Let’s Get Physical? Retro Athletic Attire is Trending, And You Don’t Even Need to Play Sports

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Last summer, the pleated white tennis skirt became a hit both on and off the court. The classic tennis garment transitioned into a desirable all-occasion style staple—whether you played the sport or not.

This summer, however, there’s more to the prep-sport uniform than just the pleated skort. We’re seeing sweatshirts branded with faux health clubs, tube socks, and preppy polos infiltrate fashion. It’s a style that winks to the fitness-craze of the 1980s and the yuppies and preppies who embraced it. Only this time around, there’s no exclusivity to the look. Anyone can join Zizi Donohue’s “Beverly Hills Health Club,” and you don’t have to enroll at Oxford to rock Rowing Blazer’s tees. Head-to-toe retro athletic attire has become the latest athleisure trend, and we’re not mad about it. Because let’s face it, if we’re going to sport crewnecks, sweatshirts, and baseball hats post-pandemic, they might as well be cute.

Lifestyle brands like Sporty & Rich and Recreational Habits make it easy to achieve the ’80s health club aesthetic. Even legitimate athletic powerhouses like Nike and Adidas are bringing back their retro designs, like Nike’s Reissue sailing jacket inspired by their 1987 boating collection or the “Tennis Academy” pieces from Adidas Originals, certainly a nod to the fitness forward look of the decade.

While interest in outdoor activities might have skyrocketed during the past year, you don’t have to play golf, tennis, or be a member of your local athletic club to dress the part. Comfortable, casual, and chic? This trend is a win-win.

Sporty & Rich ’80s Fitness cotton sweatshirt

$180

MODA OPERANDI

Sporty & Rich Good Health slogan-print cotton tote bag

$83

SELFRIDGES

Zizi Donohoe Beverly Hills Health Club embroidered cotton cap

$65

SELFRIDGES

Zizi Donohoe Tennis Academy sweatshirt

$275

SELFRIDGES

Adidas tennis graphic sweatshirt

$70

NORDSTROM

Kule the women’s tennis socks in white

$28

KULE

Adidas luxe tennis dress

$60

ADIDAS

Gucci tennis logo-embroidered cotton-jersey sweatshirt

$1,300

MATCHESFASHION.COM

Polo Ralph Lauren shield-patch cricket sweater

$248$200
RALPH LAUREN

Rag & Bone Serena wool-blend shorts

$175

RAG & BONE

Tory Burch graphic T-shirt

$108

TORY BURCH

Bogey Boys the Caddie button-up shirt

$100

BOGEY BOYS

Nike Reissue Walliwaw sailing jacket in sail and midnight navy

$155

END CLOTHING

Nike Sportswear Femme cotton-terry shorts

$50

NET-A-PORTER

Lacoste women’s Made in France V-neck honeycomb knit sweater

$185

LACOSTE

Recreational Habits green varsity cotton shorts

$90

RECREATIONAL HABITS

Rowing Blazers Tennis Anyone? cotton-twill dad hat

$48

ROWING BLAZERS

Tory Burch pleated-hem tennis skirt

$128

TORY BURCH

Rowing Blazers women's racquets sweater vest

$195

ROWING BLAZERS