On the behalf of the Duchess of Cambridge, we’ve got to say thank goodness for athleisure. Without stylish pieces meant to work out, how else could Kate Middleton ever attend sporting events where she’s required to get active without losing a modicum of royal dignity? For a tennis event in Scotland this winter the brand she relied on was Monreal, a London-based company created by tennis player Stefanï Grosse.
“She’s such a style icon that it was extremely flattering to see her sporting our tuxedo track pants. We were caught by surprise and didn’t know she was going to wear them,” Grosse told us, having found out later that Kate bought the pair herself from a London shop. Pay attention to the shape too: they’re looser than leggings (could a new trend be bubbling up?) “I wouldn’t be surprised if her choice of leg shape has an impact on the next athleisure silhouette. The slim-fit track pant is perfectly suitable for any type of workout and less revealing than classic leggings, making it a more polished and sophisticated look for wearing outside the gym.”
While we’re eager to see how the Duchess-approved pants affect what others reach for, classic leggings are unlikely to flag in popularity any time soon. According to Grosse, the key to making yours work outside the gym is to carefully consider both shoe and color.
“Chic sandals will make stylish leggings perfect for any occasion—they can even be worn well with heels,” she said before suggesting you leave printed tights to the workout arena. “Darker, muted colors are generally the easiest to wear in non-sports related environments.” To really rock the leggings IRL game, it might be worth it to consider shopping separate pairs for your cardio and your off-time. Grosse mentions a pair of biker leggings with zipper details that “can be worn just like skinny jeans. Combined with a beautiful long cashmere sweater or cardigan and smart sandals or boots, leggings are definitely office worthy.”
As much as we love ’em, there’s more to athleisure than just leggings. If you’ve already figured out how to wear yours 24/7, consider adding in a new shape and follow Victoria Beckham‘s lead.
“She was one of the very first customers to purchase our signature tennis dress at Harrods. It’s the perfect athleisure style, and I don’t believe she’s a tennis player,” she commented. “A lot of women wear it as a white summer dress. Some of our tennis skirts have been spotted around town combined with designer tops or knitwear.”
Investing in pricey workout togs can feel a little bit jarring, but finding a great fit and superior fabrication (and an overall product that won’t disintegrate after too many dances with the dryer) can be worth it. Take heart too that the athleisure trend isn’t going anywhere. Grosse started Monreal in May 2012 to fill a void she’d noticed and has seen that there’s major staying power.
“I simply wasn’t able to find high-performance workout gear that would also be stylish enough to zip around in when the match was over,” she explained regarding her push to start designing. “Athleisure has taken off rapidly since, and this trend is here for the long run. Activewear is no longer just about practicality and need—it’s about desire.”
Now, watch 11 things you didn’t know about Kate Middleton.
Photos: Getty Images
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