I Went to Miami and Came Back a Legging Trend Expert

When fashion historians look back at this decade down the road, one thing will be very clear: Athleisure was the defining trend. No one thinks twice about wearing leggings as pants anymore, and women are constantly on the hunt for outfit ideas for their leggings, the best and worst shoes to wear with leggings, and the latest brands and trends to invest in. Which brings me to my recent travels to Miami for the first-ever annual Activewear Fashion Week. Organized by Funkshion, the production company behind Miami Swim Fashion Week, The Retreat Miami featured presentations by some of the top activewear designers in the industry of their upcoming collections, panel discussions about the state of the industry, and fitness classes.

Now that you know what my four days in Miami entailed, you can see why I returned from the event with a newfound wisdom of the legging trends to come. Because just as with any other type of clothing, shoe, or accessory, the designers dictate the trends based on what women are buying and wearing, where the general state of the athleisure industry is headed, and, of course, their own creative visions. White leggings, matching sets, jumpsuits, sweatpant-legging hybrids, and high-tech, elevated prints were a few of the trends that I saw over and over again, and it's my duty to give you my best insider info as to where athleisure is headed next. With the designers of Heroine Sport, Aviator Nation, Beyond Yoga, Luli Fit, Michi, Monday Active, Shape Activewear, and Ultracor at my disposal, I went straight to the source and asked them what the next big legging trends will be.

Read on to get the scoop on the latest legging trends, get a glimpse into the inaugural Activewear Fashion Week, and shop leggings from the eight brands you'll want on your radar.

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John Parra/Getty Images 

"Our design team is really enjoying playing with new applications of ombre. We are using the treatment on everything from mesh to our new modern Double Knit, which fits like a second skin. Expect to see new iterations in the coming seasons!" She added, "We think leggings are more than a trend. Now they're really a lifestyle. But if we had to call the next iteration, we are seeing a big demand for bodysuits. They are so chic, easy to layer, and the simplicity of streamline dressing is appealing to modern consumers." — Michelle Wahler, co-founder and CEO of Beyond Yoga

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John Parra/Getty Images 

"With the market being over-saturated with leggings, I think there's a need for more statement leggings that stand out. We constantly try to think of new cuts and material to make leggings more special. That being said, leggings are part of every girl's daily life, and they need to be easy and transitional. We've introduced leggings that read as pants but have all performance functions, and they've been received well in the market." — Nima Taherzadeh, founder and creative director of Heroine Sport

Photo:

Simon Soong

Ultracor has mastered the 2017 version of printed leggings, which the brand creates in-house in L.A. using lasers. The star-print leggings and crop tops sell out every time they're restocked.

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John Parra/Getty Images 

"Right now, anything goes in the world of leggings. We just launched our new Kauai leggings in four floral color options, and they are an awesome choice for in and out of the gym. I designed them with high-performance fabrics so they can definitely be used for working out or yoga classes, but they are fashionable enough to pair with your favorite tee and wear in place of jeans. This particular style is also great to travel in because of the fun prints. Funky leggings are a great alternative to jeans these days especially when the weather is warm because they are breathable and extremely comfortable." — Paige Mycoskie, founder of Aviator Nation

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John Parra/Getty Images 

Simply put, "Moto leggings." — Michelle Watson, creative director of Michi

Photo:

Simon Soong 

"The next big trend in leggings is taking true functionality/innovation and merging it with feminine and fashionable styling details. Essentially making technology beautiful." — Sheena Mahtani, brand director of SHAPE Activewear

Photo:

John Parra/Getty Images 

Monday Active is the brainchild of Monday Swimwear and A Bikini A Day co-creators Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman. Their second collection of functional, stylish, minimal activewear is launching soon.

Photo:

John Parra/Getty Images 

"Leggings and variations of them come around season after season. We think engineered print leggings are the next big thing! They are definitely a favorite of ours, and they are flattering but bold at the same time." — Luli Hanimian, founder of Luli Fit by Luli Fama

Next up, check out the new It shoes to wear with leggings.

This press trip was sponsored by The Retreat Miami. Editors' opinions are their own.