The Best Gym Clothes For Women 2021 Leave a comment


fashionable woman wearing jacket with sports clothing against clear sky

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Whether you’re a runner, spin junkie, boxer, lifting fanatic, or yogi, you know that the right gear makes alllll the difference between feeling like a superstar during your sweat or fidgeting and adjusting so much that you never quite get in the zone. Heck, you need the right activewear to comfortably run errands, curl up on the couch for the night, or give “business casual” meaning of your own.

Luckily, you’ve got so much to choose from when it comes to Spandex, sneakers, and sports bras these days. There are tons of activewear brands churning out fun, functional gym clothes for women right now. So many, in fact, that you might have trouble deciding where to purchase your next pair of leggings.

From seamless construction (which means no scratching or chafing) and bold prints to modern metallics and funky cuts, women’s activewear has never been more exciting or diverse, according to Hearst Executive Fashion Director Kristen Saladino. Classics like Nike and Lululemon never fail. (Like, have you ever not crushed a workout in their stuff?!) But there are plenty of boutique and indie labels worth investing in too. And if sustainability, size-inclusivity, and budget-friendly designs are top-of-mind, look no further than the list of brands below.

Oh, and don’t worry that you’ll have to sacrifice function for fashion—not with these lines. Keep scrolling for the activewear brands we just can’t get enough of right now because of their high performance (and stylish) designs.

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1

Nike

Best All-Around Activewear Brand

There’s a reason this sportswear maker is a go-to for athletes. With performance gear for just about every activity (running, tennis, weight lifting, golf, yoga, and more!), the brand always delivers on innovation, from fabric to silhouette. And they do so without requiring you to break the bank in order to buy their designs; you can find sports bras, shorts, and tights for under $50. Of course, the iconic label has you covered from head to toe, with everything from socks to base layers, to weather-ready jackets, too.

Nike also continues to work to be more inclusive by extending sizing options and leading the pack in creating pieces like performance-ready hijabs.

2

Lululemon

Best Performance Workout Gear

This brand is always setting the bar higher with new technologies and fits. Their cult-favorite Align Pant, which fans love for running, yoga, Pilates, and more, is updated seasonally with new colors and prints. And if you’re into super-steamy workouts, their Everlux fabric is insanely cooling and quick-drying.

“I am addicted to my high-rise Lululemon bike shorts,” Saladino says. “I wear them every day on my Peloton bike; they lock you in and feel super breathable, too.”

Yes, the pieces are pricey. But they do go on sale and the brand’s We Made Too Much shop houses tons of popular styles at discounted prices.

3

All In Motion

Best Budget Gym Clothes For Women

Introducing our top pick for affordable workout clothes. While jackets can creep up in the $80 range, most pieces (think longline crops, contour leggings, and seamless high-support bras) are $40.

They also feature tons of performance technology, like moisture-wicking, water-resistant, and four-way stretch fabrics, secure pockets, and flatlock seams to reduce chafing.

Bonus: The brand is working towards becoming as eco-conscious as possible, too. The majority of All In Motion’s pieces are currently made with recycled polyester and sustainably-sourced cotton.

4

Alo Yoga

Most Celeb-Loved Label

Famous fans of this brand include Hailey Bieber, Gigi Hadid, and Cindy Crawford. Popular items include its Moto and Airbrush leggings, killer sets, and cool jackets and pullovers.

“Alo is always chic, on-trend, and they launch new colors almost monthly,” says Hannah Deely, Hearst Senior Fashion Market Editor. In fact, you can peep Jenna Dewan in Alo on the subscriber cover of the March 2021 issue of WH! (Saladino says Alo is one of her go-to’s when styling Women’s Health photoshoots.)

5

Beyond Yoga

Most Comfortable Women’s Activewear Brand

There’s no way around it: When it comes to comfort this activewear brand is really beyond. The label’s signature space-dye fabric is a go-to for yogis and loungers alike, coming in tons of trendy silhouettes, like high-rise leggings (many with pockets), cropped tanks, ballet-inspired wraps, and scrunched tops.

“The space-dye fabric is truly so soft and comfortable! You feel like you’re wearing the softest sweatpants ever,” Deely says. Saladino agrees. “The brand is my go-to for every day, whether I’m working out or lounging around,” she adds. “The softest and most buttery fabrics out there!”

What’s more: The label has long offered extended sizing and continues to introduce fresh prints, from metallic foil to leopard, and even glossy black, to its collections.

6

Tory Sport

Best Designer Activewear Brand

Sometimes, a designer touch is precisely what you need to kickstart the motivation, and Tory Burch is the secret sauce for those looking to invest in high-end activewear. From the coolest tie-dye prints to color-blocking and elevated layers (helloooo, fleece). this – assortment of workout clothes for women is more than good-looking; it’s highly functional and designed to perform.

Saladino likes its playful approach to activewear, which effortlessly transitions from workout to streetwear.

Pro tip: Don’t sleep on the insulated assortment of puffers, knits, and baselayers, whether you’re a black-diamond badass or après-ski pro.

7

Girlfriend Collective

Best Sustainable Gym Clothes For Women

“Just like a BFF, Girlfriend Collective always has your back!” Deely says. The label, known for its sustainable fabrics and inclusive branding offers an extensive size range that goes up to 6X.

In addition to modern staples like pocketed high-rise leggings and square-neck sports bras, they’ve also got you covered with weightless undies and nostalgic socks—all made from recycled water bottles and organic, sustainable cotton.

Don’t miss their loungewear, sweats, and recent gender-neutral collection, either. “Girlfriend won’t disappoint,” Deely promises.

8

Universal Standard

Most Size-Inclusive Brand For Women’s Activewear

Quality plus-size activewear has traditionally been challenging to find, but options are getting better and better. (Same goes for petite sizing, too.) At the helm of the much-needed movement: Universal Standard and its stellar assortment of workout basics like leggings, biker shorts, tops, even onesies. (FYI, the Next-to-Naked bodysuit definitely lives up to its name. It’s a soft, breathable dream.)

With sizes running from 4XS to 4XL, this label truly has something for everyone. Oh, and did I mention that supremely cozy athleisure layers are also a-plenty? You’re welcome.

9

Varley

Best Prints

Half the fun of activewear is donning colors and patterns you might not rock with the rest of your wardrobe. For a best-in-class assortment, look no further. Clean lines and fashion-forward silhouettes are at the crux of this Los Angeles-based (and London-inspired!) label, all cut from luxurious performance fabrics like their buttery-soft Lolux, four-way stretch Letelux, and quick-drying neoprene.

As for the prints? New styles, from animal motifs to marbling to abstract designs, are constantly dropping. They even have compressive thermal pieces that work well in cold weather and as base layers for winter sports.

10

ICONI

Most Charitable Women’s Activewear Brand

This Denver-based brand does more than create affordable (just $45 a pop), squat-proof, and chafe-resistant activewear—though all three factors inspired this newly-launched line. ICONI, an acronym for “I Can Overcome, Nothing’s Impossible,” motivates with a purpose. They donate 10 percent of profits to nonprofit organizations so that every purchase serves founder Angel Johnson’s goal of doing her part to help improve the lives of others.

If that doesn’t hook you, the seamless, moisture-wicking compression sets, available in cute colors like dusty rose and sky blue, ought to. Or, perhaps the fact that the Core High-Rise Leggings made Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2020, perhaps?

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