The best workout clothes for Women

With the right clothes, you’ll actually want to get to the gym and show off your style before meeting friends for a much-deserved drink afterward. Sweaty Betty makes our favorite workout gear for women that’s as functional as it is fashion-forward.
Faking it until you make it becomes a lot easier when you look the part. So when it comes to feigning enjoyment at the gym, you’re going to need some gear to get yourself in character. Luckily, there are plenty of options these days to help you look as though you’re ready for the toughest kickboxing session, because who better to motivate you than the person staring back at you in the mirror?

One of our favorite aspects of today’s workout gear for women is that it’s no longer relegated to the spinning studio or the weight room. Rather, some of our favorite options will take you from barre class to the neighborhood bar, and have the technology to ensure that you don’t have to worry about sweat stains or smells when you make that transition. With moisture-wicking fabric, cleverly-placed mesh panels, and thoughtful cut-outs, much of today’s athletic clothing is truly meant for athletic pursuits. It’s a far cry from our days of grabbing the oldest shirt in our closet, cutting off the sleeves, and calling it a top.

When it comes to figuring out what workout gear will best suit your needs, listen to your body. After all, it’ll be your primary tool during your workouts, so if you’re uncomfortable in any way, everything else is moot. You’ll also want to consider the type of workout you’re most likely to engage in. If you prefer running to yoga, you’ll be in need of different support.

You’ll also want to keep durability in mind. You’re not only putting your workout gear through the ringer at the gym, but you’re also going to be putting it through the laundry quite a few times. So even if you’re able to save a few dollars on the initial purpose by buying something that’s a bit flimsier, you’ll have to exercise your credit card again when you find your gear starting to rip after a few cycles.

Finally, of course, price comes into consideration. Given that most workout gear doubles as everyday attire these days, you can (to some extent) think of these pieces as serving two purposes for the price of one. That said, there are some options that are more costly than others, so your budget may be a determining factor.

Read on in the slides below to learn why Sweaty Betty makes our favorite workout clothes and why you might also like workout clothes by ADAY, Live the Process, Vuori, Bandier, Nike, and Old Navy.
The best workout clothes overall
The best workout clothes overall
Sweaty Betty/Facebook
Why you’ll love it: Sweaty Betty makes workout gear that can withstand a tough time at the gym and take you out into society without breaking a sweat.
Much of today’s workout gear seems so focused on taking you seamlessly from barre to the bar that it forgets its primary function — being functional during your workout. But that is certainly not the case with Sweaty Betty.

As this brand’s name suggests, you’ll be able to perspire in these workout clothes without getting uncomfortable, and more importantly, you’ll feel supported throughout your time at the gym.

Sweaty Betty’s Zero Gravity leggings are made of ultra-lightweight Italian fabric, which is both sweat-wicking and quick drying for even your most intense sessions. Plus, the leggings are muscle-compressing to help you get even more out of your workout. They’re great for just about any type of exercise, whether you prefer to spend your time spinning or doing a HIIT class.

And while all those squats will certainly help shape your bum, so too will these leggings. A super satisfied customer gave a five-star review, commending the “very flattering” print and the pocket that is perfect for holding your smartphone during your run.

When paired with the High-Intensity Run Bra, you’ll feel prepared to spend your whole day actively. The high support sports bra features sweat-wicking fabric, and more importantly, extremely comfortable soft padded straps that won’t bite into sensitive skin. While some “sports” bras seem suitable only for rather anaerobic activities, the High Intensity Run Bra was designed for running and HIIT workouts. Popsugar also calls this bra one of the best for women with larger busts.

Both pieces are sleek and stylish but don’t sacrifice their usefulness for the sake of aesthetics. Sweaty Betty also makes our favorite running tights for the gym and many other great leggings and sport bras.

Pros: Quick drying material, snug fit, great for any type of workout

Cons: Some customers found that the High Intensity Run Bra does not provide enough side coverage

Buy the Zero Gravity Leggings for $135
Buy the High Intensity Run Bra for $65
Shop all Sweaty Betty workout gear
The best workout clothes that fit in at the office
The best workout clothes that fit in at the office
Why you’ll love it: Workout clothes from ADAY look just as appropriate for the office as they do for your morning yoga session.
If you don’t want to carry around three outfits for before, during, and after the gym, ADAY may be the solution for you. The Smoke It Up Bra and Crop And Roll Leggings can be worn in just about any scenario.

ADAY is all about simplicity and seeks to create fabrics and clothing that are multipurpose, long-lasting, and sustainable. The Crop And Roll are the best if you’re looking for something to take to your workout. Made of material that is quick drying, sweating wicking, sun cream and oil resistant, these leggings also feature an elastic waistband with an adjuster that can make the fit tighter or looser.

Thanks to the slightly cropped length, you won’t feel encumbered as you run, duck, and jump. But once you’re done at the gym, simply pair these leggings with a nice pair of pumps, and they’ll be ready for the office. With details like the gunmetal snaps, these leggings are just as much a statement piece as they are sweat-appropriate.

The Today Show called ADAY leggings “trendy” but “incredibly functional,” while Refinery 29 said simply, “straight up, they look really good.”

The Smoke It Up Bra is made of an Italian fabric that wicks moisture, and also features mesh panels for extra breathability. If you always find yourself dabbing at your cleavage, this may be the choice for you. I’m particularly taken by the A-shaped cutout in the back — not only does it help alleviate heat buildup, but it’s also an attractive design detail.

Really, this is one sports bra you wouldn’t mind to have peeking through your shirt. As Huffington Post noted, this bra’s “fashionable back details … make it perfect for layering under regular clothes.”

Pros: Comfortable, versatile, with many neutral color options for a wide range of occasions

Cons: The Smoke It Up Bra only offers medium support

Buy the Crop and Roll Leggings for $135
Buy the Smoke It Up Bra for $55
Shop all ADAY clothes

The best workout gear for the ethical yogi
The best workout gear for the ethical yogi
Live the Process
Why you’ll love it: Live the Process’ workout gear is not only comfortable, but it’s eco-friendly, too.
Live the Process produces simple, beautiful clothes that just might kickstart your entire wellness journey. Founded by a certified yoga instructor, Live the Process isn’t so much a clothing store as it is a wellness brand.

Despite its relatively new status on the scene (it launched just a few years ago in 2014), it’s already a mainstay in a number of retailers across the country (and the web), including Barney’s and Net-a-Porter.

All of Live the Process’ pieces are ethically produced in the United States, and the company promises to employ careful practices throughout the supply chain to reduce its environmental impact, including using recycled (and recyclable) packaging and carbon-neutral shipping. So not only will you look and feel good in your workout clothes, but you’ll feel good about yourself, too.

Live the Process’ Bra is a classic and classy answer to the traditional sports bra, providing full coverage across both your chest and your back.

The leggings are certainly great to wear to the gym, but you’ll also want to wear them all day long. Indeed, founder Robyn Berkley told the Observer, all of Live the Process’ clothes are meant to “make you feel beautiful and motivated,” not distract you with unnecessary bells and whistles.

Customers have sung the praises of the wellness brand as well, particularly calling out the “very good quality” of the bra and leggings’ material, which has four-way stretch, is breathable, moisture wicking, and water and wind repellent.

Pros: Simple, clean lines with straightforward design and serious comfort

Cons: These are pricey articles of clothing, even if you are looking to go from the gym to the office

Buy Live the Process leggings on Net-a-Porter for $110
Buy Live the Process sports bras on Net-a-Porter for $120
Shop Live the Process on Net-a-Porter
The best workout gear for adventures outdoors
The best workout gear for adventures outdoors
Why you’ll love it: If you’re looking to work out outside, you can’t go wrong with Vuori.
Headquartered in Encinitas, just a quick jog away from the beach, it’s no surprise that Vuori derives its inspiration from the Californian lifestyle of sun and surf. And with clothing that is truly made for the outdoors, you’ll have no problem going from your morning yoga session on the beach to an afternoon surf appointment, and everything in between.

Founded by former Dolce & Gabanna model Joe Kudia, it’s no wonder that Vuori certainly has its design cues down pat. Take, for example, the Altitude Sports Bra, which looks more like a chic top than something you’d wear on a run. Luckily, you can do both with this comfortable piece, which comes in a flattering eggplant or heather grey shade.

Quick-drying and moisture-wicking, the Altitude Sports Bra features a classic crew cut, with a back that looks just as stylish as the front. My favorite thing about the bra is that it extends quite a bit below the bust, which makes it perfect for a shirtless run or yoga practice.

You can pair the bra with the Performance Jogger, made of a light-weight moss jersey fabric that is breathable, moisture wicking, quick drying, and four-way stretching for the ultimate in flexibility. There’s a tiny pocket in the inside of the waistband that you can use to secure your phone, credit card, or keys during a workout, although to be perfectly honest, you’ll probably do a lot more than just exercise in these joggers.

As one happy customer noted on the Vuori website, “I bought these pants tonight and all I can think of is calling in sick to work tomorrow so I can stay home read a book, lounge around, all while wearing these pants. The fabric is amazing!”

The easy styling of Vuori is part of what sets the brand apart. While its clothes are meant to sweat in, they’re also meant to easily transition into the rest of your life as well. As Kudia told Apparel News, “In coastal California, people are going to yoga in the morning, surfing in the afternoon and then meeting friends. [Vuori] is aspirational coastal California performance clothing.”

Yelp reviewers are a big fan of the physical store in California, with one user noting, “I love the women’s shorts and new sports bras…And the JOGGERS! Don’t even get me started on the joggers. The women’s line is getting better every day!”

Pros: Soft, moisture-wicking material, easy transition from the gym to everyday life, simple and minimal design

Cons: Some reviewers note that the joggers may not be flattering due to the elastic waistband

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Lulu Chang, Insider Picks

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