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Every January I take the time to write out some variation of “get a six-pack” on a piece of paper. It almost feels comical as I avoid stomach crunches like the modern-day plague (rona), and most of my meals consist of items from the tip of the food pyramid.
However, I try to get in 30 minutes of movement daily as it has been crucial for my mental health, especially during these isolating times. Whether that be an at-home fitness class, a brisk walk around the neighborhood, or a few chaturanga before bed. It also gives me an excuse to purchase workout clothes without guilt. I mean, if I’m going to be stuck at home I might as well be wearing the perfect two-piece matching set.
These days it seems like a new brand pops up daily, and it can be hard to decide what to purchase. What fabric won’t pill in the wash? What set allows you to breathe while still holding you in? What’s worth the high price point? I decided to investigate this by doing what I do best... online shop to pass the time! Below check out the 8 best activewear brands I’m loving right now alongside the perfect activity to pair them with.
For Grabbing A Smoothie At Erewhon
Every time I go to Erewhon my brain starts strumming up fanfiction — I accidentally knock over ten jars of almond butter and Timothee Chalamet helps me clean up the mess only to fall madly in love with me and my quirky-girl-clumsiness shtick. Obviously, that dream won’t come to fruition if I show up in a ratty workout set. I need to look like I’ve got it all together.
Made in DTLA, these stretchable sets are perfect for anyone who wants it to look like they workout (even if they don’t). All of their products are designed, knitted on an Italia circular knitting machine, sewn, and hand-dyed in house which allows Avocado to oversee the process from start to finish, while cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions in the process. The sports bras are padded, a rare sight to see, and are great for low impact activities. The leggings squeeze your stomach in but don’t leave you gasping for air thanks to their patented waistband design.
- Natural odor control
- Advanced breathability
- Sweat-wicking & quick-drying capabilities
Make a statement in Spiritual Gangsters’ vibrant yet comfortable collection. Inspired by yogis, athletes, artists, and musicians worldwide, the brand stands for living in gratitude, giving back, and choosing kindness. The seamless leggings and crop tops are made of soft nylon that works to sculpt the body and are great for all-day wear. Perhaps the paparazzi stationed outside might confuse you for a real celebrity. Who else looks that good in workout gear?
- For every item sold, proceeds are donated to provide a meal to a person in need through Feeding America.
For Catching Up With A Friend On A Sanity Stroll
There’s nothing like getting out of the house for a long outdoor walk. Naturally, you’ll need something cute to wear in the case that you run into your ex. A very possible scenario considering many of us have retreated to our hometowns to ride out the pandemic.
Lanston’s workout gear is unmatched. Made with high-quality European fabrics, each piece is soft yet durable while offering standard to moderate compression. You’ll look incredibly polished in their wardrobe essentials and you’ll save money, in the long run, considering their products are guaranteed to last you through the test of time.
- Removable bra pads
- Machine washable
- Won't lose shape, resists damage from sunscreen, chlorine, and other external factors
Ethically made, each piece from Girlfriend Collective is made from old plastic bottles, fishing nets, and other waste. The pieces are supportive, buttery soft, and flattering on every body type. These are exactly the kind of basics you’ll feel good about purchasing. Petition to only spend on products that last a lifetime and a half in 2021.
- Inclusivity in both sizing and model casting
- Help divert waste from landfills
- The packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable
For Your At-Home Peloton Class
Just because there’s no one to side-eye your outfits mid studio spin class anymore, doesn’t mean you have to let yourself go completely. For high-intensity workouts, you’ll need a durable set that doesn’t slide off, pill, or chafe between your legs.
Beauty through performance, Ultracor is focused on bringing innovation and sustainability to the fitness X fashion space. Each item is laser cut for a technologically advanced fit and seamless design. The leggings have built-in shapewear to lift the booty and flatten the stomach. On top of that, there’s built-in underwear so no need to worry about the unfortunate panty line. You’ve never looked so good working out before.
- Each item is made in-house in the U.S., so they never overproduce
- Machine washable
- XXS to XL sizing
Technical performance athletic wear gets a glamorous touch-up. P.E. Nation was conceived in Sydney, Australia for the fast-paced urban dweller who religiously wears workout gear from dusk to dawn. The high-rise built-in waistbands offer just the right amount of support for high-intensity classes like spin.
- Moisture-wicking and breathable fabrics
- Site offers Afterpay
- Machine washable
For Making A Statement
We’ve come a long way from black fitness gear designed only for athletes who win gold medals. Now even the kid who scored one goal an entire basketball season (me) gets to rock legit athletic gear with full confidence. With all the options out there, you’ll be feeling your best and showcasing your individuality in no time.
A celebrity favorite, Alo ranks high at the top of many wish lists. If you’re in the mood to add some color to your wardrobe look no further than Alo. Their newest launches, cherry red, and cherry cola add some much-needed joy to a drab winter season and can be seen all over Instagram.
- Always on trend
- Designed & uniquely fit to flatter every size
- Leggings have a front-smoothing panel for commando comfort
Embrace your individuality with Gold Sheeps’ unique athleticwear designs. Think vintage Santa, pink skeleton, rainbows, and vibrant mixed prints. The fabric is a custom blend of lycra and polyester, that keeps its shape and offers a four-way stretch. Perfect for lounging around in or catching a quick yoga class.
- Offers a ton of maternity options
- Hand made in Orange County
- Drops a collection for every major holiday
The Cool Down
Athleticwear has become the American uniform and is versatile enough to suit any activity. But with so many brands out there to choose from it’s easy to fall into a state decision-fatigue. However, once you narrow down what activity you’re shopping for the process gets easier. I hope you find the athleisure inspiration you were looking for in this roundup to conquer 2021!
*this article was written in an avocado sweat set