My Favorite 5 Brands for Athletic Apparel
Athletic apparel is my business casual.
Some people march to the office dressed in Ann Taylor, others get by with jeans and Converse at their tech start-up. My job takes place at a gym, in a yoga studio, or wherever I can find free space to workout.
And because athletic clothes make up 95% of what I wear (the other 5% reserved for jeans or date night outfits) I have pretty high standards. I want clothes that make me feel good and can withstand every workout I put my body through.
Since you guys are always asking about my outfits on the ‘gram, I thought I’d share my absolute favorite brands, why I love them, and my favorite (hopefully in-stock!) items.
What I look for in athletic apparel
Above all else, my athletic clothes have to be high-quality. I like to go ham in my workouts, so my clothes must be able to withstand wear and tear. I want durable clothing—clothes that can be with me for 5+ years (and all the washes within those year
Secondly, it has to fit well. I have pretty small boobs so I can wear whatever I want up top, but my legs and booty are a different story. I do the “squat test” with every pair of leggings I buy, making sure they don’t bunch at the crotch or sag down when I break into a sprint. Cute clothes are great and all, but I need functional clothes that move with me through a workout.
Finally, it has to look good! I love bright colors, but I’ll wear black-on-black once in awhile. I’ve even thrown a little white into my wardrobe, now that I own a studio that’s actually clean.
My top 5 athletic apparel brands
Before I dive into anything, I want to say two things: One, I was not paid to write this. I want you to know these really are my absolute favorite brands out there, and they’re not ranked in any way.
Secondly, I’m going to give you my height and weight here because sizing is different for every brand. I’m 5’6 and I weigh 140 lbs. Cool? Cool.
Ok first of all, never have I ever loved a promoted post more than those done by Outdoor Voices. Have you seen them yet!? Their entire site and IG feed is filled with different body types moving in different ways. Their community is so amazing.
I’m one of those people who likes to go matchy-matchy now and then, and Outdoor voices has great sets in all different colors. Only downside? They don’t have a store in Denver so I’m always ordering online. First world problems, I know.
Best for: Athleisure or yoga
Fave thing right now: Athena Crop
My size, top: Small
My size, bottom: Small
You know when you wear your hair down for the first time in a week, and that’s you making an effort? That’s how I feel when when I wear Carbon38. While you’ll find many brands on their site, I’m in love with their own, exclusive line of clothing. They have such cute stuff like cut-outs and flow crop tops (which I’m REALLY into right now).
Like come on, their TAKARA leggins are so cool I’ll wear them out to the bar (you can read about my obsession with them, here.) And even though two paragraphs deep into a rant over their style, I promise their clothes are still functional.
Wanna try ‘em out? Use my code: TARALAF50 for 20% off!
Best for: Teaching or athleisure
Fave thing right now: Crop Tank
My size, top: XS
My size, bottom: XS/S
This is a new found love. We sell Alo at my gym (Compass Fitness in Denver, come see me!), and I became a fan. I stared at the racks all day long, and eventually broke down and went on a mini shopping spree.
Their leggings fit really well, and they have a great line of sweaters and long-sleeves to layer over your regular gym clothes.
Best for: Yoga
Fave thing right now: Moto Legging
My size, top: XS/Small
My size, bottom: XS
I love everything about this brand and all they stand for. I recently got to interview the two founders, Maddie and Jenna, on my new podcast. Sisters, teammates, and best friends, they launched this line because they were disappointed in 1) the cost of quality athletic apparel, and 2) the level of quality in more accessible brands.
These sisters crush it. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love these clothes. They’re incredibly durable, well made, have all the pockets, and every item runs UNDER FORTY DOLLARS. Where can you even find that nowadays? They built an incredible community of women who love these clothes as much as I do—check it out, here.
Best for: Running, lifting, and hiking
Fave thing right now: Prize Shorts
My size, top - XS
My size, bottom: S
lululemon is easily the most well-known brand on this list, but I just couldn’t leave them out. Yes, they do live up to the hype when it comes to quality. Their clothing is incredibly durable, and if anything ever DOES go wrong, you just walk in and they fix it. Boom.
Plus, they have such a supportive community. They have incredible in-person events and really go out of their way to build a community within their local stores.
Best for: HIIT and strength workouts
Favorite thing right now: Scuba Hoodie
My size, top: 4
My size, bottom: 4
I really hope you find something you love on this list, no matter how you prefer to move. Let me know your favorite items (and why you love them) in the comments.
Let me know if you like seeing these kind of posts! I wrote one on my favorite denim shorts this summer, and have a similar post on jeans coming this fall. I’ll also keep you updated on other products I’m obsessed with, well outside apparel.