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Men's Athleisure Buying Guide: Turn Heads, Stand Out & Impress

Men’s Athleisure Buying Guide: Turn Heads, Stand Out & Impress

Not long ago, the idea of wearing gym clothes to work was unthinkable. It wasn’t just a fashion error. HR would send you home because you violated the dress code policy. But over the last decade, athleisure wear has muscled its way into men’s fashion like Shaq down in the post.

Athleisure is about freedom of movement and looking good when you do. In this guide, we’ll explore athleisure pieces and footwear that will provide you with the tricky combo of unrestricted mobility and swagger.

Beyond checking the boxes for functionality, athleisure choices make it easier for men to curate a clean fit, no matter what situation you find yourself in. Back-to-back meetings? Check. Grinding at the gym? Check.

There’s no need to sell the idea of athleisure, so let’s get into it.

The Essentials: Building Your Athleisure Outfit

Building your athleisure fit requires patience. My journey began in 2020 when I was targeted on Instagram by BYLT Basics, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Five years and thousands of dollars later, my athleisure game still holds firm.

In this guide, you won’t find cardigans, sweaters, polos, or loafers—that’s not my style. I lean towards more of an athletic aesthetic, often sporting joggers, quarter-zip pullovers, and sneakers like the Halo Triple-White Kobe 8s.

I will share pieces from the top athleisure brands in the space, from BYLT Basics, Cuts Clothing, Legends Apparel, and Alo Yoga. With essential athleisure pieces from these brands in your closet, flexing your style becomes effortless. You’ll be ready for anything.

Start From the Ground Up: Athleisure Pants

Sneakers will come later.

Jumping from conference calls to a casual lunch without missing a beat requires the right pair of athleisure pants. You need to feel comfortable, have flexibility, and look sharp when occupied with the business day.

Before dropping a bunch of cash or maxing out your Amex, be sure to seek out pants that combine comfort, durability, and practicality. High-quality fabrics, like a blend of cotton and elastane, will promise a comfortable fit and clean look.

Prioritize features like an elastic waistband with a drawcord, pockets (zippered and mesh options), tapered fit, and moisture-wicking properties. These are all essential to staying dry and comfortable throughout the day.

Vuori Ripstop Pant

Vuori Ripstop Pants

The Ripstop Pants are made from DuraTerra™ ripstop fabric, 98% organic cotton and 2% elastane. They have a modern, slim fit, and using sustainable materials highlights Vuori’s eco-friendly approach.

Price: $98

The BYLT Pant

The BYLT Pants

The BYLT Pants offer more of a modern athletic fit. They are made from 98% cotton and 2% spandex, with several features for active lifestyles. I have multiple pairs, and I highly recommend them.

Price: $90

Jack Archer Jetsetter Pants

Jack Archer Jetsetter Pants

The Jetsetter Pants are crafted from Rebound™ fabric and use PTT polyester fibers. The slim-tapered fit includes deep front pockets and reflective tape inside the leg openings for visibility.

Price: $89

A Smart Alternative: Joggers

Consider joggers as a smart alternative to pants. I do.

Look for fabrics that balance comfort and sophistication to wear to the gym, work, and everything in between. Focus on essentials like elastic waistbands with adjustable drawcords and secure pockets to keep your wallet or other tech safe. Look for design touches such as ribbed cuffs and tapered legs to elevate your style in the office.

Prioritize materials with anti-microbial and wrinkle-resistant properties to ensure a neat and refined appearance, whether out and about or attending virtual meetings.

Cuts Concorde Jogger

Cuts Clothing Concorde Jogger

The Cuts Concorde Jogger uses Aeroflite™ fabric, blending rayon, polyamide, and spandex for softness and comfort. It features two hand pockets and two back zipper pockets for secure storage. The slim-fit design and custom trims provide a polished look suitable for various settings.

Price: $69

All Day Every Day Jogger by Public Rec

Public Rec All Day Every Day Joggers

The All Day Every Day Joggers offer a relaxed, athletic fit with ample space for the glutes and thighs, tapering at the ankle. Made from nylon and spandex, they combine durability and style with comfort.

Price: $108

Legends Aviation Jogger

Legends Aviation Jogger

The Legends Aviation Jogger is made from a cotton blend with polyester and has anti-microbial properties for freshness. The joggers include a ribbed waistband with a drawcord, rib side panels, and an invisible zipper pocket for secure storage. The DYNA-TECH fabric enhances durability and provides a smooth texture.

Price: $40

Must-Have Traits in Short-Sleeve Shirts

Short-sleeved shirts are a staple for navigating back-to-back meetings on a busy workday. And they work wonders for busy weekends with friends and family.

High-quality fabric blends that offer softness, stretch, and wrinkle resistance are essential to any shirt. Also, having an athletic fit with split or curved hems maintains a sharp appearance. Trust me, the curved hems turn heads. The drop-cut tees are my “go-to” staple.

Durable materials that hold their shape over time, anti-pilling properties, and breathable fabrics make athleisure shirts practical for everyday wear and active use.

Cuts Short Sleeve Henley

Cuts Short Sleeve Henley

The Cuts AO Henley Curve-Hem features PYCA Pro® fabric, a blend of polyester, cotton, and spandex. This shirt offers softness, wrinkle resistance, and a 4-way stretch, and includes anti-pilling properties and a curve-hem finish. It’s stylish and comfortable. I have several of them.

Price: $58

Alo Yoga Conquer Crewneck Short Sleeve Shirt

Alo Yoga Conquer Crewneck Short Sleeve Shirt

The Cuts AO Henley Curve-Hem features PYCA Pro® fabric, a blend of polyester, cotton, and spandex. This shirt offers softness, wrinkle resistance, and a 4-way stretch, and includes anti-pilling properties and a curve-hem finish. It’s stylish and comfortable. I have several of them.

Price: $68

The BYLT Basics Tracer Tee

BYLT Basics Tracer Tee

The BYLT Basics Tracer Tee, made from the BYLT Signature Blend of polyester, cotton, and spandex, combines durability with a soft touch. It features an athletic fit, side split-hem, ribbed collar, and contrast stitching (my favorite part of this tee) on the shoulder panels and center back seam.

Price: $35

Overshirts & Button-Downs Can Elevate Your Fit

Choosing the fitting shirt is like picking Tom Brady for your fantasy team—dependable, stylish, and always ready to perform, no matter the circumstances.

Comfort, durability, and style are non-negotiable. I prefer fabrics like polyester, rayon, and spandex blends or Merino wool for stretch and breathability.

Prioritize features like modern fits, functional pockets, and drop-cut hems (do you notice a theme here?) Temperature-regulating, odor-resistant, and wrinkle-resistant materials add a layer of practicality, making these shirts ideal for busy travel days where layering is critical.

BYLT Coastal Overshirt

BYLT Coastal Overshirt

The BYLT Coastal Overshirt is made with a blend of polyester, rayon, and spandex for comfort and durability. It offers a modern, relaxed fit with comfort-stretch flexibility, a low-profile design, and a drop-cut hemline.

It’s warm, too.

Price: $115

prAna Westbrook Flannel Shirt

prAna Westbrook Flannel Shirt

The prAna Westbrook Flannel Shirt is made from 60% recycled cotton and 40% recycled polyester. It features double chest pockets, a self-lined interior yoke, and an interior side seam stash pocket.

It’s a tad more lightweight than the BYLT Coastal Overshirt but holds its own when it comes to being warm.

Price: $115

Western Rise AirLoft Shirt Jacket

Western Rise AirLoft Shirt Jacket

The Western Rise AirLoft Shirt Jacket combines high-performance technology and design with 100% polyester construction and 40g Toray 3DeFX+® Active Insulation for warmth, breathability, and flexibility. Its Primeflex® exterior fabric features a C6 DWR treatment for enhanced weather resistance.

Price: $99.50

Quarter Zips. Simple, Effective & Clean

When you need to transition smoothly from an early morning workout sesh to an afternoon at the office, quarter zips need to be in your playbook. Breathable, stretchy, moisture-wicking fabrics will keep you comfortable throughout the long days.

First, look for features like UPF sun protection and odor control to ensure you stay fresh. A tailored fit should also be prioritized as it can enhance your appearance while providing freedom of movement. Additionally, versatile designs that suit various occasions and durable construction for long-term wear are essential. Hands down.

UNRL Highlands Quarter Zip

UNRL Highlands Quarter Zip

The UNRL Highlands Quarter Zip is made with a blend of polyester and spandex with 4-way stretch. It includes UPF 50+ sun protection, moisture-wicking, and odor control.

The design is clean, too. The collar retains shape, and the contoured seam lines and raglan sleeves take the zip to the next level. And the tailored fit is second to none.

Price: $78

The Normal Brand Puremeso Weekend Quarter Zip: Product Spotlight

The Normal Brand Puremeso Weekend Quarter Zip

The Puremeso Weekend Quarter Zip combines comfort and durability with a custom cotton blend, polyester, and spandex. It features double stitching and a soft, stretchy design. It can work for the office, weekend getaways, and maybe even the gym. 🙂

Price: $78

Cuts Concorde Quarter Zip

Cuts Concorde 1/4 Zip

The Cuts Concorde 1/4 Zip is made from Aeroflite™ fabric and offers a buttery soft texture with a rayon, polyamide, and spandex blend. It features a stand collar, split-hem bottom cut, and custom rubber-coated zipper. The tailored fit around the chest and shoulders, with a slight taper at the waist, ensures a comfortable, true-to-size fit. The hand pockets add practicality.

Price: $76

Hoodie Essentials: What to Look For

The right hoodie is like a strong Wi-Fi connection at an airport—essential for staying connected, comfortable, and ready for any situation.

Stretchable, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabrics are a must. Look for anti-odor treatments and quick-drying technology. A functional design like pockets and drawcord or an integrated zip takes the hoodie to the next level.

Unbound Merino Compact Travel Hoodie

Unbound Merino Compact Travel Hoodie

The Unbound Merino Compact Travel Hoodie comprises 97% ultra-fine Merino wool and 3% Elastane. It features a 21.5-micron thickness, 250 GSM fabric density, antibacterial properties, and quick-drying, odor-resistant capabilities. Its compact design and seamless pockets make it ideal for travel wear essentials.

Price: $178

B. Draddy Procter Hoodie

B Draddy Procter Hoodie

The B. Draddy Procter Hoodie is made from 96% Peruvian Pima cotton and 4% Spandex. It features a garment-washed French Terry knit, long sleeves with partially ribbed cuffs, a tipped drawstring hood, and a kangaroo pocket.

The molded zipper with a logo pull enhances its refined look and a touch of elegance.

Price: $205

Ten Thousand Midweight Tech Hoodie

Ten Thousand Midweight Tech Hoodie

The Ten Thousand Midweight Tech Hoodie is made from polyester, cotton, and spandex blend and offers 4-way stretch and a 310 GSM fabric. It features a permanent silver ion treatment for odor control, moisture-wicking technology, and an Every Session Carry pocket system for secure storage.

Price: $118

Sneaker Selection: What to Consider

Picking the right sneakers is like having a trusted point guard who manages the offense and keeps things running smoothly.

Look for sneakers that can easily transition from powerlifting in the morning to happy hour with your co-workers. Comfort, durability, and style are non-negotiable. I always prefer white sneakers, as you’ll see below.

Materials like leather, suede, and breathable mesh offer a clean aesthetic and durability at the same time. Prioritize cushioned insoles, durable outsoles, padded collars, and breathable linings.

Boss Jonah Runn Sneaker

Boss Jonah Runn Sneaker

The Boss Jonah Runn Sneaker is made from 64% leather and 36% PU and offers durability and style. It features a paneled construction, a rubber toe cap, and an embossed logo. The lace-up closure, padded tongue and collar, a pull loop at the heel, and perforated detailing provide a clean design with maximum breathability.

Price: $199

Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainers

Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainers

The Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainers combine water-repellent suede with full-grain leather, which will adapt to your feet over time. The shoes feature a tall instep, wider waist, padded collars, Vachetta leather lining for temperature regulation, and rubber soles for flexibility and traction.

Price: $199

Oliver Cabell Shoes

Oliver Cabell Court Shoes

The Oliver Cabell Court Shoes are made from Italian calfskin leather and feature hand-stitched construction and Margom Italian outsoles. They include a 3oz full-grain calfskin leather upper, removable molded insole, and Italian cotton laces.

Price: $219

When it comes to curating an athleisure wardrobe, it’s all about balance.

Finding pieces that blend comfort, functionality, and a polished look is crucial. From versatile pants and joggers to stylish short sleeves and dependable outerwear, each element in your closet should cater to active and everyday needs.

Remember, prioritize high-quality fabrics and thoughtful features that enhance performance and style. With the right athleisure essentials, you can effortlessly transition through various aspects of your day, maintaining comfort and confidence. Investing in these pieces ensures you’re always prepared, looking sharp, and feeling your best, no matter where the day takes you.


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