The Top Athleisure Trends for Summer 2022 to Soak Up the Sun in

Trends that are sure to make a splash this summer

May 6, 2022

Main image courtesy of ginadiazh’s Instagram.

The athleisure market has exploded over the past two years with consumers staying inside and investing in clothing that is both functional and comfortable, causing the market to exponentially grow in popularity. The growth in this sector of the fashion world has led to a cycle of trends in the types of cuts, patterns, and pieces that are seasonally popular, with the upcoming summer following in this pattern.

In this article, we’ll be covering what this summer’s athleisure trends might hold and what you can start expecting to see in stores as the warmer months approach. Here’s a breakdown of the trends we’ll be discussing:

  • Feminine Tennis Dresses  
  • Matching Sets to sweat your heart out in
  • The holy grail of athleisure trends: Biker Shorts
  • Impress in an Empire Waistline
Woman posing on beach
Feel flirty in this floral set from Dona Jo, with the Love Bra and Soar Skirt in Flore. Image courtesy of Irosenav’s Instagram.

Feel Posh in Tennis Dresses this Summer

Feel flowy and free in a tennis dress all summer long

We’re going back a century to the 1920’s with the tennis dress trend, which is exactly what it sounds like – a tank top or athletic shirt combined with a tennis skirt in a one-piece outfit. The tennis dress can vary in its design, with some having a spaghetti-strap, halter, or short-sleeve top and different lengths for the bottoms.

Many tennis dresses that have been made in the past few years include features that make the outfit more fit for a tennis player – including pockets, shorts underneath the skirt, and sweat-wicking fabric.

While this athleisure trend seems like an obvious fit for the tennis court, we predict that it’ll also make a splash in streetwear this summer. The tennis dress can be paired with cardigans, shrugs, t-shirts, leggings, tights, sweatshirts, and accessories to completely change the look and the vibe it gives off. This summer might also bring a wider variety of patterns and colors to the tennis dress look, with magenta, lime green, and saturated yellow taking the spotlight.

If you’re looking for a bold tennis dress look, check out the Dona Jo Elysian Line.

Woman posing in tennis dress
While tennis dresses started off as practical and plain, they’ve become so much more for this summer. Check out the Dona Jo Elysian Line for some boldly-patterned and fun tennis dresses.

Match the Athleisure Trends in a Matching Set

Bold matching sets will hit the scene this summer

Matching sets have been around for a while, gaining traction in the past few years as a popular trend in the streetwear scene, but have recently become an integral part of athleisure lines. Matching athletic sets can involve matching sets of tennis skirts and shirts, sports bras and leggings, jackets and sweatpants, or any other combination of pieces in the altheisure realm.

What sets this summer apart from last year’s matching sets are the new fabrics and patterns that will become popular and hit stores as it begins to warm up. We’re predicting bright colors, floral patterns, and an emphasis on soft and sustainable fabrics for the upcoming season, and a resurgence of 1970’s-inspired looks overall.

Like the tennis dress, one reason the matching athleisure set is already so popular is because of its versatility in formality. By putting a button up over a matching biker short and sports bra combo, plus some accessories like a chunky chain and sunglasses, you’ll be ready to hit the beach or the town and feel comfortable while you’re at it. For some inspiration for how to style your matching athleticwear sets, check out this article from Dona Jo.

Model posing in matching legging and jacket set
Hitting the tennis court in the evening? Never fear, the Dona Jo Active Leggings and Vibe Jacket in Jungle are here. Image courtesy of Joaopteles’ Instagram.

Biker Shorts For the Win

The athleisure trend that never fails

The biker short trend has had a long reign on summer trends, and that’s no different for this upcoming season. Biker shorts defined fashion of the 1980’s and 1990’s, with fashion icons like Princess Diana and Sarah Jessica Parker photographed often in them, and made an enormous comeback in the late 2010’s as Kim Kardashian and Hailey Bieber began to rock the look.

People either love or hate biker shorts, with some finding the mid-thigh length convenient to avoid chafing, while also keeping your legs cool in the warm summer months, and others finding the cut of the shorts unflattering compared to contemporary looks.

While black biker shorts have been the most popular color by far with the piece’s comeback, we predict that, once again, bright patterns will take center stage on the market. Based on Pantone’s colors of the spring and summer season for this year, it’s safe to say that this prediction might become a reality.

For more inspiration for how to style a biker short look, check out this guide from Dona Jo about how to look chic in biker shorts.

Woman posing in front of greenery
Rock two trends in one look with the Dona Jo Active Biker Shorts and Adjustable Bra in Jungle. Image courtesy of Adventureswithpollin’s Instagram.

The Empire Waistline Strikes Back

Could the empire waistline make a triumphant comeback?

This one’s our oddball prediction. With the popularity of Netflix’s hit show Bridgerton, and the new season coming out in March of this year, fashion trends are sure to bend to reflect this popularity. The series showcases Regency-era fashion, with nearly every female character wearing an empire waistline dress in almost every episode. Empire waistlines typically indicate either a shirt or dress’s waistline falling just below the bust, or very far above the naval.

Now, how would this translate to athleisure? That’s where it gets interesting. The resurgence of early 2000’s fashion, coupled with the beloved fashion of Bridgerton and Regency-era fashion, could result in tank tops and tennis dresses being designed with empire waistlines. This is already regaining popularity in everyday outfits, with long sleeved shirts and tank tops adopting the style in the past year.

We expect athletic tank tops with high waistlines to start popping up at various major retailers, gaining popularity just in time for the summer. A great example of the empire waistline look translated to athleticwear is the Dona Jo Beauty Tank, which showcases a high waistline coupled with ruffles just below where it cinches.

While this trend is purely speculation, keep an eye out for this type of cut the next time you shop for athleisure online or at a store.

Model posing in athleticwear
Feel like an empress in this Beauty Tank from Dona Jo. Check out the rest of the line for more colors and size options.

While trends come and go, athleisure stays each and every summer. So, if you’re looking to get ahead of the game and shop for some summer pieces early, consider looking for some of the trends we’ve mentioned on this list the next time you head out shopping.

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