, opt for a pair in a dark wash without distressing. Dark jeans are inherently more formal and versatile, easily transitioning from a casual look to a more polished ensemble.

For pants, think beyond traditional dress pants. Look for styles that are inspired by athletic wear, such as joggers made from a trouser-like material. These offer the comfort of sweatpants with the appearance of office-appropriate attire. While these may not be suitable for a formal business environment, they can work well in a business casual setting.

Selecting Smart Shoes for a Sporty Business Casual Look

Shoes can significantly influence the overall effect of an outfit. For a business casual look with a sporty twist, you will want to wear shoes that bridge the gap between formal and casual. Leather sneakers, for instance, can be an excellent choice. They maintain the comfortable and athletic features of regular sneakers while holding a more refined aesthetic due to the leather.

For a slightly more formal touch, consider a pair of loafers. They’re comfortable, chic, and can effectively boost the business aspect of a business casual outfit. However, make sure they’re in good condition and polished, as scruffy shoes can ruin an otherwise perfectly balanced outfit.

Enhancing the Look with Athletic-Inspired Accessories

Accessories can tie an outfit together and enhance the overall look. When aiming for an athletic business casual style, consider sporty accessories that also have a touch of sophistication. A leather strap watch with a sleek design, for instance, can add a sporty yet refined touch. So can a slim leather wallet or a modern, minimalist backpack instead of a traditional briefcase.

Sunglasses are another accessory where the sporty vibe can come into play. Choose a pair with a modern, streamlined design in a neutral color for a sporty, chic touch. Remember, the goal is to balance the athletic elements with business-appropriate pieces, so avoid anything too flashy or overly sporty.

Embarking on the athleisure trend for business casual environments may seem daunting at first. But with careful selection of athletic-inspired shirts, jackets, pants, shoes, and accessories, it’s entirely possible to create a look that’s comfortable, stylish, and suitable for the office. Remember, the key is to aim for a balance between the two styles, and to always choose pieces that maintain a level of professionalism. After all, the aim is to look sporty, not like you’re headed to the gym.

Mastering the Fine Art of Layering

Layering is a critical styling technique when it comes to achieving a well-rounded athleisure-inspired business casual outfit. It can be a game-changer in creating an ensemble that seamlessly transitions from professional meetings to leisurely lunches.

Start with a versatile base, like a polo shirt or a button shirt, which offers a blend of casual and formal. This will be the constant in your layered outfit. Next, add an intermediate layer. This could be a lightweight sweater or a vest, preferably in neutral tones like navy blue or grey, to keep the look professional.

Now comes the fun part – the outermost layer. This is where the athletic-inspired touch comes in. As mentioned before, a bomber or track jacket can be a great choice. However, you can also consider a zip-up hoodie made from a high-quality fabric like merino wool. It adds a sporty edge without sacrificing the smart casual vibe.

Layering not only adds depth and dimension to your outfit but also allows flexibility in adjusting to different levels of formality throughout the day. This is particularly handy if your work environment has a fluid dress code, or if you have after-work plans that require a more relaxed look.

Dressing Up or Down with Ties and Scarves

While ties are often associated with strict business attire, they can be incorporated into a sporty business casual look when styled appropriately. A slim, solid-colored tie can add a touch of formality to a polo shirt or button shirt. On the other hand, neck scarves can serve as a stylish alternative to ties, offering a more relaxed, yet still polished appearance.

For a casual business setting, consider choosing a tie or scarf in a subtle pattern or texture. This can add an element of interest without being too flashy. Also, when it comes to ties, a four-in-hand knot is preferable over a full Windsor for its simplicity and casual appeal.

However, it is essential to remember that these accessories should complement, not overpower, your outfit. Hence, if your shirt and jacket are already quite bold or detailed, it might be better to skip the tie or scarf to maintain a balanced look.


The world of business casual is evolving, and the incorporation of athleisure elements into this dress code is a testament to this evolution. It signifies a shift towards prioritizing comfort and personal style, while still maintaining a professional appearance. No longer are sweatpants and polo shirts confined to the gym or the golf course. They have found their place in our everyday casual outfits, and now, in our work attire as well.

Mastering the sporty business casual look may require a bit of experimentation, but with the right pieces and styling techniques, it can be achieved. Whether it’s the choice of shirts, pants, shoes, or accessories, or the art of layering and dressing up or down with ties and scarves, every aspect plays a crucial role in creating a successful ensemble. So, ladies, the next time you’re helping your men with their wardrobe choices, remember the principles of this versatile trend, and guide them towards creating a stylish, comfortable, and office-appropriate look.