Activewhere? Do you get your clothes?
This is something I get asked a lot so I figured I’d write down a few of my favourites in case you were wondering.
But, first things first, I have to confess that thanks to this job, I’m now an activewear snob.
Then again when you have to spend all day every day being lycra clad, you need something that’s going to hold its shape, not go see-through when you demo a squat to a new client and also that stays looking fairly fresh wash after wash (seeing as my washing machine is almost on constantly).
So, without further rambling, here’s my what to look for and then hit list of the brands I buy time and time again (although obviously there are way more out there)
What to look for…
Starting from the top down. If you haven’t got a decent sports bra, there’s a high chance you’ll not enjoy that workout as much. Ranked from low to high intensity,
H&M has great sports bras for lower intensity work/moves that don’t involve jumping, whereas the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra is at the top end of the spectrum for support.
For even more boob specific, Triumph have also recently moved into the sports bra category, however I’ve not yet tried these, and there’s also Panache.
I’m also a recent fan of Underarmour sports bras, however these are for more mid range boobs and workouts.
You don’t need to worry too much about these, just buy what fit, slogan or colour you prefer.
I’m partial to Adidas (much like this one bought via ASOS) as they’re affordable and I love their cuts.
I also love Hey Holla! because they have cheeky slogans that will always bring irony to your workout.
Leggings are the cornerstone to a good workout – I mean, who wants to spend the whole class pulling them up, although beware, if you find a great cut, there is a danger you’ll start taking #belfies (I’m yet to fall foul of this).
When buying leggings, ALWAYS DO THE SQUAT TEST. If you can see your underwear, they are a no, unless flaunting your wares to the gym is your thing, in which case go ahead. Also, opt for higher waistbands as these have further to fall down, but then again, personal preference.
If you’re looking to sweat and move around, you’ll want a decent fabric that feels substantial and can wick away all that moisture.
If you’re looking to bend into all sorts of yoga poses, softer fabrics are a decent option.
A lot of brands now list what’s suitable for what if you ever have any questions – although if you’re going to invest in something, make it leggings.
These depend on your training, feet etc so always best to get these checked out to find what’s best for you.
If you are looking to do strength training in the gym (this applies mostly to lower body) the flatter the sole the better as it allows you to feel grounded and your stance isn’t affected by some super thick undulating sole.
If you don’t want your wardrobe taken up by trainers for all trainings, take off your shoes when squatting or deadlifting.
Personally, I find Nike do good all rounders, Reebok Nanos are great for crossfit/lifting/gym work (also Nike Metcons are a lot of people’s favourite) and Adidas Boost are amazing for running.
And now for the brands…
For all basic bitches, Sweaty Betty is the best place to start out for your first investment in staple activewear. Their jumpers feel luxe and their Power Leggings are a wardrobe staple.
That said though, for me their designs can sometimes be a little basic too.
Lululemon is a little bit more expensive but this brand is built to last. So much so, that if you have a problem with one of their products, they’re more than likely to exchange it.
Their Align Pants are in every #fitspos wardrobe thanks to their high waistband that gives you curves in all the right places, although these aren’t really made for sweating in thanks to the soft fabric. Think more yoga and Sunday brunches. If you’re after something more energetic, their Ta Ta Tamer bra is incredible (I’ve now got two) and their Fast And Free shorts and leggings fit and wick sweat away like a dream!
Active In Style
Sadly these guys are now online only, but when I first stepped inside Active In Style on the Kings Road store I was in my element. They have a whole host of brands form which they pick based on quality and style. My favourites are Varley and L’urv.
I love an excuse to go into Selfridges as much as anyone!
The Body Studio houses a range of brands, some slightly more expensive than others but always keep an eye out for their sales!
Again, this brand is built to last.
You can go to their website or find them at Active In Style. Their leggings are fantastic.
Fashercise is very similar to Active In Style but overall the products they’ve opted for are slightly more expensive. However, they often have flash sales or discount codes so get on their mailing list and/or follow them on social media.
In other news, I have had my eye on these boxing gloves for way too long…
I bet this wasn’t a name you thought I’d include. Gap does basics well when it comes to normal clothes and they also get it right with activewear.
A great range of activewear brands although their own 4505 brand doesn’t quite cut the mustard – I bought some legging style shorts and the fabric is off, it sags, shows sweat etc. Nevertheless, they have a great range of other brands! As mentioned earlier, a firm favourite of mine are all the Adidas tops. Relatively affordable and just great.
And just a word of warning to make sure you avoid…
Great for tops as they’re affordable and trainers. However, avoid their leggings and sports bras – these are overpriced for the quality and I’m a firm believer in spending that little bit extra on these items.
Just meh. When there are so many other brands out there doing it right, when it comes to Nike, just don’t do it. Unless they’re Nike trainers in which case I’ll let you off.