Range of Motion — Workout Clothes and Fitness Accessories to Rock in and out of the Gym
Once upon a time, it was considered sloppy and even uncouth for a woman to wear gym-ready clothing while leisurely strolling along the city streets or meeting up with friends for coffee and lunch. The sight was just slightly more acceptable than a woman parading around in her pajama pants or going out in public with her hair in rolos. But, thanks to a growing interest in health and fitness, it’s completely commonplace — and even unobjectionable. Over the past few years, designers have become increasingly inspired by athleticism, popularizing varsity chic looks (think sweatshirts paired with skater skirts and baseball caps, letterman jackets worn over cropped tops and midi skirts, or sporty tennis dresses replacing prim floral frocks as spring must-haves) and utilizing common activewear design elements like mesh overlays and inserts, accent stripes, form-fitting silhouettes, and moisture-wicking neoprene fabrics. Now, it seems the trend has officially hit its tipping point as the line between ready-to-wear and activewear becomes increasingly murky.
Designers are moving beyond the idea of informing their street chic wares by workout clothes, instead reinventing the way we perceive activewear by turning their attention to crafting pieces that boast the functionality of traditional fitness wear (from reflective details to moisture-wicking fabrics and pockets for storing iPods and smartphones) but are also so slick and edgy that women will want to wear them outside of their spinning class or gym session. Stella McCartney and Mary Katrantzou both collaborated with Adidas to create fashion-forward clothing and sneakers. Model Heidi Klum Elie designs activewear for New Balance. And now Tahari is preparing the launch of Elie Tahari Sport (due later this Spring).
Adding to the fitness frenzy, a new crop of activewear brands has emerged that specializes in pieces that can easily be mixed, matched, layered, and styled cleverly for a seamless transition from one locale to the next. In this context, a zip-up training jacket can be paired with slim-fitting, legging-style running pants for a morning jog, but it can also be unzipped and worn over a printed crop top, with leather pants and heels to up the level of sophistication. Boxy tanks and tees can be paired with yoga pants one minute, then rocked with distressed denim and plaid robe coats. The possibilities are endless!
Below, find some workout clothes that are so fashion-forward, you’ll want to wear them any chance you get — whether there’s sweating involved or not!
Michi Illusion Jacket, $235. Available at Shop.MichiNY.com
If you live in a warmer climate, this lightweight jacket might be all the protection you need from the chilly breeze as you run or bike outdoors while, if you’re grunting your way through sub-zero temperatures this winter, you can rely on this to be a handy layering piece. Made in Canada, this jacket features seaming and piecing to create a slimming, figure-flattering effect.
Well Kept Bea Bra, $90. Available at WellKeptBra.com
With its scuba-inspired silhouette, this knit sports bra feels like it belong on a modern-day Bond girl, which means you’ll feel like a mayhem-causing mix whenever you wear it — and the coned elastic support band will allow you to kick some serious butt while looking positively bewitching.
Teeki Cloud Print Pants, $72. Available at WithoutWalls.com
Made form 79% recycled plastic, these soft leggings speak to Teekis’ commitment to eco-friendly yoga apparel. The full-length pants feature four-way stretch for a glove-like fit and a waistband that can be worn high or folded over, plus they’re breathable and chafe-resistant, allowing you to move comfortably from downward-facing dog to bridge pose. The colorful cloud print, meanwhile, should remind enlightenment-seeking yoga practitioners about Mother Earth’s boundless beauty.
Adidas ZX Flux Shoes, $90. available at Adidas.com
Billed as a re-imagining of the ZX 8000 style that first found fame in the 1980s, the ZX Flux sneaker features a streamlined silhouette thanks to its clutter-free uppers (notice the lack of stitching, foxing, piecing, and seaming along the toebox, quarter panels, and uppers). This clean design is then amped up through the use of an allover photo-print print showcasing lush tropical leaves and an island sky at sunset. To give the sneaker a modern twist, the heel counter is accentuated with a molded suede cage design.
Outdoor Voices Sports Bra, $55. Available at JCrew.com
Sports bras tend to be made using thick moisture-wicking fabrics that offer the requisite support during exercise routines but look bulky under non-workout clothes. If, in the past, you’ve lamented the fact that your sports bra’s outline was infuriatingly visible through your turtleneck or scoop-neck tee, you’ll appreciate the lightweight build and seamless look of this polyester-and-spandex sports bra, which delivers medium support to women in the A-B cup range.
H&M Outdoor Tights, $39.95. Available at HM.com
You’ll feel like Black Widow executing double-leg grapples and Judo throws during the fight sequence in Iron Man 2 when you wear these quick-drying tights, featuring leather-like knee patches and two handy small pockets at the front with zipper closures.
Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 Print Training Shoe, $110. Available at Shop.Nordstrom.com
Designed to offer multi-directional movement, flexibility, and a barefoot feel, the lightweight Nike Free 5.0 will keep you feeling like you’re walking on a cloud whether you’re jogging or doing burpees and jump squats. Best of all, the responsive sneaker is now available in funky and dynamic prints like the black-and-white abstract design shown here.
Athleta Spinner Tank, $59. Available at Athleta.Gap.com
Perfect for SoulCycle fanatics and gym rats, this loose-fitting racerback tank top offers freedom of movement, draws moisture away from the body, and looks killer with leggings and slouchy harem pants.
Adidas Originals x Mary Katrantzou Padded Neoprene Bomber Jacket, $300. Available at Net-a-Porter.com
Part of the lauded Mary Katrantzou for Adidas Originals collection, this zip-front bomber jacket is made of a stretchy neoprene and it features light padding along the shoulders to give the silhouette a bit more structure and exude a powerful and authoritative feel. The digital print, meanwhile, brings home the notion of the wearer as a powerful machine thanks to the textured look of the backdrop, which resembles riveted metal panels, and the larger gear motifs.
Tory Burch for Fitbit Metal Hinged Bracelet, $195. Available at ToryBurch.com
If you love the functionality of your Fitbit Flex, how it tracks the number of steps you take and the calories you burn throughout the day and then monitors your sleep in the evening, then you’ll appreciate a chance to marry that performance component with a healthy dollop of glamour. This gold-toned Tory Burch bracelet accomplishes this feat by perfectly accommodating the Fitbit Flex tracker (sold separately) and ensuring it remains close enough to your wrist to register all of your vital signs, while also giving your outfit a polished and elegant touch.
Seabags Katahdin Camo Duffel, $225. Available at Seabags.com
Handmade in Maine using recycled sail cloths, this barrel-shaped duffle bag features a cool camo design, a sturdy waxed canvas bottom, hand-riveted leather handles, and a brown cross-body strap for when you need to keep your hands free to sip your water or upload a pic on Instagram. Measuring 10″ in height, 22″ in width, and 9″ in depth, the travel-friendly bag can accommodate a change of clothing, ankle weights, arm bands, towels, and anything else you might need during your workout.
Live the Process Geometric Print Leggings, $145. Available at Shop.LivetheProcess.com
The brainchild of fashion publicist Robyn Berkely, Live the Process is both an online holistic health and wellness destination devoted to offering helpful tips to those seeking to lead more balanced lives and an exciting activewear brand that approaches fitness gear from a modern, artistic, inspired perspective.
Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Zenit Full Zip Hoodie, $74.99. Available at UnderArmour.com
Michi Storme Cap Sleeve Top, $95. Available at Shop.MichiNY.com
Reebok Women’s Studio Dance Tote, $40. Available at Reebok.com
This Is First Base Parachute Track Pants,$69.50 AUD. Available at ThisIsFirstBase.com
Puma Narita V2 Foil Running Shoes, $39. Available at US.Puma.com
H&M Sports Tank, $9.95. Available at HM.com
Erickson Beamon x LeSportsac Jane Weekender, $198. Available at LeSportsac.com
Athleta Lined City Jogger Pants, $98. Available at Athleta.Gap.com
This Is First Base First Base Jersey Tank, $24.50 AUD. Available at ThisIsFirstBase.com
Adidas x Mary Katrantzou Track ZX 5000 Scuba-Jersey Sneakers, $170. Available at Net-a-Porter.com