Now that the defining lines between athletic wear, loungewear, and relaxed after-hours wear have been blurred to soft smudges, searching for the best athleticwear is a triple play. In 2022, everything lives beyond the gym, the studio, or, of course, the yoga mat.
Designer collabs and ballet-all-day layers are leading activewear’s metamorphosis as we twirl toward a new year. Alo Yoga’s ability to make a disco-themed leotard feel polished enough for a night out while perfectly suited for a barre class is part of the reason why the fitness brand has become a favorite of highly lensed megastars from Hailey Bieber to Kendall Jenner. Adidas, meanwhile, has become the house to watch for collaborations, whether it’s Sporty & Rich’s chilled-out classics or Gucci’s runway-blessed collection. And now that the fashion world is embracing an après ski ’70s revival, dress to thrill in the latest pieces from Moncler, or give Free People’s latest collection for the slopes a whirl.
Here, a running tally of the emerging, essential, and delightfully useful brands making some of the best activewear in the game to shop and infinitely style.
Associated with supermodels like Candice Swanepoel (who hosts a series of digital workouts for the brand) and the Hadid sisters, Alo Yoga’s designs are exactly the kind of athletic wear you’ll see in celebrities-in-the-wild paparazzi shots and yoga classes alike.
The Burch brand has tennis whites (or, for its latest collection, neutrals like olive and navy) and on-court accessories baked into its DNA. Its best-sellers blend Coolmax® EcoMade fibers with classic silhouettes for preppy staples that feel safe to break a sweat in.
Whether it’s their new Goop collaboration that you’re eying or a classic tennis skirt (it was the brand’s founder, René Lacoste, who developed a ball-throwing machine for training and invented the polo shirt, after all), Lacoste’s sporty classics are designed to carry you from the competition to the club.
Lululemon’s leggings and contoured outerwear have become legendary amongst fitness buffs. A new scuba collection offers oversize essentials for land, not sea. And still, there are accessories to be discovered, like insulated gloves that still allow you to swipe on your phone.
Moncler has, of late, become one of the most forward-looking fashion houses for activewear. Their quick-to-disappear pieces are bestsellers on high-fashion platforms like Moda Operandi and favored by lifetime skiers like women’s designer fashion and editorial director of Nordstrom, Rickie de Sole.
Earlier this year, Sporty & Rich founder Emily Oberg launched her brand’s comfy sweats and basics with The Sunset Tower Hotel as part of the cult hotel merch movement. Now, she expands her collaborative instincts with an Adidas capsule destined for collectors’ wardrobes.
For its Adicolour Heritage collection, Adidas partners with the Better Cotton Initiative to support sustainable cotton farming – and create colourful bestsellers like sweater vests and cardigans in candy-bright shades.
These Raquel leggings by Splits59 have become insider favorites for their body-friendly fabric and silhouette (they’re somehow always in the right place at the right time). Tech flex sports bras and jackets or featherlight tennis staples can be mixed to match the day’s class.
Co-founder Robyn Berkley left a career in fashion to get a yoga certification in Bali that eventually led her back to fashion — this time, using conscious fibers and production methods to create Live The Process. Think hi-tech fabrics with a ballet-pretty aesthetic.
In apparel, Nike’s figured out the sweet spot for high-performance fitness pieces that masquerade as real clothes. Aside from cozy sweats and puffers, their DRI-Fit tech, featured in compression pieces, is thinner (and somehow stronger) than traditional stretch yarns for a featherlight touch that lets you move more freely.
Beyond Yoga has become a surprising cult hit for its jumpsuit and bodysuit skills, with top-rated designs beloved by its customers. Plus, they’ve figured out how to create slick maternity options that mix comfort with style.
Girlfriend Collective considers all bodies in their process with extended sizing, then goes a step further to offer an eco recipe for each piece. For example, their oft-sold-out bike unitard diverts 26 water bottles from landfills, while their Dylan bra diverts 12.
Along with flattering lines, the body-sculpting Compression Texture material that Outdoor Voices utilise in their designs makes head-to-toe spandex look easy. For their newest collection, stirrup tights and wrap tops usher the brand indoors, to ballet class.
For streamlined basics, FP Movement makes it easy. With their new ski staples, they bring a fresh perspective to printed, insulated sets and a snowsuit sure to double as a cold-weather wardrobe workhorse for running errands and more.
Koral’s high-shine fits and laser-cut details bring an element of futurism to the fitness space. Mock-neck crop tops and bike shorts deliver high-functioning wardrobe staples beyond the class.
Hovering in that space between fashion and fitness, Monse’s brightly layered sports bras, logo bodysuits, and bike shorts deliver a kind of ’90s nostalgia.
P.E Nation creates streetwear with an activewear soul. Designed to look its best in any setting, their garments stand the test when it comes to the demands of vigorous exercise. Shop by workout to source the items that suit your needs.