Work, Sweat, Live - The Style that Suits it all.
There's no better way to fall in love with a workout than to do it wearing cute clothes. I truly believe that if you are wearing gym clothes that you feel strong and powerful in, that spirit will translate into whatever activity you are doing. The self-conscious feeling you experience when bumping into an old classmate or sweating buckets in front of strangers is muted when you feel confident in your outfit. It turns exercise from a chore into something to bragging right; wellness is the new luxury, and your spin class the new runway.
The trouble is finding those key pieces that make up the backbone of your athleisure wardrobe. Each item must tick all the boxes: comfortable enough to sweat in, cute enough to brunch in, supportive enough to keep everything in the right places and practical enough that you'll actually wear it to the gym. Unfortunately, nowadays the market is saturated with athleisure items that are more street chic than sweat ready. Would you really want to do a Bootcamp in a bra that you spent $250 on? Or run through dirty paths in shoes that cost more than a month's rent? Probably not. So, I've decided to share with you some of my favourite brands that meet those 4 essential requirements.
I love OV. I love their branding, I love their colours and, most importantly, I love their product. I don't love that they only ship in the US, but that's for another time.
Outdoor Voices is an American brand that has a selection of athleisure wear that you can wear for any form of recreation. The fabric is thick and flexible, perfect for yoga or small group fitness classes, but durable and supportive for HIIT routines, spinning and running. The material keeps everything in (even that thigh jiggle) so nothing feels out of place or out of control. It also masterly shields sweat - so you could feel like you lost all of your body's water resources without looking like it.
I recommend the Rec Kit - a customizable selection of the signature pieces from OV. You get a top and a bottom (I like the Athena Crop and the matching leggings - see far left) for $100.
Remember the girl at school who is a couple of years older but light-years cooler than everyone else. They seem to be ahead of the trend, make every outfit look effortlessly chic and does really really well. That is what Bandier is. Their website hosts various luxury activewear brands. The price points do seem high, but the design and curation of the clothing are unparalleled. This is where you go for your #inspo, and maybe when you save up for a couple of months, your big splurge. Just make sure to wear those star leggings every single chance you get.
My most recent purchase was a pair of Lilybod leggings and I don't go a day without wearing them (unless they're still in the laundry. And then it's a sad day because I can't wear them). The material is thick but it feels like an extra layer of skin. The sweat control and breathability of the fabric is great - it doesn't manifest itself into the material if you can't get out of them right away, even though I'd highly suggest doing so because hygiene is #cleanaf. The designs make it hard to transition these into every day living but are great if you've committed to looking like Sporty Spice.
Everything we hoped IVY PARK would be.
P.E. Nation is fun. It's youthful. It's definitely athletic. It's Alex Wang meets Stella by Adidas. It's what you'd expect the fashionable jocks to wear as they dash between classes at NYU or UCLA. It's that ultimate fit vibe that Beyonce has, but her line IVY PARK doesn't. (Sorry to bash on you, IVY PARK, but the quality of your clothes is awful. I doubt Beyonce wear it). This is the kind of line that you wear for athletic street chic vibes, but if you get invited to a yoga class or SLT, or need to jog to the appointment you're late for, it's a no-biggy.
These are the brands I've been gushing over lately. Let us know your faves in the comment below or slide into our DMs.