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The Best Workout Clothes for Women

by
author image Trinity Perkins
Trinity Perkins is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications. She recently completed her Master of Science in health education from Kaplan University. She is a certified personal trainer and performance nutrition specialist.
The Best Workout Clothes for Women
What you wear during your workouts matters. Photo Credit: m-imagephotography/iStock/GettyImages

What do you look for in your workout clothing? Comfort, dryness, durability and style are important characteristics to look for in women's workout clothes.

The best workout clothes are designed to work with the natural curves of a woman's body for ease of movement during all styles of exercise. Bright colors and different fabrics can make workout clothes more appealing than the traditional t-shirt and shorts.

1. lululemon

Lululemon was founded in 1998 by Chip Wilson and first shared its retail shop with a yoga studio — thus came the inspiration to design and sell women's exercise clothing such as shirts, pants, shorts, socks and jackets. Wilson felt that the cotton clothing most commonly used for exercise clothes was inappropriate and thus decided to make his clothes with more technical fabrics.

Luon is Lululemon's signature fabric. It has breathable coverage, a cotton-like feel and four-way stretch for freedom of movement for all styles of exercise. Another technical Lululemon fabric is pima, made from a blend of cotton with extra long fibers for durability — up to five years of wear without losing its shape. Lycra prevents clothing from bagging or losing its shape after machine washes. All seams are stitched to be chafe resistant for ease of movement and comfort, the manufacturer says.

Go from yoga class to happy hour.
Go from yoga class to happy hour. Photo Credit: Lucy Activewear

2. Lucy

Lucy designs fashion-forward exercise clothing that focus on performance, fashion, innovation and style. They mix high-tech fabrics, precision fits and bright colors. Clothes come in three lengths — long, medium and short — three fits and various levels of compression. Fits are loose for low-impact movement, fitted for wide ranges of movement or compressive for high-intensity activities.

Lucy's fabric offers functional features such as odor protection, moisture wicking, water resistance and four-way stretch. All garments are made with one of five signature fabrics, all providing quick-dry performance, stretch and long-lasting wear. Performance fabrics include Lucy Power — for gym and yoga; Lucy Tech — added moisture protection; Lucy Powermax — maximum compression; Lucy Flex — outdoor activities; and Lucy Truetek — high-impact activities.

3. Fabletics

Kate Hudson launched this brand back in 2013 with co-CEOs, Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg. Their goal was to provide women with stylish and high-quality workout clothing that was actually affordable.

Each month, their stock changes with new outfits, including leggings, capris, shorts, tank tops, long-sleeve shirts and jackets. All of their fabrics offer four-way stretch for complete mobility and moisture-releasing technology to help keep you dry.

"At Fabletics, we create clothing that inspires you to stay active, whether that means competing in an iron(wo)man competition, sweating in the studio, or chasing after your kids," their mission statement reads. "Beyond the clothing, we foster a community of people who embrace our mantra — 'Live Your Passion' — every day."

Stretch it out in RUMI X.
Stretch it out in RUMI X. Photo Credit: RUMI X

4. RUMI X

Plastic bottles and coffee grounds might not be the first thing you think of when you think of material to make leggings, but that's exactly how every pair of RUMI X leggings starts. And each pair prevents 16 plastic bottles from going into a landfill or the ocean.

Former yoga instructor Melissa Chu founded the brand 2015 and each piece in the collection features a mantra from Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet, scholar and Sufi mystic.

For example, their best-selling True Love leggings are inspired by the Rumi quote “Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of which you truly love.” And whether you're sweating it out at the gym, barre studio, indoor cycling class or on the track, their fabrics provide maximum odor control, a dry-fast texture, UV protection and breathability.

Look good and stay cool during your workouts.
Look good and stay cool during your workouts. Photo Credit: Beloforte

5. Beloforte

Founders Kevin Dorey and Whitney Quaresma wanted to create a sense of community within their brand, so all their garments are sewed locally. And since the fashion industry is responsible for producing so much pollution and waste, they also wanted minimize their impact on the environment.

According to the brand, each piece is carefully produced with premium fabrics that are cut and spun from recovered recyclables. And all of their garment assembly is done in Los Angeles, and fabrics are sourced from local textile mills in California.

Take their Bootybreak Leggings, for example. The mesh breaks that run around the booty and legs provide additional breathability, and the nylon-lycra blend moves with you through your workouts without slipping or riding up. And the pleated stretch faux leather knee paneling is just the cherry on top, providing both style and a little extra support.

6. Danskin

Danskin began in 1882 as a family-owned business that sold tights, tutus and leotards to New York City's dancers. Today, Danskin designs and sells fashionable and functional dancewear, active wear and casual clothing for women. Their clothing is made with high-performance fabrics that feature smoothing compression, moisture blocking capabilities, anti-microbial properties and UV protection.

Garments are divided into five collections, with a variety of clothing specific to different styles of exercise. Danskin's Tech Elements Collection is comprised of tops, bras and bottoms with features such as convenient stash pockets, inner liners for dryness and odor prevention. The Triathalon Collection is made with fabrics that are chlorine resistant, antibacterial and sown with flatlock seaming to prevent scratching.

The Prima Collection is made from lightweight fabrics that move with your body. These casual pieces can even be added to your daily wardrobe — similar to the Active Basics Collection. The Dance Collection is a trendy assortment of leotards, skirts, pants and tops designed to work with any style of dance.

What Do YOU Think?

What do you wear to work out? Do you have favorite brands? Have you worn any of the brands mentioned above? What are some of your favorite pieces? What other brands would you include on the list? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!

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