16 Essential Activewear Brands to Know Right Now

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16 Essential Activewear Brands to Know Right Now
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Photo: Koral

Remember when “gym gear” meant a pair of black leggings (maybe the same ones you wore around the house) and whatever T-shirt and sports bra you could dig out of a drawer? Maybe you don’t—that’s how far activewear has come since the days that “athleisure” was still a long-forgotten word from a ’70s sneaker ad. In 2016, not only do we have behemoths like Nike and Adidas, but, thanks largely to the rise of stylish sportswear pioneer Lululemon, there’s a whole industry of fashion-meets-function brands that offer clothing you can wear from barre class to the bar.

MORE: The Exact Beauty Products 7 Fitness It-Girls Keep in Their Gym Bags

On the one hand, that means we have a lot more choices when it comes to what to wear to work out, but on the other, it can get a little overwhelming. New fitness brands are a dime a dozen these days, and knowing which ones offer style, performance, and value isn’t easy.

MORE: How 6 Pieces of Performance-Enhancing Activewear Can Boost Your Workout

To help steer you in the right direction, we’ve put together a guide to 16 must-know activewear lines, some brand new, others with more than a decade in the biz, but whose clothes you may not have in your collection yet. Click through the gallery below to shop them all.

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Alala
Alala

No, you’re not imagining it: this stuff is chicer than most of your regular wardrobe—so if you want to wear them to dinner, a party, or even work (we’ve done it!) you’re totally in the clear.

Racer Tank, $75; at Alala

Photo: Alala
Alala
Alala

Custom Captain Tight, $185; at Alala

Photo: Alala
The Upside
The Upside

Gym clothes feeling a little blah lately? This Aussie brand has fun prints in spades—plus, many of its pieces can do double-duty as swimwear.

Batik Ballet Crop, $79; at The Upside

Batik Power Pant, $119; at The Upside

Photo: The Upside
The Upside
The Upside

Valley Palms Snapper Tank, $129; at The Upside

Valley Palms Power Pant, $129; at The Upside

Photo: The Upside
Without Walls
Without Walls

Urban Outfitters' in-house activewear label is a good bet for on-trend pieces that don't break the bank (look out for sales for an even better deal).

Without Walls Crisscross Legging, $69; at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Without Walls
Without Walls
Without Walls

Without Walls Skylar Racerback Sports Bra, $49; at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Without Walls
Koral
Koral

Founder Ilana Kugel has mastered the sexy-sporty look, so it should come as no surprise the LA transplant was born in Rio.

Jet Jumpsuit, $155; at Koral

Photo: Koral
Koral
Koral

Glow Bra, $135; at Koral

Frame Leggings, $135; at Koral

Photo: Koral
Sweaty Betty
Sweaty Betty

Whether you need a new gym bag, a winter-proof hoodie, or a lightweight tank for your next vinyasa class, this London-based stalwart has you covered.

Merino Body Map Thermal Ski Top, $120; at Sweaty Betty

Merino Body Map Thermal Ski Leggings, $120; at Sweaty Betty

Photo: Sweaty Betty
Sweaty Betty
Sweaty Betty

Flex Workout Tank, $75; at Sweaty Betty

Power 7/8 Leggings, $110; at Sweaty Betty

Photo: Sweaty Betty
Joe Fresh
Joe Fresh

For gym gear that doesn’t cost as much as your monthly membership, check out this Canadian brand’s cool, affordable selection.

Long Melange Jacket, $34; at Joe Fresh

Photo: Joe Fresh
Joe Fresh
Joe Fresh

Print Yoga Active Pant, $29; at Joe Fresh

Photo: Joe Fresh
Beloforte
Beloforte

From laser-cut leggings to micro-suede-trimmed tanks, this California brand is all about the details.

Sofia Bra, $88; at Beloforte

Sienna Cropped Legging, $135; at Beloforte

Photo: Beloforte
Beloforte
Beloforte

Bethany Tank, $85; at Beloforte

Adriana Hippocket Legging, $134; at Beloforte

Photo: Beloforte
Alo
Alo

Whether you’re a yogi or not, you’ll love this label’s super-comfy leggings, strappy bras, and cozy post-workout hoodies.

Vixen Fitted Crop Tank, $60; at Alo

Photo: Alo
Alo
Alo

Ripped Warrior Legging, $125; at Alo

Photo: Alo
First Base
First Base

This ethical Aussie label will give you a reason to get off your butt and go to spin class (even if that reason is to show off your rad leggings).

Essential Legging, $108.18; at First Base

Photo: First Base
First Base
First Base

Balance Crop, $62.73; at First Base

Photo: First Base
P.E. Nation
P.E. Nation

There’s something irresistibly appealing about this Aussie brand’s retro vibe—and it has swimwear, too!

Man Down Jacket, $179; at P.E. Nation

Photo: P.E. Nation
P.E. Nation
P.E. Nation

Slam Dunk Tank, $79; at P.E. Nation

Photo: P.E. Nation
C9 Champion
C9 Champion

Don't sleep on Target's performance offerings—C9 has a wide range of leggings, tanks, hoodies and more (along with a wide range of sizes).

C9 Champion Texture Leggings, $39.99; at Target

Photo: C9 Champion
C9 Champion
C9 Champion

C9 Champion Plus-Size Performance Tank, $18.99; at Target

Photo: C9 Champion
ADAY
ADAY

An NYC startup with slick collections made for those Saturdays when you go from brunch to barre to boutique-hopping.

Throw it Higher Leggings, $125; at Aday

ADAY
ADAY

Strike it Up Sports Bra, $60; at Aday

Photo: ADAY
Michi
Michi

If your workout style favors all things black, mesh, and strappy, you need to keep this made-in-Canada brand on your radar.

Radiate Legging, $195; at Michi

Photo: Michi
Michi
Michi

Pistol Crop Top, $175; at Michi

Photo: Michi
Varley
Varley

Printed pieces can be chic, too, as this LA line proves on the regular. (Though if you’re a solids fan, it also has plenty of that.)

Biona Ash Python Legging, $100; at Varley

Photo: Varley
Varley
Varley

Vance Nightstalker Bra, $60; at Varley

Photo: Varley
Beyond Yoga
Beyond Yoga

Ten years in, this everything-activewear brand makes pieces that are fun, functional, and never boring—and their collab with Kate Spade is ideal for gym-goers with girlier tastes.

In The Loop Tank, $88; at Beyond Yoga

Photo: Beyond Yoga
Beyond Yoga
Beyond Yoga

Lux Regal High-Waisted Legging, $75; at Beyond Yoga

Photo: Beyond Yoga
Ultracor
Ultracor

You haven't felt leggings like these before; they'll sculpt and shape in all the right places, through Pilates class or a run in the park.

Ultracor Sprinter Silk Turf Legging, $185; at Bandier

Photo: Ultracor
Ultracor
Ultracor

Ultracor Ultra High Silk Slash Leggings, $196; at Bandier

Photo: Ultracor

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20 Out-of-This-World
Appetizers to Help You Kick off Thanksgiving Right
  • Alala
  • Alala
  • The Upside
  • The Upside
  • Without Walls
  • Without Walls
  • Koral
  • Koral
  • Sweaty Betty
  • Sweaty Betty
  • Joe Fresh
  • Joe Fresh
  • Beloforte
  • Beloforte
  • Alo
  • Alo
  • First Base
  • First Base
  • P.E. Nation
  • P.E. Nation
  • C9 Champion
  • C9 Champion
  • ADAY
  • ADAY
  • Michi
  • Michi
  • Varley
  • Varley
  • Beyond Yoga
  • Beyond Yoga
  • Ultracor
  • Ultracor

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