This post is not sponsored, but does contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission when you shop through my links, at no extra cost to you. To learn more, hop over to our Disclosure page. Thank you for your continued support!
ATHFLOW CAPSULE WARDROBE
ATHFLOW CAPSULE WARDROBE
It finally has a name… Athflow.
I don’t need to explain all the ways that style has dramatically reinvented itself over the past year. Many trends that style watchers forecasted for 2020 simply never panned out. Or did they?
In Spring 2020, we lost plenty of things that once defined our daily lives. We mourned the losses of things we used to take for granted. However the sudden needlessness of “hard pants” wasn’t one of them. To the contrary, many people found the sudden proliferation of elastic waistbands incredibly freeing and vowed that they would never wear real pants, ever again.
And so, Athflow was born.
Finally, THIS is the capsule wardrobe you've been looking for. Athflow is where Athleisure meets Work Flow. Click To Tweet
Athflow is Athleisure’s grown-up counterpart
Athleisure, was you may know, is the crossroads of loungewear and athletic wear. Athflow is the latest amalgamation of athleisure + workflow born from our newfound work-from-home lifestyle. According to Pinterest’s 2021 Trend Report, the Athflow aesthetic is “professional enough for the ‘office,’ stretchy enough for the yoga mat, and comfy enough for the couch.” It is clothing that feels as comfortable as loungewear, but doesn’t look like loungewear that screams, “I’ve given up.”
It is an aesthetic characterized by oversized garments, flowing silhouettes, stretchy fabrics, and sometimes monochromatic color palettes. Bonus points given for matching sets. Chances are you already have items in your wardrobe that fit the bill, so you won’t be starting from scratch when building your Athflow capsule wardrobe.
This post will help you look at items you already have through a fresh lens, and perhaps offer ideas for new pieces you can add to round out your perfect Athflow capsule.
Where did this Athflow thing come from?
The Covid pandemic of 2020 presented a fashion situation many people had never encountered before. Suddenly, people found themselves working at home via video conference, visible only from the waist up. So naturally, people dressed for the occasion by wearing their office attire on the top and pajama pants on the bottom. It was quite the look. The problem was simple: we still needed to look like functioning professionals, but at the end of the day, (well, all day,) the reality is that we were literally working from our couches. There had to be a compromise.
At first, alternating between the same two pairs of sweatpants everyday felt liberating. Finally, we were freed from our “hard pants” and armpit-suffocating suit jackets. But as two weeks turned into two months, and two months has since turned into a year, more permanent solutions are in order.
People want to feel comfortable and comforted, while still feeling a semblance of the life they once lived. They refuse to tolerate stiff waistbands digging into their tummies, un-breathable fabrics causing annoying armpit chafing, and overall having their clothing dictate what they can and cannot do at any given moment. With such unpredictability in life, people want clothes that move with them, from the at-home desk, to the couch, and out for errands, all while looking like they at least attempted to pull themselves together.
Is Athflow just another passing trend?
Like Athleisure, I consider Athflow more of a style category rather than a trend. Think, boho, classic, feminine, edgy, etc. Trends come and go from within these style categories, but they don’t go completely out of style in and of themselves. (Though some styles may be more prominent than others at any given time.)
You can feel secure in knowing that Athflow is a new invention, not a passing trend, at least in my opinion. It may not always be at the forefront of society as it is today, but I think there will always be a time and place for the soft, feels-like-a-hug clothing that is getting us through life right now. Seriously, now that we’ve had a taste of the cozy life, it’s going to take a long time for people to decide the benefits of going back to “hard pants” outweighs the uncomfortable downsides.
How the Athflow Capsule works
The requirements for an Athflow capsule wardrobe are simple. Items must look sleek and stylish enough to be worn outside the home, and above all, be super comfortable.
This means unstructured and flowy silhouettes that move with you and that are not constricting in any way. Pieces that float over the body naturally, and don’t require unforgiving zippers, buttons, snaps and whathaveyou in order to stay in place. (Obviously, this prickly statement implies that there will be stretchy waistbands, only.) We also want fabrics that are stretchy, soft and breathable, and definitely not itchy. They must feel luxurious on your skin. Tops, especially, must look smart on camera for those unavoidable video conference calls.
What this capsule wardrobe is not…
What I’m not doing here is telling you to appropriate your sweatpants into a date-night outfit by genius-ly pairing it with a sexy lace bodysuit. There is nothing comfortable or cozy about an itchy lace bodysuit that feels cold, unforgiving, and requires a straight-from-hell strapless bra. When you have those events that require a nicer outfit, then I’m sure you have clothes for that. Likewise, you also have your comfort-above-all-else loungewear that’s been faithfully serving you since 2009.
The point of this capsule is to give you inspiration so you can wear comfy outfits on a daily basis without feeling like a slob.
And because you don’t feel like a slob, you know that you can easily change out of your loungewear and into something fancier when necessary. The goal here is for comfort be your priority while still allowing yourself to feel put together and not embarrassed to be seen in public.
Mood, style & colors
The overall mood is very laid back and relaxed, but it includes sprinklings of pieces that help you feel like you’re pulling yourself together. The boyfriend blazer and wrap dresses are prime examples.
I chose styles that promote physical comfort, and a muted color palette filled with soft grays, natural browns and earthy greens that promote mental and emotional calm. All of the colors mix and match beautifully as separates, and I’ve also included several matching sets to give you a touch more ease when you are really struggling with what to wear.
Yes, this capsule wardrobe includes sweatpants. They are a natural part of the Athflow aesthetic, a healthy part, in fact. Sweatpants are awesome for lounging, but I think they are a perfectly acceptable addition to an outside-the-home capsule wardrobe. I discovered the following gem of a quote when I was doing my serious sweatpants research (that sounds hilarious, I know,) for this post.Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants. - Karl Lagerfeld... Nah, I don't think so. Click To Tweet
I can confidently say that sweatpants are no longer a “sign of defeat.” On the contrary, I think they show that you are taking your comfort into your own hands and have more control over your life than ever. And that is what this Athflow capsule is all about: prioritizing your comfort and owning it.
THE ATHFLOW CAPSULE WARDROBE
Of course, don’t feel pressured to purchase these exact items. Use these as inspiration, and select items that fit your personal style and body type. Or even better, shop your closet and put together outfits using pieces you already own in totally new ways.
gray v-neck tee | A necessary basic that works as a staple in endless outfits. A crew-neck tee works as well, however I like the v-neck for this purpose because the angular neck line adds some dimension to otherwise very smushy looks.
black square neck top | This slim fitting top can be dressed up or down and is great for layering under some of the more oversized sweaters and 2nd layer pieces.
beige ribbed crop tank | If cropped tops aren’t your thing, feel free to go for a regular tank top. Choose something that’s not too snug, but not so loose that is doesn’t stay in place or layer well.
olive mock neck tank | The olive green color + mock-neck silhouette are two distinguishing features that elevate this comfortable and versatile piece.
greige turtleneck top | Turtlenecks make for a perfect canvas to show off a neat 2nd layer. This top is comfortable to wear around the house, and pairs perfectly with many of the other pieces to create put-together video conference outfits.
cream silk button-up shirt | This button-up shirt can be worn alone or under a blazer for a business look, or tied over one of the dresses to casual-ify the style.
cream puff sleeve blouse | The knit material serves dual purpose of being cozy and comfortable, while also being sturdy enough to really show off the puffiness of the puff sleeves.
gray knit top | A slightly dressier alternative to a basic tee. This oversized knit makes you feel like you’re draped in the equivalent of a fabric hug.
green knotted sweatshirt | You can’t have a loungewear capsule wardrobe without a cozy sweatshirt. This version comes with a knot detail that adds waist definition and texture to a basic sweatshirt.
beige short sleeve sweatshirt (set) | I’ve never thought about owning a short sleeved sweatshirt before, (because what’s the point in that?) But these days I can totally see the appeal in having both the emotional support of a sweatshirt with the versatility of a short-sleeve.
black velour jacket | Perfect for when you need that black blazer look for a virtual meeting, but you really don’t want to pull on your actual blazer. This one totally passes as the real thing on webcam.
green corduroy shacket | It’s cozier than a shirt, but lighter than a jacket, so it’s a shacket. These are great second layers for tossing on at home or for running a quick errand.
smoky blue faux leather shacket | This one is a totally unnecessary trendy item, but I just love it because I have been into interesting faux leather pieces recently, (it’s the trend follower in me,) plus it comes in one of my favorite colors, smoky blue.
black sweater vest | This is another somewhat trendy item, but I justify it because it seems like a super practical item to own even once the trend is passed. Similar to the short-sleeve sweatshirt, it provides the coziness of a sweater without annoying long sleeves slipping down your arms when you’re washing your hands for the 100th time in a day.
beige ribbed sweater (set) | It’s stretchy, it’s snuggly, and it’s half of a super cute matching set. I love these types of items that don’t feel like you are wearing anything on your body because you can move around so easily, yet you still feel warm.
cream cardigan | A classic item that always looks chic and classy. I like this one because the tortoise buttons add an interesting pop of color to the basic style.
gray wrap cardigan (set) | If you want to feel like you are wearing a bathrobe all day, without actually wearing your bathrobe all day, then this style is perfect. In addition to giving you the loungewear vibes you crave, the belted waist gives your body some of its shape back in the most comfortable way.
oversized boyfriend blazer | I am not completely sure if this type of blazer is still “in style” but I don’t care, I’m going to wear it forever. I love the masculine structure it adds when paired with softer pieces, such as the rest of your Athflow capsule. Like others, it’s a great piece you can easily throw on to pull yourself together just prior to a video call, only to fling it off as soon as the call ends.
black pinstriped flared leggings | Yes, I know my generation knows these as yoga pants, but I’m giving “flared leggings” a shot because that’s what all the stores are apparently calling them. Either way, the pinstriped pattern up-styles them just enough so that your stretchy pants can pass as dress pants when needed.
brown knit skirt | Who knew we’d be making skirts out of sweaters and getting away with it? What a time to be alive. This is perfect for when you want to feel like you are wearing a real outfit, and your pretend trousers just aren’t cutting it. But even besides the comfort factor, I think this style is a super cool invention and I can’t believe nobody thought of it sooner.
beige sweat shorts (set) | The other half of the short sweats set. Neutral beige is so in and so chic, it almost makes this kind of dorky pairing look like something I’d totally wear on a Costco run.
beige ribbed pants (set) | Also the second half of a chic matching set. Wear the pieces together, or perhaps wear these pants paired with the beige cropped tank. Clever, I know.
gray ribbed bike shorts | Personally, I think the basic black bike shorts are getting a bit stale. The ribbed design gives the somewhat tired style some new life. The texture fancies it up slightly and makes it look less like, “going to the gym to torture myself” and more “living my best life.”
black wide leg flowy pants | Aren’t we glad that non-skin-tight clothing is no longer considered “frumpy” across the board? I’m a millennial in every sense of the word, but I am not sad that Gen Z is coming for my skinny jeans. They can take those torturous leg-prisons and burn them for me, thanks.
gray jogger pants (set) | These joggers are made out of luxurious and cozy cashmere, along with the matching cardigan. Perfect for adding a touch of luxury to an otherwise uneventful stay-at-home day.
green jogger sweats | Among all the neutral colored basics, a pair of fun green sweatpants is just what you need to cheer yourself up. Also, if you like keeping up with fashion trends, pastel colored sweatpants are apparently very popular for the upcoming season.
beige jogger sweats | Can you tell I am super attracted to all things beige this year. Perhaps it’s because beige looks minimalistic and chic, or maybes it’s because I live surrounded by green everywhere and I long to visit the desert again where I can experience temperature ranges of more than 7˚ each day.
black elastic waist trouser pants | They look like trousers from the thigh down, but they feature a stretchy elastic waistband. Wear these even once you are back in your office. No one needs to know you have sworn off zippers and buttons forever. It’ll be our little secret.
light olive silky camisole dress | A perfect all-year option that’s cool and breezy for the summer, yet can be worn under layers in winter.
gray wrap sweater dress | The tie-waist adds definition for a sleek, dressed-up look when paired with heels and a blazer. However, the neutral gray also lends itself to a casual and chic dressed-down style when paired with sneakers.
dark green jersey wrap dress | The lovely thing about wrap dresses is their versatility when it comes to sizing and fit. However you’re feeling today, your wrap dress has you covered in the most flattering way.
leopard flowy shirt dress | Awesome for video calls because it looks like a blouse on top, but is flowy and comfy and free on the bottom.
green sweatshirt dress | This is a unique option that many people don’t already own, but should! The muted green pairs well under many of the 2nd layers for a professional-on-top and party-on-the-bottom look.
brown hoodie dress | Nothing professional about this one, but you still need this in your life. Perfect for throwing on over your shorts or wrap dress for a quick errand when it’s chilly out.
gray wrap coat | Like the wrap dresses, I love this style because you can adjust it to feel as snug or as roomy as you’d like. That’s important for me, depending on what I ate.
brown faux shearling jacket | The Athflow capsule wouldn’t be complete without something fuzzy. This coat + jacket hybrid is soft enough for staying in, but robust enough to keep you warm when you’re outside.
white sporty sneakers | White sneakers are one of the trademarks of Athleisure style, and they carry over into Athflow seamlessly. They add a casual and cool vibe to any outfit. They’ll be your default shoe, for sure.
green low-heel sandals | For times when you want to dress up a bit, a pair of strappy low-heel sandals is a must. The pale green adds an interesting touch to mostly neutral outfits.
beige low-heel ankle boots | I don’t know about you, but I wear ankle boots year round. This pair gives any outfit a touch of dressiness without looking like you’re trying too hard. Because you’re still wearing a loungewear-like outfit, after all.
beige slip on sneakers | This one is a bit of a wildcard. I like having a more toned down pair of sneakers for times when I want to highlight another piece and don’t want stark white sneakers drawing attention away. You could substitute ballet flats, loafers or sandals if any of those are more your style.
That’s all for now!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out this one ➢ Capsule Wardrobe Theory | create a capsule wardrobe w/ all year basics
If you find this post interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining, tell me about it in the comments below! And don’t forget, sharing is caring. Share this post!
Till next time ♥︎
Sign up for my free monthly e-journal, The Millennial Maven Love Letters for exclusive content + millennial inspiration and lifestyle hacks. Plus get instant access to my library of on-the-go style downloads!
FTC- Not sponsored by any brands mentioned. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.