Skip to content

My Favorite Athletic and Athleisure Staples

athleisure staples: pink criss cross top

Shop this post: 

I just keep on rollin with the warm-weather photos, don’t I?

Actually, I took these back in early October with the intention about posting about workout wear THEN, and then never got around to it! So I guess in hindsight it’s even better that way because now we get to remember what a lovely fall breeze feels like, rather than a biting winter one ?

Per popular request–today’s post is all about my favorite athletic wear–the brands I love when it comes to workout clothing, and my favorite staples from each!

But first, let’s address the ever-popular question that is constantly up for debate…

Is workout clothing worth investing in?

A few years back, I saw no use in investing in workout clothing. After all, I mean, you sweat in it, get it all gross, wash it more than anything else you own, and it goes through so much beating up. During Winter I tend to opt for home workouts so–why bother spending money on it?

Fast forward to the present–I still have most of these “cheaper” versions that I’ve purchased–but truthfully, I never reach for them unless I haven’t done laundry and I’m desperate. They look worn, they’re threadbare, the seams are unraveling at the bottom, or they’re pilling–there is a reason that stuff is cheap!

I’ve actually owned my pair of Lululemon Align pants longer than I’ve owned most of my cheaper workout gear from Target and Old Navy. (Thanks for the Lulu pants for Christmas way back in 2012, Dad!) Guess which pair still gets worn every week and looks great? Yep. My Lulu pants.

Do I have anything against Target or Old Navy athletic wear? Of course not–it’s ADORABLE. And so budget friendly! If that’s what works best for your budget, of course, those are still great places to shop. BUT.

There is a but.

On the flip side, like most things, personally, I think it works best to view workout clothing in terms of cost per wear. If you have the budget available, and can invest a little more upfront, you’ll have a solid workout wardrobe for a really, really long time–short term wins don’t always add up to the most savings in the long-run.

That being said, these are my three favorite brands when it comes to workout clothing:

My Favorite Athletic Wear Brands:

Lolë: I was introduced to Lolë last April and later went on a trip with them to Montreal! They quickly became one of my favorite athletic and athleisure brands. My favorite part about them is that they make items that you can throw on to go workout, or to walk around the neighborhood. It’s really versatile and well-made. They made pretty much everything you see in this outfit, today, actually!

Outdoor Voices: Outdoor voices items feel like nothing else you’ve felt before, their leggings are really substantial, so you don’t ever have to be worried about show-through. Their stuff is my favorite for yoga and their crop top/sports bras are so incredibly cute. My OV stuff is my biggest motivator to get into Corepower!

Lululemon: Okay, honestly I don’t really own anything else from Lululemon OTHER than their leggings–so that’s the only lulu category I can speak to. Neal really loves their guys’ pants and zip-ups, too!

Other reader favorites: 

I haven’t tried any of these personally, but Beyond Yoga, Alo, Zella and Athleta are all popular recommendations that GG readers mention often!

athleisure staples

The Best Leggings:

Best all-around athletic + athleisure pants: Again, Lulu’s Align pants are amazing for literally everything, including travel, because they feel like, well, you actually can’t feel them at all.

For Yoga: I love Outdoor Voices 7/8 pants, which come in so many cute colors and color-blocked patterns. These are my favorites for yoga. I also love Lole’s Cayo leggings (which I’m wearing here) because I like how lightweight they are–they’re actually made to double as paddle-boarding leggings and are fully wearable in the water! How cool is that?! (Sadly the version I’m wearing is sold out but they have other colors!) I’ve gotten lot’s of reader reccos about Beyond Yoga leggings as well!

For OrangeTheory/Running/More intense workouts: My Lolë burst leggings and Panna leggings.

They’re made for more intense movement, with breathable fabric and a special “coolmax” gusset. The burst leggings have two pockets, including one that zips, which is great if you’re on a run outside and want to take your credit card and some cash, or store a key or two without worrying about them falling out! (I used to tie my key to my shoelaces. Did anyone else do that? ?) The Panna only has one pocket, but I think they get more points for cuter color combinations ? Both are amazing (and a lot of colors are on sale right now, too!)

Best Sports Bras/Crops:

Lole sports bras: My favorite bras are also from Lolë! My #1 favorite is the Palin bra (and it matches my Panna leggings which I love ?) It’s cute and functional! I like that it’s thicker than a lot of sports bras so you don’t have to worry about show-through, and the criss-cross straps in the back are adorable and provide support at the same time.

Another favorite from them is no longer available but it’s very similar to the Malicia bra/crop top

For lower impact activities (like yoga) the Ramina bra is awesome and right now it’s on sale for $30! It kind of reminds me of a really comfy barely-there triangle bra, but it’s a sports bra!

Sizing: I think their stuff tends to run big, so when in doubt, you may want to go down a size.

Outdoor voices crops: A favorite for yoga, Ourdoor Voices slash-back crop tops are my absolute favorite! The Athena Crop is also similar, but a racerback shape in the back! These run true to size. Beyond Yoga has a lot of cute crops that are similar too!

Best Accessories + Layers:

Sweaters/cover-ups: It’s nice to have a couple athleisure-type sweaters to throw on over your workout tank! The one I’m wearing here is also from Lolë–I love the adorable criss-cross detail in the front, and it also looks really cute with jeans!

Packable Jacket: I am OBSESSED with this packable jacket from (SHOCKER) Lolë! My wardrobe was really missing a warm, lightweight jacket that I could throw on to walk to work out or just to stroll around the neighborhood, and this one is so awesome. I can’t say enough good things! Lolë makes quite a few of them!

Convertible backpack tote: Lolë’s “Lily” bag is the active commuting woman’s dream bag. It goes from a tote to a backpack, has a water bottle pocket, phone compartment, sleeve for your yoga mat, a laptop sleeve, a shoe bag for your sneakers, to keep them from dirtying your other clothes, and a zipper pouch for any toiletries/makeup. It’s truly amazing.

Sneakers: I got these Nike Tanjun sneakers several months back and I absolutely love them! They are SO comfortable and I would highly recommend them! I also just got Allbirds for Christmas from my awesome mother in law and oh my gosh, you guys, if you’re looking for a truly stylish and insanely comfortable “athleisure” sneaker–I can’t say enough good things about Allbirds!

Okay, if you still need a push to hit the gym, see this workout motivation tips post.

athleisure staples

Shop more athletic wear picks below!


Hope you have the best Thursday!