Hey. Hi. Hello!
My bullet journal is telling me it’s Friday, so that’s what we’re going to go with! I’m currently on day four of working ten consecutive days so I really don’t know what month or year we’re in if I’m going to be honest with you. But you know what I do know?! What the best brand of workout clothes is!
Now I’m only 23 and I’m not made of money, so I’m not going to pretend that this is going to be a 100% comprehensive definitive ranking of all the brands of workout clothes out there. However, I have tried a handful of brands, both well-known and not-so-known, so I think it’s about time I share some knowledge with you, and stop hiding the secret of the best brand out there for workout clothes. So, the moment you’ve ALL been waiting for happens now! (Also, sidenote…will there be pictures of any of this stuff to accentuate my point? Not today! But will I add pictures later? I mean there’s a 50/50 chance! I’M A GREAT BLOGGER)
So, what are the brands that we’re going to be covering today? Well, I’m glad you asked. Today we’re going to hit upon Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Forever21 Active, Victoria Secret, Alo Yoga, Free People Movement, Zella, and GymShark. And just some quick facts about me to help you compare if you decide to shop any of the brands I’ll talk about. I’m 5’1, 140lbs. I typically wear a size 4 or small in bottoms, and size small in tops (although I usually size up because I love looking homeless). Now strap in for this crazy review, in order from least to greatest!
Right off the back, I know that Alo Yoga is definitely considered a yoga/athlesuire company moreso than it would be known as a typical exercise apparel company, but it carries a hefty pricetag, so I wanted to talk about it incase anyone considered purchasing. Of all the brands I’ve tried, this has got to be my least favorite in terms of exercising. I’ve tried a few of their leggings on, and hate the way they fit. When I wear leggings, I look for something with a bit more compression so I don’t feel like I’m jiggling around town. These are NOT the leggings for anyone with any sort of curve. They’re SUPER stretchy and feel like you don’t have pants on, but I constantly feel like I should have sized down when I wear them, even though that’s not possible! The sports bras/crop tops are a much better buy, although I’d say they definitely run more towards being athleisure than anything functional for any sort of movement. I think they definitely have some cute things for someone who loves the athleisure look, but I can’t stand behind a pricetag of $110 for leggings that don’t fit right.
Free People Movement
The movement line is something that’s fairly new to the Free People brand, and hasn’t hit many stores yet. Their “top performance” legging is called the Sculpt, and it’s made from some magical Italian cotton, or so I’ve been told. Whatever it is, it sucks. I like that they feature cut lines along the bottom so that you can cut to the size you want, because I prefer to wear a capri legging, but that’s all they have going for them. All of their cotton-based athletic collections pills and does not hold up in the dryer at all! They have some cute athleisure-looking pieces, and also some questional harem pants and weird spandex jumpsuits, which overall are not my style, but have definitely looked good on people that I’ve seen wear them! If I had to recommend anything from this collection for purchase, I’d go with the Tighten Up tank or the Happiness Runs tank. Both are a ribbed, cropped tank that features hecka compression. They say that, due to the high compression, you can wear them without a bra, but I have a little too much boob to do that comfortably when I workout. Definitely not for high-impact days, but a great transition tank for a day when you might be hitting arms then running off to meet a friend! I wish I could say better things about them, but again, for the pricetag I’d expect some better quality pieces.
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve only tried one pair of leggings from this company, but I’m not blown away by them, or by their selection online. I really expected more from a company that has such incredible reviews on the majority of their products, but these just feel flat for me. I purchased a pair of cropped leggings with mesh-detailing on the leg. Usually when I order a pair of cropped leggings, they hit me right above the ankle to mid-calf, which is just where I like them. These, however, sit like almost right below the knee, which is NOT flattering at all. I stuck with them because their waistband didn’t cut in on my hips in a way that made me look like a whale, and they were supposedly really good for cycling, which I recently got into. However, when I DID wear them to cycling, I felt like I was swimming in them. They’re not moisture-wicking in the slightest, and they kept sliding off the second I worked up any sort of sweat. They also didn’t have a lot of compression in the thighs, even though they were advertised as being super-high compression. I’m not here for this false-advertising!
I’ve never been a huge fan of Reebok, but it definitely ranks higher than the other three brands that were previously mentioned. I haven’t been able to figure out my sizing in anything that they carry because most of it runs large in the weirdest places. As such, I don’t have any Reebok in my current rotation of workout clothes, but that doesn’t mean that I still can’t talk about them, and appreciate them! While they do run large, I found that their stuff tended to be a lot more versatile. I don’t like to have clothes dedicated just for HIIT days or just for lifting days because I can’t be awake enough in the morning to have to account for that when I get dressed. A lot of the clothes that I have tried with Reebok felt as though I could hop on the treadmill and do cardio and head right into a leg workout without feeling like my boobs were going to pop out, or my pants were going to fall down! I know plenty of other individuals who swear by their stuff, so while I’d suggest sizing down in their things, I definitely think it’s a brand that has potential to grow in my standings.
It pains me to rank them so middle of the tier. However, I don’t like their clothes for working out. While I only wear Adidas shoes for my workouts, their clothes are a whole different story. Their leggings aren’t super flattering in any manner, and they don’t have any that hit where I like them. I find that Adidas tends to be better fit for a runner’s body as opposed to someone with a more athletic build like myself. I can’t find a pair of pants from them with enough compression but that actually fit me in a flattering way in both my waist and my thighs, it just doesn’t happen. AND their sports bras offer me no support so I don’t feel comfortable bouncing around in them. BUT, I do love to wear their stuff on days when I’m out bopping around the city, and I practically live in their hoodies (score some great ones from PacSun). So, for workout clothes they’re not worth it, but for literally everything else in life Adidas can have my soul in exchange for their clothes.
I have a love-hate relationship with their activewear line. The pants are an atrocity. None of them are squat proof, and they all have their weird wasitline that scoops in the back instead of being cute all the way across, so I can never get them to sit as high on my wasit as I want them to. They’re also really only great for weights as opposed to cardio, because those things will slip right off you if given the chance. The sports bra’s are another thing I can’t wrap my head around. They’re all so cute and amazing, but they place their cut-off tags right along the bust, so your entire workout you’ll have the remainder of that tag digging into your ribs. In fact I pretty sure there’s a part along the left side of my chest that is just eroded away from those sports bras. However, I do really think they offer a great selection of low, medium, and high impact sports-bra’s that really do live up to the expections there, especially for the pricepoint. If anything, I’d recommend picking up workout tops out of all the activewear. They have such an incredible collection of tops that are the perfect balance of being sexy/fashionable and function for all types of workouts. I always feel a little more put together at the gym in their tops, even if I literally tossed an outfit together in the dark.
I’m sure this is a moment we’ve all been waiting for! In my personal opinion, I find GymShark to be a little too overrated on the internet. My biggest issue with them is their sizing. When I received my first pair of their original seamless leggings, I opened the package and found a pair of leggings that looked like they already had the hip and thigh silhouette in there, so I really wasn’t sure my legs were going to fit. Since they do have a fair amount of stretch, my legs were able to squeeze, but not by much. From then on, I started sizing up to mediums in all the leggings, AND THEY WERE ALL TOO LARGE!? I know women’s clothing sizes has been a hot topic for DECADES now, but I don’t think it should be this difficult across a single brand. In some collections a small is too small, in other’s a medium is SO LARGE, and even in some others a small is too big!? I don’t think I’m asking for much when I ask for some standarization in the sizes? In a controversial take, I’d say either the Sleek Sculpture or the Fushion cropped leggings are my favorite over anything else. The wasitband on both of those are pretty high, and the compression is great. However, unlike the Energy Seamless leggings, the high waistbands don’t cut in around my mid-section and make me look like I have more lovehandles than I do. They’re slimming all throughout the midsection, and in the booty too! I have a few sports bras and workout tops from them that fit well, but I wouldn’t say they’re standout products. I definitely think they’re a great brand to have in your workout collection, but I’d do some research by watching some of their athlete’s try-on videos before purchasing, due to a slightly high price-tag, and the longer delivery times as they do ship from the UK.
This is another brand that I have mixed feelings about, but it’s going as #2 on my list because of overall opinions. Now, while I love Adidas with all my heart, Nike has always held a special place for me when it comes to workout clothes. As a soccer player, I basically grew up in their Tempo running shorts (in fact I have a pair on right now). These are hands down the greatest piece of athletic-wear ever sold. You can quote me on that @Nike. They’re so comfortable, they don’t ride up, and they’re super moisture-wicking even during the most intense activities. I do size up to a medium in them, as Nike does tend to run a bit small. Their sports bras are amazing too. If I’m looking for something with an extreme amount of compression I’ll size down to a small, but a medium fits great for the majority of my exercise needs, including holding up to burpees! The tops are ok, but are decked out in their Nike swoosh, and I’m not a huge fan of branded things so I tend to stay away. The one thing I definitely HATE about Nike is their leggings. They’re similar to Adidas in that they’re really meant for the body of a runner as opposed to a weight-lifter. However, that doesn’t make me hate them any less, because I still think they offer such a wide selection of products apart from their leggings that I almost forget they sell leggings in the first place.
Victoria’s Secret Sport
THIS IS IT FOLKS. THE MOMENT HAS FINALLY COME. LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO THE 2018 BEST WORKOUT CLOTHES WINNER!!!!!!!! This may come as a shock to some…or to none of you at all who know me….but Victoria Secret Sport is the greatest brand for workout clothes that has ever existed. I know people have been offended by VS for years now in how they are not doing a great job with the body image issue facing women in society, but I cannot refute the fact that their workout clothes are the best. The leggings are WOW. Their sports bras are WOW. Their tops are WOW! My aboslute all time 100% favorite are the Knockout Capri leggings. I own them in every pattern and color they’ve ever come in since 2016, even in the limited edition fabrics (which are definitely the best). They have an adjustable wasitband, which most brands I’ve encountered do not. This means that you can cinch in your little waist as much as you need to keep those pants snug on you. They have a seaming along the wasitband that sits just above the booty, which really makes it pop! The fabric is nice and breathable, they move with you, they stay on, and the sure as hell don’t pill after one wash! For $66 I think you’re getting far more than your money’s worth. As if their pants weren’t the greatest, their sports bras are amazing too! BUT ARE WE SURPRISED?! NO! I typically only wear their Player Racerback sportsbra which is their like most basic one, but I LOVE IT! I don’t think it’s supposed to be meant for high-impact activities, but I wear it anyway when I’m sprinting and I don’t have an issue! AND FOR $22.50 WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT!! They also have a variety of higher compression sports bras if The Player is a little too loosey goosey for you. AND NOW THEIR TOPS! What can I say!? They’re cotton, which some people don’t like to work out in, but I think they’re great. As you would expect from Victoria Secret, they feature a lot of mesh and cutouts, but they still understand that you’re working out so they’re not over the top sexy. It’s like you’re still trying to look cute while you’re working out incase you may peep your future husband! They run a little loose, which I think is fine for workout clothes, but I also tie most of my tops up anyway, so it isn’t a huge issue. I literally always feel so confident stepping into the gym in a VS workout outfit, and I cannot say enough good things about them. Although it’s not a company you would associate with sports, they definitely kill it in that department for me!
GEE WIZ. Sorry for the long tirade of a post! This is definitely something that would be better suited for a video-format, but your girl doesn’t have the time these days to commit to filming things, but maybe in the future! If there are any brands you’d like me to try out for a future post, let me know in the comments! Also, if you try out any of the brands I talked about today, let me know waht your thoughts and oppinies were!
Until next time,