Is there life after the gym for the, well, gym short? Is it all treadmills and marathons for eternity? Does après-elliptical translate directly into the hamper? Designers have a different path in mind for a nylon piece once only designated for crunches and sit-ups. The swishy gym short has been rearing its airy head in luxe incarnations over the past few seasons now. (Call it the “athleisure effect.”) For Spring 2018, baby blue, candy pink, and optic white pairs at Louis Vuitton were worn underneath hefty embroidered, opulent coats. The same goes for Prada where models walked the runway in the sweat-wickers with nothing less than high heels. There is, of course, the epic moment in Sex and the City Season 3, Episode 10 where Carrie Bradshaw wears a cropped white T-shirt, teeny gym shorts, and yes, candy apple red high heels, to do the most banal task of all: walk her boyfriend’s dog.
The look has since translated off the runway and off-screen, too. Vogue.com Market Editor Alexandra Gurvitch has long been a fan of the exercise gear outside of the gym. While on a shoot this past May, just as the weather began to swelter, I spotted her wearing a polished black polo that she tucked into not her pants, but rather a pair of black athletic shorts that she wore with a pair of thong heels. “The key to dressing up a sport short is adding a glam sandal,” writes Gurvitch about her styling trick. “It’ll dispel any of ‘that person just came from a run’ thoughts. Even better, add a glamorous sandal because nothing more says you didn’t run than a stiletto.”
Want to get the look? Think about balance and add some glimmer. Opt for a glamorous top like a sequined Paco Rabanne tank to go with a pair of elastic waist No Ka’Oi black shorts, or a slinky Alexandre Vauthier green top to go with Gosha Rubchinskiy x Adidas short shorts. (Accessories like a pair of gold hoops add some great sparkle as well.) Want to tone it down? You can do no wrong with recreating Carrie’s chic (but incompetent!) dog walker look with some red heels, black shorts, and a pretty white blouse.
Here, the five best ways to elevate the humble gym short.