1-2 years ago, it seemed that starting a swimwear or lingerie label was all the rage. Now, there are more activewear labels in their infancy than ever before, and it can be a little daunting knowing where to go for what.
Lululemon crop and shorts
Photographer: Jenelle at Inspiring Wit
I still remember when you could wear your souvenir Langkawi t-shirt and some flogged out tracksuit pants to the gym and not think any different about doing so (admittedly, I wasn’t the one actually going to the gym, but I do remember it!). Heck, any good 80’s or 90’s film will tell you that grey marle pants, sweat bands and oversized tops were the outfit du jour for the gym. Even just five years ago, nobody was really paying too much attention as to how trendy they looked like while they were working out. These days, take one look around your workout place of choice, or even just a quick scan of your local cafe, supermarket or sidewalk, and it is evident that the days of daggy gym gear are long gone, as are the lines that restrict activewear purely to the gym. In fact, there are so many activewear and sportswear brands on the market at the moment that it is so hard to keep up with who does what, and what each brand’s function is within the market place.
So, what brand is best for performance? What sort of material should you look for if you have the tendency to get a little (read: a lot) sweaty? Who has the softest tracksuit pants to throw on after an intense class? If you are a little lost in the swathes of activewear on the market, I have put together a short little guide below to start you off in the right direction.
I like to…
Running has been a popular form of exercise for far longer than most other trending forms of exercise – purely because it is the easiest and simplest to get yourself into. Having been around for so long, I can’t go past getting kitted out for a run in some of the older hard-hitters like Nike, 2XU, and Champion. They have been dressing runners for years, and know a thing or two about activewear!
Do yoga or pilates
Do you prefer stretching and strength more than you do slogging it out on the treadmill? Me too. Yoga and pilates brands seem to be the most prevalent these days, but I always look to Kamuka, Lurv or Dharma Bums for fun things to get bendy in. Not only are the made from light, stretchy lycra, they have a lot of fun prints, patterns and cuts that you might not be able to get away with when you are doing a more intense workout. P.S. Kamuka even do their own yoga mats too!
Rather than point you in the direction of a pretty pair of bikinis, I will point you towards Funkita – they have fun, colourful designs that are made for completing laps in a chlorinated pool. There will be no awkward swimsuit malfunctions and no chlorine eaten bikinis from Funkita!
Go to the gym
Whether you are a cardio fan or a weight fan, Lorna Jane and Running Bare will have something for your gym session. A happy medium between technical and fashion, both these brands will give you decent enough support for your workout, without lacking in style.
Something that stops the bounce, helps with sweat and does other neat things for me while I work out
Technical brands are my personal favourite. I generally only wear activewear to work out in, so I like to make sure that I have something that is going to function while I sweat. Lululemon prides themselves on their technical pieces, and their silver technology is particularly good to draw sweat away from the body without stinking the place up. If you need compression gear, Skins is always a go to, and for great sport bras for bigger busts, look at brands like Burlei or Triumph.
Something comfortable to wear on the way home from the gym/on the weekend
I guess you could call this type of activewear ‘leisure’ or ‘athleisure’. It doesn’t necessarily have to have any performance value to it, but it has to have all of the comfort and ‘cool’. If you are looking for something with a little more street cred, look at brands like Ivy Park, Superdry or Adidas.
Do you have a go-to activewear label that you think I should know about? Please let me know in the comments below and I will be sure to keep my eye out for them!