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When it comes to buying a thoughtful, luxurious gift for the woman in your life, your mind likely goes to fine jewelry, designer handbags and luxe lingerie. It probably doesn’t go to activewear, but here’s why it should.
While I can’t speak for all women, I would venture that most of us wear a piece of activewear every single day. If I’m running to the bodega, I’m wearing an exercise dress. Hitting the gym? A high-compression sports bra, obviously. Even at the office on days when I’m feeling lazy, I can get away with a pair of black flare leggings.
The problem is, though, lots of women’s activewear nowadays is pricey. A pair of high-quality leggings that will sustain a grueling, sweat-fueled workout and make your ass look great will set you back at least eighty bucks (and often more).
This is where you come in. When it’s time to give the lady in your life something special, whether it’s for her birthday, your anniversary or just because you feel like it, you should consider gifting her a chic, top-performing piece of activewear. She’ll appreciate not having to buy another pair of biker shorts, and you can rest easy knowing she’s actually getting use out of it.
So below, we’ve compiled a list of activewear brands you should know that make high-caliber, flattering gear she’ll spend most of her days in.
Top Women’s Athleticwear Brands
The Skinny: Since its launch almost two decades ago as a yoga brand for women, Lululemon has become universally recognized as the premier purveyor of performance-oriented leggings that are extremely comfortable and undeniably flattering. The brand’s line, however, extends far beyond those leggings and includes all manner of highly functional, good-looking athletic and lifestyle gear she would be thrilled to receive as a gift.
What to Buy Her: lululemon Align Tank Top
The Skinny: Austin-based Outdoor Voices changed women’s activewear when it launched a workout dress with built-in shorts in 2018. Known as “The Excercise Dress,” the functional, lightweight style became the blueprint for many workout dresses currently on the market. But the active lifestyle brand offers way more than just dresses. I personally am a religious wearer of pretty much everything OV: Their supportive Doing Things sports bra, flattering leggings and comfortable running shorts.
What to Buy Her: The Exercise Dress
The Skinny: What began as a free leggings campaign in 2016 flourished into one of the most size-inclusive and sustainable companies in the women’s activewear space. Offering sizes XXS-6XL, plus maternity wear, Girlfriend Collective is the place to go for reliable, well-made basics in neutral, complementary tones.
What to Buy Her: Compressive High-Rise Legging
The Skinny: You’re probably well acquainted with Vuori, the coastal California brand offering nonchalant performance apparel loaded with high-performance attributes (moisture-wicking, quick-drying and anti-odor). Though the real reason I keep adding Vuori products to my overcrowded activewear drawer? Their stuff is the softest workout gear I own.
What to Buy Her: Performance Jogger
The Skinny: Nike needs no explanation. All you really need to know is that the premier sportswear brand makes activewear just as well as it does high-performance training and running shoes. Personally, when I need extra support during my workouts, I tend to reach for my reliable Nike gear.
What to Buy Her: Nike Swoosh Medium Support
The Skinny: Yes, the sporting goods company, largely recognized by its “W” emblazon tennis rackets, makes some really dope activewear. Wilson turns the traditional clean-cut tennis aesthetic on its head with color blocking and streetwear-inspired silhouettes and details (like this transitional tennis jacket dress) that simply ooze cool.
What to Buy Her: Anything from Wilson’s new Tennis Collection.
Lululemon Belt Bag: The Ultimate Gift for the Fitness FanaticThe crossbody/fanny pack hybrid is an internet favorite for a reason
The Skinny: Heralded for its ridiculously comfortable athleisure, Public Rec unsurprisingly makes equally comfortable leggings and sports bras designed for workouts, travel and the day-to-day. Beyond comfort, the two activewear offerings manage the perfect level of compression and supportive styling.
The Skinny: She’s certainly seen Alo draped across her Instagram feed (you probably have as well). The brand is an influencer and celebrity favorite, likely for its fashion-forward yoga clothes and accessories which flaunt bold colors and silhouettes you won’t find at other women’s activewear retailers.
What to Buy Her: Alo Gold Rush Puffer
The Skinny: Fashion meets fitness at Bandier. Launched in 2014 as a luxury athletic wear retailer by Jennifer Bandier, the boutique and e-commerce site offers high-end, incredibly chic activewear options and workout accessories from a slew of name brands.
What to Buy Her: Bandier V-Neck Tempo Full Length Catsuit
The Skinny: The boho apparel and lifestyle retail company ventured into the athletic space in 2012 with its first activewear line FP Movement. Playful patterns and unique silhouettes define Free People’s fitness attire and the line doesn’t stray very far from its bohemian roots. And while everything is fashionable enough to sport beyond the gym, it’s all still equipped with performance properties.
What to Buy Her: Happiness Runs Crop
The Skinny: The California-based label is making sustainable, Fair Trade Certified apparel ideal for travel, lounge and sweating. While Prana sells activewear equipped for any type of workout (HIIT, hiking, climbing), we’re particularly fond of its yoga pieces that are stretchy, loaded with performance properties and boast a laidback, coastal look.
What to Buy Her: Everyday Bra
The Skinny: The female-founded, LA-based brand is the activewear choice of many celebrities for obvious reasons. All of their clothing is made from post-consumer plastic, is packed with those necessary performance markers (breathable, stretchy and quick-drying) and features eye-catching, fashion-forward designs.
What to Buy Her: Tangerine Crossover Flare
The Skinny: Terez specializes in vibrant, high-performance activewear. But it’s not all about looks. You’ll find lightweight, sweat-wicking and high-compression fabrics, ideal for high-intensity workouts.
What to Buy Her: TLC Sports Bra
The Skinny: Female-founded, Carbon38 is at the intersection of fashion and function. From ready-to-wear pieces to high-performance gear, the e-commerce site carries 70% of women-led brands but also has its own line of cute and comfortable activewear.
What to Buy Her: V-Neck Jumpsuit in Melt
The Skinny: A supportive sports bra that also works to transform her posture? Say it ain’t so. But yes, Forme’s activewear utilizes a patented technology to reduce pain and correct alignment long-term by pulling shoulders back and engaging muscle memory.
What to Buy Her: The Power Bra
The Skinny: Alwrld crossed our radar earlier this year and has swiftly become one of our most-worn activewear brands. The plant-based performance apparel label masterfully crafts its gear entirely out of sustainable and recycled materials without forgoing comfort and style, and even adding smart, thoughtful designs like stitchless seams on its leggings.
What to Buy Her: Alsprt Core Tight
The Skinny: Founded in Australia by couple Don and Matilda Robertson, Secondleft offers fashion-forward, comfortable and flattering activewear in an inclusive size range spanning from XXS-4XL.
What to Buy Her: Secondleft SL Original Leggings Nandex
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