Fit To Win — You’ll Be Sweatin’ These Activewear Apparel Picks
Immediately following the arrival of a new calendar year, those of us in the Northeast braced ourselves for a rather abrasive blizzard that reminded us that, while we may be kicking off 2014, we’re right in the throws of the winter season and all its icy, frigid, frosty brutality. If you find yourself snowed in, you may be frustrated about having to delay that new exercise regimen you planned on jumpstarting — or, for that matter, signing that gym membership as you had vowed to do. But don’t be discouraged — once the winter storm subsides, roads are plowed, and sidewalks are shoveled, then dusted with sand and salt, you’ll be back in business. And, if you need a bit of extra motivation to get in the gym — and, more importantly, stay there — consider picking up a few quality activewear pieces that you’ll actually be excited to don. From figure-hugging yoga pants with foldover waistbands to fast-drying tights with futuristic digital prints, fashion-forward tanks with built-in bras, and moisture-wicking hoodies with creative zipper and pocket details, these fitness fashions are as practical as they are playful.
Adidas by Stella McCartney Run Nylon Jacket, $180. Available at Adidas.com
Since teaming up with Adidas nearly a decade ago, Stella McCartney has designed some of the most exciting athletic gear to date, pieces that are so hip, so street-ready, that even the ultimate couch potato will find herself coveting them. This two-layer jacket is a prime example — the outer shell features a removable batwing layer with long fitted sleeves featuring perforations along the wrists for greater breathability. This removable layer is attached to the bodice via cool vertical zippers in a contrasting white hue, while an elastic around the back waist of the overlay keeps this secondary layer from adding bulk to the garment’s overall silhouette. Should you wish to unzip this layer, you’ll find yourself donning shorter and tighter mesh sleeves so that you can be comfortable in hotter climates.
Lululemon Brisk Bloom Sports Bra, $52. Available at Shop.Lululemon.com
Nowadays, girls want their sports bras to be as chic as their frilly bras and thongs — even if they don’t plan on taking off their tanks and showing them off during yoga or while sweating it out on the treadmill. Made of a moisture-wicking, four-way stretch Power Luxtreme fabric, the bra’s inner mesh features discrete pockets in which you can insert molded cups (or remove them). The crossback keyhole design, meanwhile, allows you to wear this piece under racerback tanks while the bra’s flat seams prevent chafing and overall discomfort. And, of course, that black rose print has this slightly goth, Guns ‘N’ Roses-ish vibe to it that we find irresistible.
Under Armour Wintersweet Full Zip Hoodie, $99.99. Available at UnderArmour.com
When running outdoors, it’s necessary to dress in a manner that will protect you from the elements (in this case, the bitter cold) but won’t weigh you down or compromise your mobility. Bulky jackets and coats that make you feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, then, just won’t do. That’s why Under Armour developed the Wintersweet Full Zip Hoody, made of a sweater-knit fabric that feels warm and soft without being cumbersome and featuring a water-resistant UA Storm technology that repels rain and snow so you can work out no matter the forecast, a moisture-wicking system to keep you sweat-free and comfortable, and an extended length that offers greater coverage along the hips and rear and that also prevents the garment from riding up, binding, or bunching.
Nike Dri-Fit Epic Lux Print Capri Pant, $110. Available at Store.Nike.com
C9 by Champion Racer Tank with Inner Bra, $16.08. Available at Target.com
Not all women desire tight-fitting tank tops or midriff-bearing crop tops — especially those of us without chiseled abs and Michelle Obama-esque arms. If you prefer your workout clothes to be a bit more discrete, check out this loose-fitting racerback tank, which hits below the hip and features a convenient built-in bra made of a moisture-wicking fabric, along with a drawstring closure at the hemline so you can decide how close you want the garment’s fit to be.
Athleta Metta Hoodie Sweater, $98. Available at Athleta.Gap.com
Designed for yoga devotees but perfect for all trips to and from the yoga or dance studio, this semi-fitted, cotton-and-polyester hoodie features clever thumbholes that keep sleeves in place, relaxed drop shoulders and a V-shaped neckline to gibe your upper body plenty of room after tough workouts, an oversized hood, and ribbing along the sleeves and at the hips to accentuate the figure in all the right places.
Adidas by Stella McCartney Studio Performance Top, $48. Available at Adidas.com
This snug-fitting top features a Climalite fabric that draws moisture away from your skin, keeping you feeling dry and fresh. The geometric design, meanwhile, juxtaposes a melange fabric along the center panel with a striped fabric along the neck and, for maximum contrast, solid red raglan sleeves and solid red stripes running vertically down the sides to slim the figure.
H&M Patterned Sports Tights, $24.95. Available at HM.com
Last year, H&M expanded its range of offerings to include activewear — a smart business strategy given the nation’s renewed focus on fitness (just log onto Pinterest and you’ll find about a zillion motivational posters, suggested interval training drills, and selfies of six packs and flexed biceps). It’s also been music to the ears of most gym-goers since they no longer have to shell out $60 and $70 for a pair of training pants. These ankle-length sports tights, for instance, retail for $25 and feature all the essentials — like a fast-drying fabric and a bit of stretch to fit a multitude of body shapes — along with clever design details like a wide ribbed waistband with a concealed mesh key pocket.
Zaggora Hot Top in Crimson, $59. Available at Zaggora.com
There’s a reason why Zaggora calls this its “hot” top — it’s crafted out of a ThermoFit Technology-powered fabric that heats up as you work out so that you burn more calories during each workout. The jersey panels along the sides, meanwhile, provide the necessary airflow to keep you feeling fresh. Best of all, the fit is impeccable — because the polyester and nylon cloth also integrates neoprene (the fabric used for scuba suits) and spandex, it adheres to your body and fits it like a glove.
Under Armour Icon 32″ Pants, $69.99. Available at UnderArmour.com
Prefer baggier pants when working out? Then these will be the ultimate workout bottoms. Under Armour’s Icon pants are by no means baggy or saggy, but they do offer legs a bit more room than standard training pants. The ribbed waistband, which features an adjustable drawcord, also helps to boost comfort. And those are just the fundamentals. These pants’ stretch woven construction features a textured surface for noise reduction so you won’t be subjected to those swooshing sounds you’d normally hear when sporting windbreaker pants, plus they’re build with the brand’s Moisture Transport System to keep your body sweat-free and its UA Storm technology, which repels water.
Lululemon Flow Y Bra IV, $42. Available at Shop.Lululemon.com
If you’ve got abs of steel, then flaunt them in this flirty sports bra, which features thin straps and a racerback design along the back. The diagonal stripes add a fun-loving personality to this workout basic, while its Coolmax liner and mesh inserts keep you feeling and looking fresh.
Alo Airbrushed Legging in Mulberry Texture Print, $52.50. Available at AloYoga.com
The painterly print of these nylon spandex leggings is so fly, you’ll be tempted to wear these when going out on the town. Looks aside, these performance-oriented pants feature StretchFlex technology so you can bend, flex, and stretch with ease, as well as boasting moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial properties.
Soffe Nu Wave Mock Jacket, $34.99. Available at Soffe.com
No fitness wardrobe would be complete with a versatile zip-up jacket. This lightweight poly pique jacket will match anything in your gym-ready closet, and it features a zipper in a contrasting pink hue for just a dash of girly energy.
H&M Sports Racerback Top, $12.95. Available at HM.com
Featuring an abstract cerise-and-black print reminiscent of chaotic brush strokes, this fitted racerback tank is made of a thicker, fast-drying fabric that hugs the body and compresses it ever so slightly, so you can focus on training rather than worrying about whether or not your bits and pieces are all in their proper place.
Athleta Chillax Capri Pant, $79. Available at Athleta.Gap.com
Do tight-fitting leggings and capri pants feel too constrictive? Then opt for bottoms with a more relaxed, slouchy silhouette like these sweats from Athleta. Made of a breathable polyester and spandex blend, these capri-length sweats feature a rollover waistband and adjustable drawstring waist, along with banded leg cuffs that can be scrunched up along the knees for more of a harem pant look.
Athleta Sprint Reversible Seamless Bra in Cerulean Blue, $48. Available at Athleta.Gap.com
In addition to a nylon, polyester and spandex blend, this sports bra is made of a Polygiene fabric consisting of natural silver salts that combat odor-causing bacteria for long-lasting freshness. As if this weren’t enough of a draw, this sports bra is also reversible so you can wear the trippy zebra print side one day, then turn it inside out and rock it on the side with the polka dot pattern.
Old Navy Cross-Front Panel Yoga Pants, $15. Available at OldNavy.Gap.com
Made of 93% cotton and 7% spandex for a bit of stretch, these full-length yoga pants feature a slim fit along the legs and ankles. A low-cut, crisscrossing, colorblocked waistband in two shades of blue, meanwhile, adds a bit of pop to the garment.
Adidas by Stella McCartney Yoga Seamless Tank, $54. Available at Adidas.com
When doing yoga or Pilates, you’ll want to clear your head and feel as Zen as possible — and that’s a bit of a challenge when wearing pants that pinch, shirts dripping with sweat, or tanks that ride up and itch. With these common grievances in mind, Stella McCartney designed this seamless adidas by Stella McCartney yoga tank using a melange yarn to yield a subtle graphic pattern. Equipped with a Climate fabric, the tank keeps your body dry, wicking away moisture, and its seamless construction practically guarantees no chafing, scraping, or itching.
Nike Pro Printed Sports Bra, $35. Available at Store.Nike.com