Style + How To Wear It

Monday Outfit: Layered Athleisure

Those of you who are back in the office, get ready.  Starting next week, work wear is back.  I’m returning to the office myself after the new year, and I’m trying to dress for new circumstances, and a pandemic-isolation body that isn’t back down to my regular size yet.  So there will be lots of posts on what to wear and how to style it.

But for today, we’re going casual.  Specifically how to create that layered, put together look while wearing leggings.

Today’s look comes from The Teacher Diva, Ashley Robertson.  It’s comfortable, casual and chic.  It’s also easy to recreate from pieces you already own.  So if you’re going to be doing some lounging or shopping this week, this is your look.

Vest // When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, my wardrobe was as East Coast professional as it could get — suits, jeans with blazers, blouses, etc..  But that is not how people dress here.

Imagine walking into a Broadway show in a beautiful theatre and nearly every female attendee under-40 is wearing what ten years ago would have been considered gym clothes. Athleisure isn’t a wardrobe, it’s a way of life.  So I had to embrace it and buy a puffer-vest.

I own this North Face Tamburello vest (up to 1x).  It has a slightly slimmer shape than other vests, and it is longer in the back for a sleeker look.  For something more affordable, this $25 vest from 32 Degrees is also packable, so you can shove it in a suitcase or gym bag.

Vests should fit just a bit loosely so that you can layer other clothing underneath.  When it’s chilly here, I wear my Athleta jacket under my vest for extra warmth.

Shirt // This tee from Old Navy has a great relaxed feel to it without being boring.  The “cookies and cream” space dye is a nice look.  For a bit more warmth, try this Splendid thermal tee.

Leggings // I’m only wearing Colorfulkoala leggings now.  No Lulus.  Still surprised I like them better, but happily so.

Scarf // I was wearing a lot of scarves when I first moved here, maybe it’s time to bring them out again?  Wearing this light, neutral scarf makes the look a little cooler and a little more put together.  I chose this cashmere Halogen scarf, which would make a great gift.  But if you’re looking for something more affordable, try this scarf from Express or this one from ASOS.

Shoes // We’ve discussed how much I love my Adidas Cloadfoams.  I bought a backup pair to keep in my closet for when this pair wears out because the love is serious.  Not sure how they are for running, which is their stated purpose.  I can only tell you that they’re great for running errands.

Bag // If you’re looking for a great slouchy tote, this Brooklyn tote from Mark & Graham is a great option.  It’s currently on sale for $199, and is very well-made.  A friend has one, and instead of wearing out, the leather has just developed a really nice patina over the years.  Need something under-$75, this Essentials tote from Modcloth has that leather-look.

Accessories // Classic and simple accessories for everyday are the way to go here.  I chose this easy, slightly thinner dome ring from Daphine.  It’s a piece you can and will wear every day.  And I threw in a pair of Ray-Ban aviators for good measure.

And that’s it, a relaxed look with leggings that brings fashion to a hum-drum day of relaxing on the couch or running to the store.

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  1. SG says:

    I love this! I’m 100% athleisure since the pandemic closed my office in March, but I’m struggling to make it warm without just throwing on my warmest, coziest hoodie and looking like a schlub! 🙂

    Confession, though: I fully do not understand vests! I’m in Boston, and the puffer vest is as ubiquitous here as you mention it is near you…but I don’t see the point. If it’s cold enough to need a vest, it’s cold enough that my arms need to be warm, too, and no matter what people tell me it’s about keeping your core warm and the rest of your body will follow…I just don’t buy it.

    November 23, 2020/Reply
    • Amy says:

      I like vests primarily for into/out of the car type of errands, I need something warm, but they’re less constricting when driving than a full coat. I also think they’re great in a home office for more warmth, my (ubiquitous) Patagonia sweater vest lives on my chair all winter long.
      I also grab mine for dog walking most days – my large breed dog ‘walks’ at roughly 4mph (thx fitness tracker for that bit of data!) and I will break a sweat well into November/December if I wear anything too heavy while I take her out.

      November 23, 2020/Reply
    • Monica T says:

      When I wear a vest in an actual cold place, it’s just a layer. Long sleeves, vest, jacket. Nice, because usually actually cold places also have a cooler indoor temperature than my SoCal climate body likes, so I take the jacket off, but leave the vest and long sleeved layer on. Similar to the car situation, jacket comes on and off, but vest remains.

      November 23, 2020/Reply
  2. Nadine Fladd says:

    It will be a very long time until I am back in the office and my skirts and dresses will sit lonely in my closet until then, but I’m looking forward to living vicariously through you!

    November 23, 2020/Reply
  3. JJJdownsouth says:

    I am now into the sweater/tee/vest look. Never thought it would be my thing until this year….
    Belle I hope you are feeling better.

    November 23, 2020/Reply
  4. Anonymous says:

    Re: totes — I have been using canvas totes during the pandemic and washing them in the machine with my clothes when I come home (any items in the tote that cannot be cleaned with soap and water or with wipes stay in the garage for a couple days).

    November 23, 2020/Reply
    • Carrie says:

      Similarly, I’d love recommendations for machine washable bags.

      November 23, 2020/Reply
      • E says:

        Couple of thoughts. Given the risk of transmission from surfaces is very low, I personally do not worry too much about my bag from a COVID perspective. Even in normal times though I love a washable bag – the LL Bean boat and totes wash pretty well in my experience, and I have washed my longchamp le pliage bags in the washing machine (air dry for both). Rothys has recently come out with bags that are washable just like their shoes, but I haven’t tried them yet.

        November 23, 2020/Reply
      • Anonymous says:

        I have a bunch from museums and schools and conference giveaways. Truly nothing fancy.

        November 23, 2020/Reply
    • A Nonny mouse says:

      I really like Chicobags – roomy and washable and they wear well. They also have recycled material bags.

      November 23, 2020/Reply
  5. Monica T says:

    Can anyone who has swooped on the leggings give me a hint as to how the sizing runs? I’m in between the waist measurements of a M or a L and not sure which way to go!

    November 23, 2020/Reply
    • LINds says:

      Go with the medium! I find them to be on the bigger side; I too am between two sizes, and sized down (and am glad I did).

      November 23, 2020/Reply
      • Monica T says:

        Thank you! I was leaning that way and then saw some reviews that said the opposite, but there is nothing worse than saggy leggings. Appreciate it!

        November 24, 2020/Reply
        • Erica says:

          I second the comment to size down on the Colorfulkoala leggings. I did, and they do not dig in or create a muffin top, and they do not roll down.

          November 24, 2020/Reply