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While working out in a pair of beat-up sweats and an old muscle tank is probably the most logical ensemble choice for a sweat-soaked Soul Cycle class or even just a stair master sesh, there’s something to be said about the correlation between putting on a flattering fitness-ready outfit and conjuring the motivation required to actually make it out the door (because, frankly, that’s the hardest part, right?)
Actually, I’ve even been known to make it out the door and to the gym’s parking lot armored in a pair of sweat-wicking performance leggings and my trusty training shoes, only to sit in my car for an hour mindlessly scrolling through Instagram out of pure laziness, only to miss my scheduled workout sesh altogether. Oops, I did again. While many of us have made the transition from working out at the gym or studio to our living rooms or backyards, finding the motivation to get going even if zero travel is required) can still be a challenge.
Of course, what you wear to work out really shouldn’t matter in theory. After all, you’re exercising to release those much-needed endorphins, blow off some post-workday steam, and most of all, to sweat. But if you’re at all like me, when I wear something I look kind of cute in, I also feel more confident —and, sometimes, even more, energized — to get the darn thing done. And, if you’re the brunch-to-barre type of person, or simply someone who isn’t blessed with an unlimited amount of time to go straight from the gym to your own shower after each session (hey, sometimes you need to pick up groceries post-workout), opting for a more fashion-friendly fitness look makes complete sense.
Activewear attire has come a long way over the past decade — even since Lululemon’s game-changing Wunder Unders hit the scene years and years ago, elevating the activewear market forever by offering avid gym-goers who also like to feel cute in the process, a wide range of figure-flattering options. Nowadays, activewear designs follow the same trends (prints, cuts, and design details) as regular apparel, and I am seriously here for this sartorial shift. Scroll through below to check out my favorite places to find seriously chic activewear staples online.
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Bandier’s vast selection of elevated activewear staples —including luxe brands and designer collabs—is hard to compete with. While price points tend to be on the steep side of the spectrum, there are plenty of affordable hidden gems to shop as well.
WEWOREWHAT Lace-Up Leggings
I didn’t realize activewear could be this sexy.
Tularosa Crew Sweatshirt
A dash of retro with a contemporary touch (oh, and pink).
That’s right — your favorite eco-friendly and sustainable cool-girl label has finally dropped an activewear line, and yes, Ref Active is just as cute as you expected.
Reformation Emmy Ecostretch Jumpsuit
Jumpsuits are the biggest activewear trend of 2021, so how could REF not get in on it?
Reformation Ecomove High-Rise Leggings
These uber-flattering high-waisted leggings come in the chicest colorways (like the pretty blush pink pictured above) and are 100 percent squat-proof.
Featuring a selection of flattering, ethically-made, and size-inclusive activewear basics, Girlfriend’s selection is perfect for the minimalist who appreciates on-trend colorways and practical design details.
Tart High-Rise Pocket Legging
These functional pocket leggings are perfect for outdoor runners.
Limestone Classic Puffer Jacket
Perfect for pilates or an outdoor date-night picnic.
Koral’s luxe athleisure staples borrow from current fashion trends reworked with performance-enhancing fabrics and designs to upgrade your next workout, whether you’re a runner, cycler, or circuit-training junkie.
Lustrous High-Rise Legging
These crocodile-effect leggings take the faux leather pant trend to the next level.
Adora Zebra Sweatshirt
Tiger prints are officially the new leopard.
A celebrity favorite (Jennifer Aniston calls their Zero Gravity leggings her favorite pair), Sweat Betty’s selection of chic squat-proof performance wear is not to be missed.
Black Daisy Zero Gravity Leggings
The best-selling Zero Gravity Leggings are the ultimate butt-lifting bottom missing in your lineup.
A chic post-workout pullover is a must for chilly weather.
Nordstrom recently debuted their new activewear microsite, chock-full of chic fitness leggings, running shoes, accessories, and even workout gadgets.
Free People ‘You’re a Peach’ Jumpsuit
A full-length leotard, but make it fashion.
ALO Yoga Foxy Faux Fur Jacket
The perfect cold-weather brunch-to-bare outerwear piece.
Not only does this chic activewear brand launch super stylish colorways, designs, and prints, but they’re also a 1% for the Planet member, which means that the brand donated 1 percent of their sales to environmental and sustainability causes every year. Plus, Wolven is also Climate Neutral Certified and committed to helping to offset carbon emissions produced in the manufacturing, shipping, and operation of their business. How cool is that?
Wolven Crossover Pocket Legging
The crossover legging trend officially took over TikTok a few months ago, but this viral trend is still going strong.
Wolven Pocket Bike Shorts
These super flattering bike shorts are designed with a pocket, so they’re perfect for any outdoor workout when you want to bring your keys, phone, and other small essentials along.
You probably already know that Shopbop is a prime destination for scoring chic apparel, shoes, and accessories, but you may be surprised that they have an impressive activewear collection too.
Donni Waffle Knit Shorts
You’ll want to wear these nonstop.
Beyond Yoga Tossed Star Legging
This style-forward activewear brand is one under-the-radar line you definitely need on your radar. Each of the brand’s figure-flattering pieces is structured and designed by a woman, with an emphasis on fit and comfort.
Electric Yoga Python Leggings
These second-skin python-effect leggings could not be any chicer if they tried. They’re also ridiculously comfy and opaque — trust me, I own a pair.
Star Light, Star Bright Leggings
The star print trends has officially made its way to fitness attire, y’all, and I am ~so~ here for it.
Sure, you probably already know about Lululemon’s ridiculously stylish and flattering activewear, but the list simply wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the O.G. style-forward fitness apparel label.
Swiftly Tech 1/2 Zip 2.0 Cool Top
This one of the brand’s best-sellers and I could not be more in love with this gorgeous mustard hue.
Wunder Under High-Rise Luxtreme Tights
This iconic activewear staple changed the legging game.