The New Ath-flow Trend of 2021 is Power Attire to Love

The New Ath-flow Luxury Fashion Trend of 2021 is Power Attire to Love

What is ath-flow, the hot new fashion trend that is the new work wardrobe, how do you wear it, what are the best brands for leisurewear now in 2021? Our ace correspondent Meredith Lepore has answers.

Introducing Ath-flow, the hot new 2021 luxury fashion loungewear trend

Call us crazy, but it really feels as if the Great Lockdown(s) have driven even the most sophisticated fashionistas to want to dress like, well . . . monks. Or Jedi knights.

the longer the lockdown, the more comfy the clothes

When COVID-19 first hit, everyone resorted to working from home in the sweatpants and tees that they used to wear to the gym or to take the trash out.

Then, when it became clear that a month-long shelter-in-place hiatus was going to become a year-long quarantine with almost no social interaction, everyone headed for the deepest comforts: cashmere sweats and house dresses – soft fabrics, unstructured garments, and nothing with a zipper, waistband or button in sight.

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Now, as it appears that the day that we will be released and free to roam again (and maybe even go back to the office) is drawing closer. But no one wants to give up being oh-so-comfy all the time. Once you’ve closed a billion-dollar deal from your kitchen table in sweats and sock feet, it’s hard to go back to a pencil skirt and high heels.

some people saw this coming in 2018!

Comedian Iliza Shlesinger said it best in her Netflix special “Elder Millennial” when she assured women they didn’t have to stress about what to wear when a “new suitor” came over for the first time. 

“There’s an entire, sort of intermediary, post-dinner, pre-bedtime apparel world. There’s a whole category of clothing that you, as women, have mastered without even realizing it. The category is called athleisure wear,” Shlesinger quipped in the 2018 special. “This is an entire clothing category. It’s a multi-billion-dollar clothing category predicated on the idea that, as a woman, sometimes you don’t have time to change when you’re going from the boardroom to Pilates.”


Turns out Shlesinger was onto something. A few short years later, casual loungewear would no longer be our transition wardrobe for the end of a long day. But rather, our daily uniform.

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During the height of the pandemic, leisurewear took on a personality of its own. There was a 143% increase in pajama sales in March and a 13% decline in the sale of bras and sales of pants dropped 14% across all retailers. 

You know this, dear reader – you were in on this, too.

Fancy sweatpants and leggings became all the rage. And then came the tie-dye phase over the summer, and who knows what that was really all about? Some stylists chalked it up to our emotional state as a nation – plus it also just looked really good.

Now its 2021 and where is fashion heading? Well, it’s definitely not about tailored suits.

Ath-flow trends are the upgrade your wardrobe needs for 2021

As the months of 2020 dragged on and people slowly started to emerge from their cocoons, the clothes remained loungey. But they took on a more upscale vibe.

enter the nap dress for the best “Ath-flow” trend so far in 2021.

This pivot started when Hill House Home founder Nell Diamond introduced The Nap Dress to culture. The look was part Bridgerton, part Virgin Suicides. And the homebound masses quickly adopted it. According to Refinery29, the Nap Dress currently makes up 50% of the brand’s business.

And why not? A nap dress is aesthetically pleasing for a Zoom call. And also perfect for flouncing into a chaise lounge because the world has become just too much. “I think versatility is key. The Nap Dress can be worn inside or outside. You can go from bed, to a meeting, to errands, to dinner, all without changing out of your Nap Dress,” Diamond told Refinery 29. 

Like we said: the monks and the Jedis got there before we did, but now we get the whole wearing simple flowing robes and chic footwear all day every day.

ath-flow is the natural evolution in loungewear

That evolution has led us to Ath-Flow. It’s an upscale version of lying around in your sweats that will make you feel less guilty about it. Said another way, “ath-flow” is what happens when “athleisure” decides it’s time to clean itself up a bit.

According to the 2021 Pinterest Predicts report, comfortable clothing is poised to take on a new kind of leading role in our wardrobes this year. Pinterest’s head of content and editorial partnerships Aya Kanai describes the ath-flow aesthetic as “flowy trousers, casual jumpsuits and oversized outfits” and “professional enough for the office, stretchy enough for the yoga mat and comfy enough for the sofa.” 

It’s taking the chaos of 2020 and polishing a bit. Think pajama pants with feather trim, cashmere sweat suits (don’t work out in these, though), boyfriend blazers, leggings with buttons (yes, that kind of defeats the purpose of leggings but we need to start preparing ourselves for a non-elastic waistband life. It will come back eventually.)

“This idea of who is the self that you bring to the office and what does professionalism look like, I think is very much reflected in the Athflow concept. Because what is appropriate for professional dressing, what’s appropriate for career dressing, all of that is changing,” Kanai told Refinery 29. 

is ath-flow more than just one of the passing 2021 fashion trends?

You do have to wonder if loungewear, no matter how many clever names we come up with, will ever go away or just go back to being that genre of clothing we only wore for lounging and not for living. Well, it may scale back, but not for a long time.

The shift to loungewear is a trend that has accelerated in the last 10 months, but it’s important to understand that it did not come out of nowhere as a reaction,” says Lorna Hall, director of fashion intelligence at trend-forecasting agency WGSN. “It’s rooted in bigger drivers that existed pre-pandemic.”

Basically the shift to more livable clothing is a long-term trend. The pandemic just accelerated it. Fashionista writer Maura Brannigan compares it to when women started regularly wearing pants.

Major designers like Coco Chanel and Hollywood icons (the original influencers) introduced women to trousers. But it wasn’t until World War II that women really adopted the look, because they realized it made their lives easier. Just as the pandemic made people realize that wearing a matching tie-dye sweat suit made their life easier (and just better.) 

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Though we may eventually move off of our couches and back into offices, it will never quite look the same way again. And if we get to wear pajamas with feather trim and call it appropriate work wear, we shouldn’t be too fussed about it

How to Wear Ath-Flow and the Best Brands to Try

Here are our top pick for Ath-flow looks made to be comfty and keep you looking cute. 

1. The Nesli Nap Dress

the ath-flow trend


BUY NOW – $125.

2. The Boyfriend sweatshirt

the ath-flow trend

“Ath-flow” is one of luxury fashion’s hottest trend and brands so far in 2021: The Boyfriend Sweatshirt. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – $98.

3. Metallic Joggers Athleta


the ath-flow trend

How to wear the best ath-flow brands: Metallic Joggers Athleta Pants. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW: $83.99.

4. Phoebe cutout cashmere turtleneck sweater

fashion 2021

“Ath-flow” is one of luxury fashion’s hottest trends so far in 2021: Phoebe Cutout Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – $250.

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5. Brig ribbed organic cotton wrap skirt

fashion 2021

BUY NOW – $133.

6. Mateo cropped knitted wide-leg pants

fashion 2021

How to wear “Ath-flow,” one of luxury fashion’s hottest trends so far in 2021: Matteo Cropped Knitted Wide-Leg Pants. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – $375.

7. Party Pajamas by Sleeper

fashion 2021

How to wear the best ath-flow brands: Party Pajamas by Sleepers. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW: $290.

The New Ath-flow Trend of 2021 is Power Attire to Love

Now you know what ath-flow is: the hot new fashion trend that is the new work wardrobe, along with how to wear it, and the best brands for this new take on leisurewear right now. What do you think, dear reader? Are you in?

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Meredith Lepore is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire Magazine, Women’s Health, InStyle, Architectural Digest, The Observer, and Travel & Leisure. She earned her Masters in journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time, and enjoys reading, jogging, spinning, and playing with her small dog, Otis.

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