Nikki’s Inbox: Out of the Workout Wear Zone

Ask Nikki!

I am a lover of this website and all of its products, and a newcomer to your blog (which I thoroughly enjoy enough as well)! I have read some of your past comments on others’ questions and that has inspired me to ask you for assistance with my wardrobe issue.

I am a 23-year-old woman still in college and working part-time. I have a pear-shaped body (average bust and wide hips) and weigh 150 lbs. I’m very athletic so I have a decent shape. In the past I have mostly bought workout clothes because they are the easiest to put together and the most comfortable for being on the go. I have recently tried transitioning to a different style in order to get out of this habit of only buying workout clothes, but I am finding a difficult time with what looks best on me. I love the girly clothes on this website and the comfortable, indie look (if that makes sense). I like clothes that flow, but they are usually baggy and do not flatter my skinny waist. I also enjoy wearing skinny jeans and long skirts. I would love to be able to wear skinny cargo pants but I don’t think I could pull it off. My legs aren’t skinny – they have a shape since they are muscular. Overall, I love all of the clothes on this website, so I’m open for options.

If you could help me and give me some ideas, that would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Adrienne, 23/USA

Adrienne, don’t ditch your yoga pants just yet! In case you haven’t heard, sports luxe is a trend worth trying. Also dubbed “athleisure,” it was actually for last year’s spring and summer but like harem pants, skinny jeans and military jackets, this one seems to have a longer life span than just six months.

Track pants, loose jersey tops, crop tops, bomber jackets and mesh tops are just some of the pieces you can shop for in case these aren’t in your closet yet. This lazy-comfortable look might be what most people choose but it can also veer into sloppy if one isn’t careful about curating. I applaud your decision to go for a more feminine vibe, because trying a new look is the only way to find out if you can pull it off!

Show Off That Waist!
Adrienne, your narrow waist AND muscular legs are something you should be proud of! Your body is fit, healthy and full of life, and summer is the best time to showcase that. Instead of hiding them under constricting skinny jeans, flatter them with a classic A-line skirt. You can go for a casual denim construction or a more flowy, drapey one with stripes that evoke summer’s timeless nautical trends. The A-shape of the skirt will balance your wide hips and legs and draw attention to your tiny waist too! Team the skirt with a striped tank top and a lightweight zip jacket. You can go for metallic platform sandals for a more casual look, and switch the tank and zip jacket for a simple lightweight shirt and linen blazer plus brogues (sans socks) for a preppy look in class and at work.

Mad Maxi Power
Jersey is one of the fabrics most often used for sportswear. Instead of opting for your usual T-shirt dresses, get into the swing of summer with a midi or maxi dress made of the stretchable, comfortable and breathable cotton jersey. A simple gray tank dress in the appropriate length for your height (which you didn’t mention, by the way) will be perfect – mini (knees), midi (mid-calf) or maxi (ankle). The reveal? Choose one that has a dramatic slit on the side. It doesn’t have to be at a scandalous level but just enough to show off those legs. Top the sleeveless dress with a boxy and cropped print tee that’s loose enough on top to show off shoulders. If you don’t want a dress, a drawcord or elasticized waist skirt can achieve a similar effect. You can have your pick of metallic sandals, gladiator sandals (best with shorter lengths), peep-toe sandals or cute lace sneakers.

Move Like Joggers
If you’ve been wearing yoga pants most of the time, Adrienne, I don’t blame you because they ARE comfy (but sadly have no pockets). Save them for actual yoga sessions and quick errands for now, and opt for jogger pants this time. While these are loose and comfy around the thighs like sweatpants, they taper towards the ankle and feature elasticized cuffs instead. They’re a great alternative to typical sweatpants and the skinny cargo jeans that you like, but also complement your muscular lower half better than skinnies can. (Bonus tip: The menswear section has some good ones.)The ankle-length makes them perfect to wear with high-top sneakers or just slip-ons on super-lazy days, or with sexy T-strap sandals, platforms or sexy pumps for a date. Because they still look very casual, always aim for a tailored look when matching them with tops, such as a drapey blouse, a silk shirt or a fitted simple scoopneck tee.

I hope my suggestions will serve as a good summer fashion starter kit for you!


P.S. Dear readers, if you have style questions, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body, your tastes or personality. Unless you include a photo (link only please) of your clothes or of yourself (with your approval to post), I can’t answer anything that only includes height, weight or skin tone. Thank you!

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