Skip to Content

Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or have been active for years, finding the right activewear is essential to any workout routine. Women’s activewear has come a long way, and countless options are available.

Read on for answers to the most frequently asked questions about women’s activewear — plus our best posts about buying and wearing activewear in style. From fabric selection to style and fit, we’ve got all the information you need to make an informed decision.

What is activewear?

View from behind of fit woman with text overlay that reads, all about women's activewear.
Activewear is clothing specifically designed to be worn while exercising or engaging in physical activities. It typically includes t-shirts, leggings, shorts, sports bras, and jackets. Activewear is designed to provide comfort and flexibility while allowing you to look stylish. It is usually made of lightweight, breathable fabrics that wick away sweat and keep you cool during exercise.

Some activewear is designed with special features such as pockets, reflective accents, and drawstrings for a secure fit. The fabric used in activewear is often durable while still allowing for maximum range of motion.

Activewear has become very popular, not only for working out, but also as everyday fashion.

What are good fabrics for activewear?

When choosing the right fabric for your activewear, consider performance and comfort. The most common fabrics in women’s activewear are polyester, nylon, spandex, Lycra, and elastane. Each of these materials has pros and cons to think about:

  • Polyester: This lightweight and breathable fabric is perfect for activewear as it is durable and dries quickly. It also has great stretch recovery, so it maintains its shape after multiple wears and washes.
  • Nylon: Nylon is also lightweight, breathable, and has good moisture-wicking properties. It is often blended with other fabrics, such as spandex or elastane, to provide more stretch.
  • Spandex/Lycra/Elastane: These synthetic fabrics are known for their stretchy, body-hugging fit and extreme comfort. They are often used with other fabrics to give extra exercise support or movement.

Ultimately, the best fabric for your activewear will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Polyester, nylon, spandex, Lycra, and elastane are all great options that provide excellent performance and comfort.

What to wear under activewear?

Some workout clothes have built-in bras and something like a built-in panty. The burning question is: Do I need underwear too? There’s no right or wrong here. If you’re comfortable with the support and coverage you have with no extra undergarments, then you don’t need them.

I personally always wear a panty underneath but I will skip the sports bra if the top has enough support already.

For those looking for additional layers, there are plenty of options for what women can wear under their activewear. Depending on the activity and weather, you may want to consider a tank top, sports bra, leggings, or shorts to wear underneath your activewear.

Tank tops are ideal for layering under activewear because they are comfortable and light. They can also provide extra coverage if needed. Sports bras are a great way to give extra support while exercising. Look for options that offer both support and comfort while you’re active.

For extra warmth, you may want to opt for leggings or shorts. Leggings provide full coverage and can be found in a variety of styles. If you’re looking for more breathability, try some shorts. There are plenty of shorts made specifically for working out that will keep you cool and comfortable.

No matter what you decide to wear underneath your activewear, it’s important to choose pieces that are comfortable and supportive.

What does compression activewear do?

Compression activewear provides extra support and a snug fit around the body. This helps reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, improves circulation,  and enhances performance during exercise.

Other benefits of compression clothes include:

  • Protects your skin from irritation and chafing.
  • Reduce muscles vibration.
  • Improves posture.
  • Keeps muscles warm during cold weather, allowing for an increased range of motion.

Where to buy affordable activewear?

When it comes to buying affordable activewear for women, online shopping can be a great option. Many online retailers offer discounts and sales, so you can find great deals on workout clothes. You can also find many second-hand or pre-loved activewear at consignment stores and on sites such as eBay and Depop.

Another option is to shop at discount outlets such as TJ Maxx and Sports Direct. These stores have a wide range of sportswear at discounted prices. You may also find end-of-season sales at your local sports store.

If you’re looking for ethical and sustainable activewear, there are plenty of eco-friendly brands out there that sell organic, recycled, and Fair-Trade materials. Examples include Girlfriend Collective, Prana, and Patagonia.

What are some popular activewear brands?

There are many popular brands for women’s activewear: Lululemon, Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Reebok, Puma, and Champion.

  • Adidas is well known for its iconic three-stripe logo and designs. This brand has a wide range of pieces perfect for any workout or active lifestyle.
  • Under Armour focuses on creating pieces made with high-quality materials designed to provide optimal support and movement.
  • Reebok is known for its stylish and functional pieces that can be worn for exercise and everyday wear.
  • Puma is another popular brand that offers stylish pieces that will help women look their best while they exercise or engage in activities.
  • Champion offers affordable and stylish pieces that combine comfort and function. Each of these brands has something special to offer when it comes to women’s activewear, so there is sure to be something for everyone.

Can you wear activewear to work?

The answer is yes. Activewear is a great option for those looking for comfortable and stylish clothing for the office. However, it’s important to be mindful of the style of activewear you choose, as some pieces may be too casual for a professional environment.

For example, joggers are a great way to add a sporty vibe to your work wardrobe. Opt for joggers in dark colors, such as black or navy, to ensure they look appropriate. You can layer them with a structured blazer and dress them up with heels or loafers. Learn more in our post on how to style joggers.

Best activewear and workout clothes posts