These Are Our Fashion Team's Favorite Activewear Brands (2023)

These Are Our Fashion Team's Favorite Activewear Brands (1)

Whether you’re a runner, spin junkie, boxer, lifting fanatic, or yogi, you know that the right gear makes alllll the difference between feeling like a superstar during your sweat or fidgeting and adjusting so much that you never quite get in the zone. Heck, you need the right activewear to comfortably run errands, curl up on the couch for the night, or give "business casual" meaning of your own.

Luckily, you've got so much to choose from when it comes to Spandex, sneakers, and sports bras these days. There are tons of activewear brands churning out fun, functional gym clothes for women right now. So many, in fact, that you might have trouble deciding where to purchase your next pair of leggings.

From seamless construction (which means no scratching or chafing) and bold prints to modern metallics and funky cuts, women's activewear has never been more exciting or diverse, according to Hearst Executive Fashion Director Kristen Saladino. Classics like Nike and Lululemon never fail. (Like, have you ever not crushed a workout in their stuff?!) But there are plenty of boutique and indie labels worth investing in too. And if sustainability, size-inclusivity, and budget-friendly designs are top-of-mind, look no further than the list of brands below.

Oh, and don't worry that you'll have to sacrifice function for fashion—not with these lines. Keep scrolling for the activewear brands we just can't get enough of right now because of their high performance (and stylish) designs.



Best All-Around Activewear Brand

There's a reason this sportswear maker is a go-to for athletes. With performance gear for just about every activity (running, tennis, weight lifting, golf, yoga, and more!), the brand always delivers on innovation, from fabric to silhouette. And they do so without requiring you to break the bank in order to buy their designs; you can find sports bras, shorts, and tights for under $50. Of course, the iconic label has you covered from head to toe, with everything from socks to base layers, to weather-ready jackets, too.

Nike also continues to work to be more inclusive by extending sizing options and leading the pack in creating pieces like performance-ready hijabs.



Best Performance Workout Gear

This brand is always setting the bar higher with new technologies and fits. Their cult-favorite Align Pant, which fans love for running, yoga, Pilates, and more, is updated seasonally with new colors and prints. And if you're into super-steamy workouts, their Everlux fabric is insanely cooling and quick-drying.

“I am addicted to my high-rise Lululemon bike shorts,” Saladino says. “I wear them every day on my Peloton bike; they lock you in and feel super breathable, too.”

Yes, the pieces are pricey. But they do go on sale and the brand’s We Made Too Much shop houses tons of popular styles at discounted prices.


All In Motion

Best Budget Gym Clothes For Women

Introducing our top pick for affordable workout clothes. While jackets can creep up in the $80 range, most pieces (think longline crops, contour leggings, and seamless high-support bras) are less than $40.

They also feature tons of performance technology, like moisture-wicking, water-resistant, and four-way stretch fabrics, secure pockets, and flatlock seams to reduce chafing.

Bonus: The brand is working towards becoming as eco-conscious as possible, too. The majority of All In Motion's pieces are currently made with recycled polyester and sustainably-sourced cotton.

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Alo Yoga

Most Celeb-Loved Label

Famous fans of this brand include Hailey Bieber, Gigi Hadid, and Cindy Crawford. Popular items include its Moto and Airbrush leggings, killer sets, and cool jackets and pullovers.

“Alo is always chic, on-trend, and they launch new colors almost monthly,” says Hannah Deely, Hearst Senior Fashion Market Editor. In fact, you can peep Jenna Dewan in Alo on the subscriber cover of the March 2021 issue of WH! (Saladino says Alo is one of her go-to's when styling Women’s Health photoshoots.)


Beyond Yoga

Most Comfortable Women's Activewear Brand

There’s no way around it: When it comes to comfort this activewear brand is really beyond. The label’s signature space-dye fabric is a go-to for yogis and loungers alike, coming in tons of trendy silhouettes, like high-rise leggings (many with pockets), cropped tanks, ballet-inspired wraps, and scrunched tops.

“The space-dye fabric is truly so soft and comfortable! You feel like you’re wearing the softest sweatpants ever,” Deely says. Saladino agrees. "The brand is my go-to for every day, whether I’m working out or lounging around," she adds. "The softest and most buttery fabrics out there!”

What's more: The label has long offered extended sizing and continues to introduce fresh prints, from metallic foil to leopard, and even glossy black, to its collections.


Tory Sport

Best Designer Activewear Brand

Sometimes, a designer touch is precisely what you need to kickstart the motivation, and Tory Sport is the secret sauce for those looking to invest in high-end activewear. From the coolest tie-dye prints to color-blocking and elevated layers (helloooo, fleece), this assortment of workout clothes for women is more than good-looking; it’s highly functional and designed to perform.

Saladino likes its playful approach to activewear, which effortlessly transitions from workout to streetwear.

Pro tip: Don’t sleep on the insulated assortment of puffers, knits, and baselayers, whether you’re a black-diamond badass or après-ski pro.

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Girlfriend Collective

Best Sustainable Gym Clothes For Women

“Just like a BFF, Girlfriend Collective always has your back!" Deely says. The label, known for its sustainable fabrics and inclusive branding offers an extensive size range that goes up to 6X.

In addition to modern staples like pocketed high-rise leggings and square-neck sports bras, they've also got you covered with weightless undies and nostalgic socks—all made from recycled water bottles and organic, sustainable cotton.

Don't miss their loungewear, sweats, and recent gender-neutral collection, either. “Girlfriend won’t disappoint,” Deely promises.


Universal Standard

Most Size-Inclusive Brand For Women's Activewear

Quality plus-size activewear has traditionally been challenging to find, but options are getting better and better. (Same goes for petite sizing, too.) At the helm of the much-needed movement: Universal Standard and its stellar assortment of workout basics like leggings, biker shorts, tops, even onesies. (FYI, the Next-to-Naked bodysuit definitely lives up to its name. It's a soft, breathable dream.)

With sizes running from 4XS to 4XL, this label truly has something for everyone. Oh, and did I mention that supremely cozy athleisure layers are also a-plenty? You're welcome.



Best Prints In Women's Activewear

Half the fun of activewear is donning colors and patterns you might not rock with the rest of your wardrobe. For a best-in-class assortment, look no further than Varley. Clean lines and fashion-forward silhouettes are at the crux of this Los Angeles-based (and London-inspired!) label, all cut from luxurious performance fabrics like their buttery-soft Lolux, four-way stretch Letelux, and quick-drying neoprene.

As for the prints? New styles, from animal motifs to marbling to abstract designs, are constantly dropping. They even have compressive thermal pieces that work well in cold weather and as base layers for winter sports.

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Most Charitable Women's Activewear Brand

This Denver-based brand does more than create affordable (just $45 a pop), squat-proof, and chafe-resistant activewear—though all three factors inspired this newly-launched line. ICONI, an acronym for “I Can Overcome, Nothing’s Impossible,” motivates with a purpose. They donate 10 percent of profits to nonprofit organizations so that every purchase serves founder Angel Johnson’s goal of doing her part to help improve the lives of others.

If that doesn’t hook you, the seamless, moisture-wicking compression sets, available in cute colors like dusty rose and sky blue, ought to. Or, perhaps the fact that the Core High-Rise Leggings made Oprah's Favorite Things in 2020, perhaps?

These Are Our Fashion Team's Favorite Activewear Brands (12)

Laura Lajiness Kaupke

Laura Lajiness Kaupke is a freelance writer and editor covering fashion, accessories, and lifestyle topics, including beauty, home, fitness, and travel. You can see her work across various outlets, including VOGUE, Harper’s BAZAAR, ELLE, Marie Claire, InStyle, Glamour, Esquire, Women’s Health, Brides, The Zoe Report, Popsugar, Refinery 29, Coveteur, Byrdie, Well+Good, The Editorialist, among other titles and brands. Laura has worked in the fashion industry for over 11 years and held senior fashion editor positions at Popsugar and The Zoe Report, with additional experience as a copywriter and fashion publicist.


What makes the best activewear? ›

Polyester: Durable, lightweight, and breathable, Polyester is a common material used in activewear. Many running jackets, sweatpants, and activewear shirts are made from polyester blends. Polyester tends to be fast-drying, making it an ideal material for high-intensity workouts.

What is the meaning of activewear brands? ›

The Oxford dictionary defines activewear as “clothing designed to be worn for sports, exercise, and outdoor activities,” but if that definition feels a bit too narrow to you, you're not the only one.

What do consumers want from activewear? ›

In both the U.S. and globally, consumers choose activewear more for its comfort (67 percent) than its function (9 percent), style (6 percent) , or price ( 11 percent), according to the 2022 Global Activewear Study.

When thinking about active wear athletic clothing what is the first brand that comes to your mind? ›

Nike. Think sportswear, and Nike is bound to be one of the first brands that comes to mind, and for good reason—they've been at the forefront of activewear for decades and are the go-to for athletes around the world.

What is the most popular activewear? ›

According to Roth MKM's 2023 Millennial Survey, Millennials increasingly prioritize health and wellness and favor Nike, Adidas and Lululemon over other activewear brands.

Why is activewear so popular? ›

Activewear is more durable, odor resistant and wrinkle-free. Therefore, more people are wearing them, and more brands are manufacturing them.

What does activewear mean in fashion? ›

Meaning of activewear in English

clothes that are worn for sports or other physical activities: Women's activewear is becoming an important sector of the fashion industry. Fewer examples. They sell activewear, swimwear, and children's clothes.

How many types of activewear are there? ›

Tracksuits, shorts, T-shirts, and polo shirts are examples of common sportswear. Swimsuits (for swimming), wet suits (for diving or surfing), ski suits (for skiing), and leotards are examples of specialty clothing (for gymnastics). Trainers, football boots, riding boots, and ice skates are examples of sports footwear.

What is the difference between sportswear and activewear? ›

“Sportswear” refers to clothes designed specifically for sports purposes, while “activewear” refers to attire or clothes designed for the purpose of transitioning from exercise wear to casual wear.

How do fashion brands attract customers? ›

One of the best ways to attract loyal customers is to offer them discounts and free shipping. These features allow people to save money and allow them to try out the clothing before purchasing it. Many fashion brands also offer loyalty rewards programs that give customers extra benefits for purchasing multiple times.

How do you attract customers to your clothing brand? ›

10 Tips on How You Can Attract Customers to Your Store
  1. Match rates that are offered online: ...
  2. Give the user the choice to buy online and pick it up at the store: ...
  3. Provide stock information online: ...
  4. Promote new offers for new customers: ...
  5. Referrals or bring a friend: ...
  6. Use digital resources for promotion:

What are consumers looking for in brands? ›

  • Authenticity Is Important for Brands. ...
  • Consumers Buy Based on Trust. ...
  • Color Matters for Brand Recognition. ...
  • First Impressions Matter for Your Brand. ...
  • Importance of Brand Consistency. ...
  • Your Brand Needs to Be Transparent. ...
  • Consumers Want Brands to Be Vocal About Social Issues. ...
  • Customer Service Helps Brands to Stand out From the Crowd.
Apr 8, 2023

When did activewear became popular? ›

By the 1970s, athletic fashion was ubiquitous in street culture and grew in popularity in the 1980s from hip hop music videos. By some accounts, the athleisure trend in the 21st century grew out of women wearing yoga pants, and the convenience of wearing clothes for multiple occasions without having to change.

What is sustainable activewear? ›

Frequently asked questions about sustainable activewear

To know if your activewear is sustainable, look for eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, modal, and lyocell, as well as synthetic fabrics made from recycled materials.

What is preferred sportswear brand? ›

Nike Most Popular Sportswear Brand in the U.S., Followed by Lululemon and Adidas, Per Rakuten Study. That's according to a study conducted by Rakuten.

What is a popular fitness trend? ›

HIIT Workouts

This year, traditional HIIT based cardio will continue to rise in popularity. At the same time, more and more people will move their HIIT workouts onto the gym floor as they combine strength training into the HIIT model.

What are the first three brands that come to mind when you think of purchasing athletic apparel for yourself? ›

Whenever workout clothes are discussed, there are four specific brands that come to mind; Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Lululemon. Both Nike and Adidas have been in the game for as long as industry leaders can remember while both Under Armour and Lululemon are relatively newcomers to the market.

What is the name of 1 top sportswear brand? ›

Top athletic brands

Adidas, Puma, and Under Armour are some of Nike's main competitors, as they operate within the same markets. However, Nike's brand value has historically been significantly higher than that of its closest competitor, adidas, and the gap has grown.

How does activewear make you feel? ›

People report feeling fitter, healthier and even more active when wearing activewear, regardless of their actual behaviour". Wearing activewear also eliminates some of the barriers that our minds create to avoid being active, such as having to change clothes, or feeling uncomfortable.

What is the market value of activewear? ›

–The Activewear Market was valued at US$ 412.3 Bn in 2022 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% from 2023 to 2031. Activewear is a product used by consumers who engage in fitness and sports activities.

What is the growth in the activewear market? ›

This statistic shows the size of the activewear market worldwide from 2021 to 2028. In 2022, the size of the global sportswear market amounted to approximately 319.4 billion U.S. dollars. This was forecast to rise to over 450 billion dollars by 2028.

What is an example of activewear? ›

Examples of activewear products include parkas, hoodies, pants, and crew neck fleece sweaters. Activewear may also include accessories and footwear of many varieties. A sportswear performance on the other hand refers to higher activity levels, perhaps in a competitive mode and under extreme climates.

How many activewear brands are there? ›

‍Our analysis tells that there are more than 1,300 activewear brands.

Why is activewear so expensive? ›

If you're like most people, you probably think that gym clothes are expensive because they're made with innovative fabric that helps keep you cool and dry. The truth is, most gym clothes are expensive because they're fashionable. Gym clothes have come a long way in the past few years.

What are the 3 categories of apparel? ›

The broad classification of apparel is: Menswear, Women's wear and Kids wear and others.

How does activewear work? ›

A good workout means working up a sweat, but all that moisture can cling to your skin and make you uncomfortable. That's why activewear consists of moisture-wicking materials that allow your skin to breathe. Beyond keeping you comfortable, activewear helps you regulate your internal body temperature.

What is casual activewear? ›

Both sportswear and activewear are for people with an active lifestyle. Activewear falls between casual wear and sportswear. Sportswear is built specifically for playing sports whereas activewear can also be worn casually. Activewear is made of sustainable fabrics and provides style along with functionality.

What is a synonym for activewear? ›

synonyms for activewear

On this page you'll find 9 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to activewear, such as: athletic clothes, casual wear, leisurewear, leisure wear, playwear, and sport clothes.

What is activewear material called? ›

Sportswear is commonly made from a variety of materials and blends, the most popular includes polyester, nylon, and spandex. These synthetic fibers are lightweight, durable, and moisture-wicking; ideal for activewear. A rising trend is replacing synthetic fibers with recycled and natural fibers.

Is Nike an activewear brand? ›

It is the world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$46 billion in its fiscal year 2022. Nike, Inc. Headquarters near Beaverton, Oregon, U.S.

What makes a brand attractive? ›

Good brand design must do the following:

Build a positive attitude toward the company and the product. Be impressive at first glance (good quality, exciting, relevant). Make people want to work with the company / purchase the product / use the service. Attract the audience and be memorable.

How do fashion brands become successful? ›

They sell an inspirational look

Fashion is art. As other forms of art, the clothes must inspire shoppers. Popular brands don't just sell clothes; they sell stylish looks that inspire people. Sell clothes that appeal to your target audience and stand true to your brand.

Why do customers prefer brands? ›

Customer Loyalty to Brands

Over time, consumers develop loyalty to brands that provide a consistent, high-quality experience. Loyalty is essentially an emotional attachment to a brand. Some car buyers have a strong affinity for the Ford brand, while others have a similar commitment to Chevrolet.

What makes clothing brands unique? ›

What's a fashion brand? A unique fashion brand should speak to a niche in the fashion industry with its own voice and creativity. Having a fashion brand means you have a name in the industry represented by your own special styles and designs.

Is brand enough to attract customers? ›

A consistent brand will attract clients consistently.

This company consistently attracts its target market — moms — to its brands because of brand consistency.

What do consumers value most? ›

Additionally, customers want quick service and good after-sales service, which often leads them to being loyal customers. They also want products with useful and valuable features. In order to be able solve a problem or make a task easier, customers also want products that are tailored to their unique needs.

What value do brands bring to consumers? ›

With the brand as a solution, customers feel empowered to take on challenges in their personal and professional lives. Knowing that they can count on (and trust) the brand to solve problems reduces anxiety and allows the customer to get on with other aspects of their lives.

Why do people choose brands? ›

It's more than a product or even an experience—it's an identity. All things being equal, self-perception and aspiration are often the prevailing factors in choosing one product or brand over another. Creating a strong, enduring customer-brand identity is also a competitive inoculation strategy.

Is the activewear industry growing? ›

The global activewear market size was valued at $425.5 billion in 2022, and is projected to reach $771.8 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2023 to 2032.

Who wear activewear? ›

Activewear is casual and comfortable clothing that is specifically designed for exercise, sports and outdoor pursuits, allowing you to actively and freely move around during strenuous physical activity. You'll typically wear this clothing to a yoga class, the gym, or a daily run.

What is the biggest activewear brand? ›

1. Nike. The American company Nike is the biggest sportswear brand as well as one of the best sneaker brands in the world in 2022 based on popularity and sportswear sales. It is the largest supplier of athletic shoes and sporting apparel and one of the largest manufacturers of sports equipment in the world.

What is sustainable luxury fashion? ›

What is sustainable luxury? Sustainable luxury is a term used to describe the idea that you can have a luxurious lifestyle without having a negative impact on the environment. With sustainable luxury, you can enjoy beautiful clothes, a great home, and healthy food while still protecting the environment.

What makes a sustainable fashion brand? ›

Sustainable fashion, on the other hand, focuses on saving natural resources and reducing pollution and waste. For example, just by swapping conventional cotton with organic cotton production, you could save up to 91% of water and produce 46% less CO2 equivalent emissions.

What is the name of a top fashion brand? ›

Apparel 50 2022 Ranking
23Louis Vuitton
21 more rows

What is the category of sportswear? ›

The key categories in the sportswear market are sports clothing, sports footwear, and sports accessories.

What is a type of sportswear? ›

Typical sport-specific garments include tracksuits, shorts, T-shirts and polo shirts. Specialized garments include swimsuits (for swimming), wet suits (for diving or surfing), ski suits (for skiing) and leotards (for gymnastics). Sports footwear include trainers, football boots, riding boots, and ice skates.

What makes a fabric appropriate for activewear? ›

Sportswear is commonly made from a variety of materials and blends, the most popular includes polyester, nylon, and spandex. These synthetic fibers are lightweight, durable, and moisture-wicking; ideal for activewear. A rising trend is replacing synthetic fibers with recycled and natural fibers.

What to look for when buying sportswear? ›

Fabric Quality

Look for fabric that is specifically labeled “breathable” to increase your chances of staying cool as you sweat. It's also important that the fabric simply feel nice against your skin. If you notice any scratchiness or discomfort, find an alternative.

How do I start an activewear brand? ›

Launch An Activewear Brand In 6 Steps
  1. Starting Up. Idea & Customer Need. ...
  2. Market Research. Market Scan. ...
  3. Branding and Marketing. Activewear Branding. ...
  4. Design Your Collection. Activewear Collection – Define The range. ...
  5. Make your garments. Pattern & Prototype. ...
  6. Sales.

What is luxury activewear? ›

Luxury sportswear is comfortable and made from breathable, stretchy fabrics that allow for ease of movement. But the key difference between luxury and traditional sportswear is those fabrics.

What are the 4 things to consider when choosing fabric? ›

Fortunately, there are a few key factors that people should consider to ensure they make the right choice.
  • The Durability of the Fabric.
  • The Cleanability of the Fabric.
  • The Potential of the Fabric to Fade.
  • Consider the Various Fabric Options.

What are the characteristics of sportswear? ›

Primary categories of performance characteristics of sportswear products. Durability characteristics include strength, stretchability, elastic recovery, abrasion resistance, tear resistance, color fading, body odor resistance and UV resistance.

What type of clothing is appropriate for high impact activities like running or aerobics? ›

High impact workouts like martial arts, jogging and aerobics go perfectly well with moisture wick types of fabrics. Such fabrics have a way of keeping the body really cool and ensuring no moisture is left on the skin which can affect performance.

What do people look for in fitness clothing? ›


Avoid cotton when you are looking for clothes that are intended for high-intensity workouts. Instead, go with shirts and bottoms that are sweat-resistant. Opt for clothing that is made from Under Armor and other reputable brands, so you don't get that added weight once you sweat.

What are the 7 P's for sportswear? ›

Marketing Mix refers to the foundation model of any business which is centred around mainly the 7Ps which are product, price, promotion, place & distribution, people, process and physical evidence.

What color is best for sportswear? ›

Red and blue are widely used in sportswear branding. They're complimentary colors that balance the look of a design.

What is activewear introduction? ›

Activewear is apparel worn for an active lifestyle, and since it allows the transition from exercise to casual wear, this type of garment is fast becoming a niche market for both men and women.

How big is the market for activewear? ›

Active Wear Market Outlook (2022 to 2032)
Active Wear Market CAGR (2022 to 2032)6.4%
Market Size (2022)US$ 421.2 Billion
Market Size (2032)US$ 779.9 Billion


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