Garments made for active lifestyles have evolved in the last five years. They’ve gone from just gym clothes to statement pieces that reflect aspiration. Well-fitting leggings that hug the body in all the right places now gather just as many compliments (and Instagram likes) as a chic cocktail dress. Sport bras and tank tops have also gained access to other areas of life outside of the fitness studio, yoga mat or track. Joggers, once upon a time regarded as a fashion pariah, have been reimagined as staples for the cool, jet-setting pack.
The workout sets I’ve invested in since falling heads over heels with yoga, pilates and spinning, continue to take a lead role in my daily wardrobe. And this is not to say I’ve stayed faithful to the exercise regimen. If anything, a trusty pair of leggings from Alo, my favorite Port de Bras sports bra, and softer-than-clouds joggers from Vuori are garments I am inclined to pull out from the closet on the daily. They are easy to mix and match, dress up or down. Most importantly, athleisure wear as a fashion statement has proven to be a model of both function and form.
Athleisure wear is just as essential for summer travel as a swimsuit and maxi dress. This holds true even for travel itineraries that do not include exercise. On a very recent spa retreat to Malaysia–the first international trip since the pandemic broke–I was eager to give summer dresses sitting in the closet for years out for a spin. But it was a plush jogger set made using recycled fishing nets from LEZE that was most utilized. The soft shade of oat and seamless cut presented itself as the ideal ensemble for an 8-hour journey. It was also an easy yet stylish option for jumping in and out of spa treatments.
With summer travel pre-occupying our days, it makes perfect sense to update the wardrobe not just with flowy dresses and sleek maillots, but a few key athleisure garments as well. Whether it be for squeezing in a sweat sesh while in the Maldives or walking up for an early run before exploring the streets of Mallorca, there is always room and reason to include workout wear in this season’s summer wardrobe.
Vuori: Back In The Courts with Tennis Core
Tennis core has been around for sometime now and continues to inspire a return to the courts. If following the grand slam or hanging around the tennis club is highon the agenda this year, consider VUORI’s Court Collection. It reimagines the classic tennis dress, preppy polo, and skirt with the brand’s BreatheInterlock™ performance stretch fabric and seamless cut. You’ll love how every piece immediately lends your look with polish and timeless elegance.
Set Active: A Collector’s Item For Athleisure Enthusiasts
Founded in 2017 by social media maven Lindsey Carter, SET ACTIVE has gained a cult following among fashion athleisure enthusiasts. I’ve personally only tried the brand’s pieces this year, and realized that I was missing out. The brand’s limited edition Set’s 4th Birthday Collection showcases comeback colors and styles long missed by SET ACTIVE’s style community. It was as good a place as any for finding truly well-made, impeccably fitting garments that you know would last for ages. Eyes were immediately drawn to a pair of bright bike shorts in a shade the brand calls Palm and a one shoulder sports bra in Twilight. They were pieces added to cart for outdoors workouts and a quick cocktail after a weekend of errands.
GIGI C Sport: From Gym Buddy To Glamor Goddess
GIGI C was first known for creating swimwear for the quintessential glamazon. When the brand expanded to the sport category, its signature cuts and silhouettes were translated into activewear pieces. The result, versatile yet striking pieces that can go from coffee to Crossfit and later in the day, cocktails. Details precision laser cutouts done on novelty silky scuba fabrics heightened comfort for all-day wear. They also recall memorable designs straight off the runways that have forever changed the sartorial world. Summer’s favorites? The Annabelle Bra Top and Katrina Legging in a bright shade called Marine.
Sorel X prAna: Activewear For Moving, Wandering Souls
Pieces from prAna are always aligned with its mission of creating “clothing for positive change.” They made zero compromises when it comes to our planet, elevating style, and supporting performance. And the same mindset continues to inform the brand as it partnered with like-minded label, SOREL. Their collaboration saw the birth of a limited-edition collection of footwear and activewear. Every piece utilizes recycled polyester and nylon, while shoes are made with materials containing excess algae. Movement and function informs the design details that tie the collection together–from the color blocking to the wide bands and back pockets. It’s the kind of ensemble I can imagine wearing during a summer filled with adventure.
Rudsak: Athleisure With A Cool Rebellious Spirit
RUDSAK is a 28-year-old fashion brand from Montreal, Canada that was born out of a love for the iconic black leather jacket. It recently expanded its product range to include activewear, which features high gloss fabrics that resemble the cool leather pant. Pocket details, drawstrings and contrast stripes add street style elements–the kind that has been beloved by the fashion world for eras now.
Port de Bras: Turning Checkerboard Prints Intoo A Classic
During a recent online trunk show at MODA OPERANDI, soulful athleisure label PORT DE BRAS showcased the Damas Collection. Key pieces include bra tops and leggings that explore colorful contrasts through wave prints and handmade checkerboard patterns. In true Port de Bra form, matching sets are head turners–whether at the gym, running around town, or while on holiday. This is why the brand is an immediate go-to for updating a wardrobe. Individual activewear garments like the Damas Top present endless possibilities for styling a distinctive summer look. It works beautifully with a bikini bottom, a pair of shorts, a maxi skirt, or even, the season’s requisite flared trousers.