In keeping with Beyond Yoga’s motto to empower “real women” (sizing goes from XXS to XXL and the brand only uses unretouched photography), it’s an Instagram fit-fluencer staple. Also true to its name, the clothes are comfortable, stretchy, quick-drying and easy to wash, making them as good for low-impact yoga as they are for high-impact HITT or running.
When it comes to not-so-basic basics, Lilybod takes the cake. Pieces are at once flattering, lightweight and breathable.
Show Me Your MuMu
Show Me Your MuMu started as a brand specializing in muumuus (seriously!). Any brand that can make muumuus look cool can definitely do the same for activewear. Expect lots of fun, bold, California-inspired prints.
It’s fitting that Laain was founded by two hyper stylish London-based women. There’s an effortless cool to all of the brand’s pieces, which are made with breathable Italian jersey fabrics and feature bold, often geometric prints. The signature look is a colorblocked, high-support, front-zipper sports bra paired with coordinating bottoms.
It’s hard not to love the colorful, upbeat, 70s California vibe of Aviator Nation. Its pieces wash well and include unisex buys, leggings, as well as sweatpants and hoodies.
Good hYOUman gives Nike a serious run for its money with inspirational separates. The brand itself was started to honor the founder’s late father and each season spotlights an “amazing good hYOUman” on the back of product hang tags. The pieces are perfect for yoga or barre and so cozy you’ll want to sleep in them.
You know Carbon38 as the pioneer e-retailer for workout wear, but it now also has an ever-growing namesake collection with some seriously stylish picks.
If your style is sweats over leggings, it doesn’t get better than Monrow’s pieces that combine comfort with flattering cuts. They’re just as cozy (we’re talking seriously butter soft) after washing.
Body Language is a made-in-California line with a serious celeb following — we’re talking Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. The brand makes elevated basics that take fabrics as seriously as style. It has a bunch of standout black and white pieces that will work year-round.
If you’re into mesh panels, check out Industry Active. Though it has non-mesh items in its extensive range, the block mesh tops, sports bras, leggings and outerwear are standouts.
The co-founders of Varley jet set between California and London, which translates into beautifully designed pieces, all of which are as close to RTW as activewear can get. Unlike most RTW, however, Varley’s pieces wash very well.
If you’re worried about showing more skin than you like in your downward-facing dog, check out Noli Yoga. Leggings are extra stretchy while being opaque for those looking to pretzel their body while boasting figure-flattering compression.
When it comes to stripes, no one beats K-DEER. Its boldly printed stripes are high on functionality (think no outside leg seam). It’s also worth mentioning that a portion of the sales of the signature stripe leggings is donated to charity.
Onzie makes super comfortable basics with flair, so you’ll stand out while still being able to wear the same pieces over and over again.
Human Performance Engineering, aka HPE, is true to its name with sports apparel that focuses on the technical. The brand was founded by a human performance specialist who spent 15 years working with Formula 1 champions, Olympians and Grand Slam-winning tennis players before starting HPE. As such, you can expect proprietary materials in all pieces, which help with things like moisture management and cooling (Michelle Obama is a fan). While this brand has been around for a few years, it recently decided to shake things up by offering subscription services.
Lanston Sport, an offshoot of T-shirt brand Lanston, offers handcrafted, made-in-Los-Angeles pieces with subtle RTW-inspired details like pockets and lots of option for to and from the gym.
Nancy Rose Performance
Nancy Rose Performance was founded by a former elite gymnast turned designer (she went to Parsons School of Design). Nancy Rose started with dresses and gowns, but after having three kids, she was inspired to pivot into activewear. The brand’s signature is slashed separates that mix style with breathability.
We all know Spanx, but what you may not know is it’s starting to be a serious player in the active space. Just named one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” they’ve got built-in compression but they’re not as ridiculously tight as Spanx shapewear, so you can work out in comfort. As of now, styles are gray or black but come in a few different length and coverage options.
Like Spanx, Yummie has expanded into activewear with legging styles that have built-in shapewear, but also ones with no compression and there are a few more color options than Spanx (though the focus is on basics here as well).
Maaji is a made-in-Colombia brand (with fabulously bold prints to match) that started with swimwear and expanded into activewear, so the fits here are fittingly perfection.
If you have the budget (the bra pictured here is $218 and the leggings $309) — and the confidence — No Ka’Oi makes some seriously awesome pieces. Its signature colorblocked designs are unforgettable.
Seafolly is perfect for anyone with a bohemian style (think bold floral or jungle prints).
The number of activewear brands to give the likes of Nike a run for its money keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And it’s not looking like the bubble will be bursting anytime soon. As the interest in wellness continues to grow and boutique fitness studios continue to massively expand, traditional gyms and raggedy old sweats seem all but obsolete. Thanks to a growing crop of trendsetting fitness brands you never have to worry about the woman next to you squatting in your leggings. More importantly, these brands focus just as much on function as they do fashion, meaning — no matter your personal style — you can look good without it impeding your performance. Here, 22 emerging fitness apparel brands worth checking out.
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