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How To Dress Sporty Chic: Trends Guaranteed To Complete The Look

Updated: Mar 7

Listen up ladies- I've got major news.

For so long, I've been dreaming up a strategy for us girls with sporty style that allows us to live our best comfortable lives...while looking put together and sophisticated. And I think fashion trends have finally caught up with these dreams.

So if you want to know how to dress sporty but classy, you're going to want in on this.

how to dress sporty-chic

How To Dress Sporty Chic

Alright, alright. I should relax on the dramatics a bit. (Never will though, sorry.)

I know I'm not actually reinventing the wheel here.

I realize no one is threatening girls (nowadays) to wear heels "or else." *ominous music*

But personally, I've been balancing between full-blown sports attire (like, "put me in now coach!") and dressing up uncomfortably in dresses and colors and sparkles for far too long.

Basically, I've been unable to find a true style that consistently guides me to outfits that make me feel my best self.

But at long last, I've found it. And you may have already experienced it.

To my fellow sporty chicks who want to also look classy and sophisticated, I present to you sporty chic style, also known as classy athleisure.

What It Is: Sporty Chic Style 2021

Sporty chic style 2020 was definitely trending, but I didn't pick up on it fast enough because I didn't realize how amazing it could be. Working out was my main thing, and "dressing up" was something I did on very few days.

But I love sporty chic style because it’s not just for working out (although it certainly can be). It's a style that is casual and sporty, yet can quickly become dressy and sophisticated for public activities (even work..?!)

I didn't coin the terms- just manifested them to myself through hours on IG and Pinterest.

Sporty chic is a style you can really take and make your own. Go further with it and make it semi-formal, or go easier with it and wear it to the gym. At its core, sporty chic is an elevated take on classic athletic and casual looks.

So how to dress sporty chic? Let's take a look at some of these sporty chic styles in 2021 and some places to buy sporty chic outfits.

how to dress sporty chic

Rule 1 of Sporty Chic: Sneakers Everywhere

It's all in the sneakers. Truly, the key to a sporty-chic look is a pair of sneakers that match your outfit. As a runner, I like sneakers, but I always felt forced to pick between dressing nicer and wearing them.

Now I know that you can wear a plaid blazer with biker shorts and a pair of sneakers that match. And that final look together is just so good.

Make this your own- if you want to rock the sneakers, you can pair them with a fancier top. But if you're looking for inspiration, here are some recommendations:

  • Chunky sneakers: They can be dressed up or dressed down; it's clear that they're not necessarily meant for working out, so they have more of an everyday wear vibe.

  • Vans: Vans and converse-esque sneakers have their own place in sporty chic style. They’re really great with casual dresses.

I'll admit it. I was fully locked into the rule of a dress needs heels. Or at least something that shows your toes.

But now- outside of a literal ball gown- I'm cheering loud for team sneakers. A dress with vans? With chunky sneakers? Yes and yes for classy athleisure.

Athleisure Looks 2021: The Colorblock

If we're asking me, one of the best trends to happen lately (resurface from the 90s maybe?) is the colorblock trend. Some colorblock outfits can be kind of gaudy and out there, but when done a certain way, colorblock totally elevates a basic casual outfit into more of a chic look.

That being said, I especially love colorblock in muted or neutral tones for a classy athleisure look. A hoodie, sweat shorts, t-shirt (okay, anything) in colorblock is a simple and quick way to dress sporty chic.

Keep a few colorblock items in your closet that you can mix and match with more universal items, like plain colored leggings, jeans, sweat shorts, etc.

Sporty Chic Jackets

If you need a top layer, there are a ton of sporty chic coats out there. They can be colorblock, windbreaker type, fuzzy...there are so many options. These here are some of my personal favorite ideas for sporty chic coats.

Biker Shorts

I probably don’t have to tell you this one. Biker shorts for actual biking is a thing of the past. Biker shorts for all non-bike related activities is the future.

I’m kidding of course, but you probably get what I’m saying. Biker shorts are my number one go to these days because they’re so comfy (like shorter leggings) and look good styled a hundred different ways.

Spandex in the grocery store is generally accepted, but a little unusual. You most definitely look like you’re there for a workout. Biker shorts look way better in my opinion.

Higher-Quality T-Shirts

What's the key to being a sporty chic girl? Being a t-shirt snob!

Okay fine, don't be a snob. But there is a way to rock a sporty t-shirt that's a little fancier than a traditional tee. And that may require you to turn your nose up at some low-quality t-shirts.

So basically, not the kind of t-shirt that you got at a sporting event in high school for free that was screen-printed at the concession stand.

I can't get enough of these t-shirts from Under Armour that are so soft, have a quality sheen, and are loose-fitting. They come in sophisticated colors. Paired with biker shorts, a purse, and chunky sneakers...I promise it's an elevated athleisure look.

Matching Sets For A Sporty Look

I can't be the only one who sees girls in matching sets at the gym and thinks, "dang she's put together and cute for this workout!" This feeling translates to out of the gym too.

An athletic outfit in a matching set automatically looks so put together. Whether it's:

  • leggings and a crop top

  • leggings and a sports bra

  • a lightweight hoodie and baggy shorts

...if the two pieces are a matching have yourself a sporty chic look.

Not convinced? I also think adding a side purse, doing light makeup or hair, or adding a jean jacket (or another coat) takes a matching workout set from a gym look to an everyday style.

Sporty Chic and Neutral Colors

This is certainly a bit of a preference. You can love bright, fun colors and dress sporty chic. But I for one really think that neutral colors are a great way to make a casual sporty look seem more sophisticated.

We all know that black and white are both colors used for fancy affairs, so it kinda makes sense.

Make it a matching set like I said above and throw on a jean jacket... so cute.

You can wear almost any type of comfy clothes and look a little more dressed up, just by picking out pieces that are colored neutral or muted tone.

If you find your sporty jackets too monotonous, you can easily choose some embellishments to add a little personality to your jacket. Custom patches are a great choice!

You can choose any elements you like, pictures, symbols, and more to customize unique patches. It is not only beautiful but also very easy to operate. You can even create new styles by changing new patches every day. Create a unique sports fashion while showing your personality.

custom patches

Athleisure Trends: How To Dress Sporty Chic

If you're dying for a look that combines comfy and sophisticated, learning how to dress sporty chic is the way to go. Especially if you're like me and you've lived far too many days in athletic clothes that didn't make you feel too hot.

I love that I can combine the styles I love with a more grown-up and elevated look that is perfect for a coffee shop, the mall, and honestly, almost anywhere.

If you like these ideas, make sure to follow me on Like To Know It! I aim to update my boards with my new favorite trends in sporty-chic style as I find them. And of course, I'm always searching for "sporty chic outfits Pinterest".

sporty chic style


madeline kopp blog

Hi, I'm Madeline

Welcome to Madeline Kopp— your source of inspo for finding a balance between healthy living and going after everything that you want! Here you'll find balanced, healthy lifestyle hacks that keep things simple and stylish. Learn more. x, MK
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