Top Picks for Women’s Athletic Brands

 

As a former Senior Buyer for Equinox, I worked with the best athleisure brands in the world to stock over 90 Equinox locations. I also created Soulcycle’s retail business, and integrate the lessons and knowledge I have from those positions into my personal styling sessions with my female clients.

Here are the top picks for women’s athletic brands:

What:

This Vancouver-based athletic company originated as a yoga studio which, in 1998, became a stand-alone apparel store founded by Chip Wilson.

The company’s original focus of yoga gear has now expanded to all athletic endeavors, from running to cycling and all other sweaty activities in between.

With a focus on personal relationships and community connection, the brand looks to bring a healthy mindset and lifestyle to clients in addition to apparel.

Why:

Lululemon is on the top of my recommendation list for women’s athleisure brands because they have the absolute best options for bottoms.

From leggings to joggers, theirs fit incredibly well, don’t fall down (which is no small feat for workout leggings) and their quality products last for years.

They also offer extended sizing, which is another benefit of shopping this brand.

My personal styling tip:

The 7/8’s crop has been trending for a while now, and simply means that your workout pant hits around the ankle bone.

This is the perfect length for year-round wear, and can be paired with leg warmers or longer socks in the winter.

The Align Crop is particularly flattering and well-fitting, and comes in a variety of fun colors such as “wild thing camo brown earth” featured here.

What:

Founders Jodi Guber Brufsky and Michelle Wahler sought to create a “butter soft” feel to all of their pieces, and to support women beyond just yoga practice.

They also pride themselves on a no-retouching policy, meaning none of their “amazing humans” on their site have been photoshopped, instead opting to show real women in their real bodies.

 

Why:

The founders also knew that women needed amazingly made clothing in all sizes, so the company offers extended sizing.

The ultra soft leggings are perfect for low impact sports such as yoga and pilates, and you won’t want to take them off for errands or resting before and after an exercise class.

 

My personal styling tip:

Check out their space dye fabric.

It’s the buttery-soft material that has created a cult-like following to this brand. It’s available in a variety of different styles, but I personally love the leggings (and they were always a best-seller at Equinox). They do run a bit big, so size down for the perfect fit.

What:

Ultracor was founded in 2014 in LA by Michael Ball, whose background was in the denim industry and who was also a pro-cyclist.

His mission was to combine luxury, cutting edge fashion and durable athletic wear into one vision, and that’s exactly what he’s done.

The most well-known leggings have a stars print that has at times had a 500-person waiting list.

 

Why:

These leggings are also amazing for those who want some extra compression. They suck everything in and run in a mid to high rise.

For those who prefer not to wear underwear with leggings, they are already equipped with a built in thong (which you can cut out if you don’t want).

 

My personal styling tip:

Stick with the leggings for this brand and stay away from their bras and tops. Also, they digitally print their colors so they won’t fade as you wear them overtime.

What:

Denise Lee created the company in 2014 after running a triathlon, and realizing she wanted to be the face of “all day style” and “high-low” effortless athleisure.

The brand also prides itself on legalizing equality for marginalized genders, and contributing to the Black Lives Matter movement, among other civic engagements.

 

Why:

If you are looking for more subtle but highly functional athletic wear, this is your brand.

The designs are sophisticated and understated, but no less interesting. Instead of bolder colors, they play with texture: mesh inserts, interesting fabrications, and more.

I had a pair of leggings for years that I loved and worked perfectly for all exercise I did.

 

My personal styling tip:

Alala runs true to size, and in their new collection I’m really loving their Surf Tight Leggings in Navy.

What:

Danny Harris founded this yoga-based athleisure company in 2007 with a mission of bringing the transformative power of yoga to people across the globe.

Since then celebrities and yogis alike have taken their workout gear off the mat and have been wearing it as streetwear, epitomizing the ultimate purpose of athleisure. Taylor Swift, Kendall Jenner, and others have been photographed wearing these items as everyday casual wear, emphasizing the comfort and versatility the brand offers.

 

Why:

In the past five years Alo has dominated the athleisure market in most categories as a top pick for women’s athletic brands.

They are particularly well-known for their soft outerwear pieces. If you are looking for comfortable, stylish lightweight layers for chilly mornings or evenings, this is the perfect brand for you.

Their sweatshirts, jackets, and sherpas add a cozy layer to your athleisure outfits for sweaty mornings or just errands around town.

 

My personal styling tip:

One of the best selling styles at Equinox was the Glimpse Long Sleeve Top.

Light enough to wear in the spring, the perfect layer in the colder months. It also covers your bottom as well, which is a must for some women pairing with leggings.

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