From Zumba to running, cycling to swimming and everything inbetween. We require a lot from our women's activewear so it’s important to pick a style which suits you. Sundried's handy guide to womens activewear will give you all the dos and don'ts, and will help you learn what to look out for when buying new pieces of women's activewear too.
Womens Gym Top
Fitted Gym Tops
Fitted gym tops are beneficial for those who want to show off a well earned physique. These tops are usually crafted with stretch materials which hug your shape and flatter your frame. Opting for a fitted gym top helps to ensure that your session is restriction free, as loose garments can catch on equipment or trap wind when running outdoors. A well-fitted top will also allow you to monitor your form, particularly watching for an arched or hunched back which is a common cause of injury. Sundried’s Tour Noir tank features 4-way stretch materials which create a streamlined silhouette and unique cut outs to the back engineered to provide the ultimate ventilation and freedom of movement.
Drape Gym Tops
A drape gym top is great for those looking to cover up that little bit more. Loose materials skim the body and flatter all body types. Drape tops such as the Sundried Grivola Tee are also perfect for fitting into your normal day wear and can easily be taken from casual to active. With its super stylish fit, this type of top is perfect for wearing to a yoga class or for a gym workout. A loose gym top is perfect layered over a more tight fitting top or just a stylish sports bra.
Compression Gym Tops
Compression wear is designed to be worn like a second skin and is great for becoming streamlined in sports such as cycling. It is also typically lightweight in design which is what makes it so popular for sportswear. Compression technology has also been shown to increase blood flow and help prevent aches, however this is often questioned and more supporting research is needed. For more information on the benefits of compression wear, have a read of our in-depth article.
Women’s Crop Gym Tops
Those wanting to flash their washboard abs tend to opt for crop tops. In warmer summer months, a crop top can make a stylish statement whilst keeping you cool. We suggest wearing our Breithorn bra solo when exercising in warmer weather, like our ambassador Sophie.
Finding the right gym bottoms is vital for your performance when training. Read our advice on gym tights styles here.
The Sundried Ruinette tights are multi-functional, providing support for a multitude of sports with extra waist support and a reflective trim for running in low light.
There are lots of different elements to activewear, and to complete your exercise outfits you'll want a stylish sports bra. There are lots of different types of sports bra, so it's important to pick the right one.
Sports Bra Crop Top
If you don't need too much support, for example if you are doing low impact exercise like walking or yoga, you can wear a sports bra crop top. These are incredibly stylish and fashionable and can make for really cute gym clothes. The Sundried Breithorn 2.0 Sports Bra is designed in a crop top style so it can be worn on its own or under a casual jacket to take your activewear from gym to casual wear effortlessly. Sophie here is wearing hers under a denim jacket for chic style at a casual lunch with friends. When it comes to street style, there's nothing better.
High Support Sports Bra
If something more supportive is what you're looking for, take a look at the Sundried Busazza Sports Bra. It is made with seamless materials so it fits like a second skin and will give you that locked-in feel you want when doing higher impact activities like a circuit class or CrossFit. It is made with premium fabrics which are super soft to the touch and will feel amazing on your skin.
Womens Gym Clothes Online
Buying womens sportswear online can be a minefield, but if you know what to look for, you'll end up with cute gym clothes and exercise outfits that are the envy of all your friends. Have a read of our guide on What To Look For When Buying Sportswear so that you have everything you need to know in one place.
The main difference between buying ladies gym wear online and in a store is that you can't try it on. That's why Sundried have a comprehensive womens activewear size guide with tips on how to measure yourself properly and international conversions so that you know exactly which size you'll need. It's also a good idea to check that the online store you're buying from offers free shipping and free returns so that if it is the wrong size, you can swap it for a different size hassle-free.
There are lots of benefits to buying womens sports clothing online, the main one being convenience. You can browse the collections at your own pace and compare different styles of workout attire. Plus, when it gets delivered, it's like Christmas and all the presents are for you!
For women, wearing a sports bra is imperative when exercising. We look at why you need to wear a sports bra, how to choose the best sports bra, and facts about sports bras.
Why do you need a sports bra?
The average woman in the UK wears a size 34D bra. A 34D equates to around 500g of weight, per breast, so the average woman in the UK is carrying an extra kilogram of weight across her front. Breast tissue contains no muscle and can move independently to the rest of a woman's body. Breasts are supported mainly by skin and fragile ligaments called Coopers' ligaments. These are not elastic, so repetitive or high impact sports that cause the breasts to bounce can pull on the ligaments, forcing them to stretch. Once these ligaments have stretched, they stay this way. The result, every woman's nightmare - sagging breasts.
Along with sagging, training with no support can lead to breast pain, upper back and shoulder problems and poor posture..
Sports Bra Facts
- Your boobs can bounce up to 14cm without a sports bra.
- 44% of women who exercise regularly do not wear a sports bra.
- You should never need to wear more than one sports bra at a time.
- A good sports bra can minimise movement by 53%, even in an A cup.
- Breast pain is a problem for almost one in three (32%) female marathon runners.
- A study of 249 women found that breasts ranked fourth among barriers to physical activity, after lack of motivation, time and poor health.
The history of the sports bra
Sports bras are actually a pretty new idea, invented in 1977 when two women created a jogging bra by sewing two jockstraps together. Lindahl got the idea for the design of the sports bra when she realised that women needed a female version of the jockstrap. She realised it because her husband wore his jockstrap on his chest as a joke.
Before she invented the sports bra, women used to wear one size small normal bras to get the support that they needed during sports. Nowadays, sports bras come in all sorts of designs and styles, so it can be difficult to know what you should be wearing.
What do compression, encapsulation or both do?
All bras with any amount of spandex or lycra offer a degree of compression. The aim of compression in a sports bra is to push your bust against your chest to prevent movement. Compression bras are best suited to a smaller bust. Encapsulated bras support each boob individually and usually provide a moulded shape suitable for most breast sizes and activities. Sports bras which combine encapsulation and compression are the best option for larger breasted women and as they offer an increased level of compression whilst providing support and uplift.
Which level of compression do I need?
Low compression: Low compression bras are best suited to low impact sports, where there is little or no bouncing. Activities include yoga, Pilates and weight training.
Medium compression: These bras are best suited to medium impact sports, meaning there is a moderate degree of bouncing. Activities include the elliptical trainer and power walking.
High compression: These are best for exercising at any intensity over jogging. From running to dance. These bras are designed for activities where there is maximum movement and minimises the risk of damage.
What are sports bras made with?
Different materials offer different benefits in sports bras. Before buying a sports bra, women should determine what they want their bra to do.
Material Benefits Knitted mesh Provides increased ventilation and contour-forming fit Nylon - blend fabric Lifts moisture from skin and dries quickly to minimize discomfort and chafing from sweat Polyester / spandex blend Provides comfort from fabric softness Cotton / Lycra blend Provides more fabric thickness
Sports bra straps
Straps typically come in a racerback or with individually adjustable straps, racer backs disperse the weight of your chest and take it away from the shoulders, typically they are found in high compression bras as they provide the freedom of movement required for high intensity sports. Individual straps which offer adjustable support are best for larger busts, as the straps can be adjusted to achieve further movement control.
Signs you're wearing the wrong sports bra:
- Nip slip - If there’s potential of a nip slip, it’s time to go up a size.
- It’s uncomfortable - Your sports bra should be as comfortable- if not more comfortable than your regular bra.
- It’s old - Sports bra’s have a life expectancy and even the best ones need replacing often, as soon as your bra looses it’s elasticity, you're risking your boobs doing the same. To extend the life of your sports bras, treat them - try giving them a hand wash and sun dry.
- The band rides up you back - The band is the building blocks of your support, so if its moving it probably doesn't fit properly. The band should sit tight, not move up or down, but not restrict you breathing. It’s never a good idea to exercise in a bra that makes you feel like you're holding your breath.
- The straps dig in - Kiss goodbye to this sports bra, if the straps are digging, its not supporting your chest, so it’s about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.
- You have to double up - Doubling up on your bra can be uncomfortable and is completely unnecessary if you get a decent fitting bra in the first place. Try getting fitted professionally.
- Your boobs whack your chin when you bounce - Before buying any sports bra, do a few high jumps. Run around a little in the fitting room. If your boobs have the potential to knock you out, next.
- It's made of cotton - Technical fabrics are designed to support the breast and wick away moisture, while cotton just stretches out and soaks up sweat.
Activewear and athleisure are taking over the fashion industry and more and more of us are opting to wear comfortable, stylish womens fitness clothing as everyday casual wear. But do you know how to wear it best? We take a look at how to style activewear.
Loose flowing yoga top
When it comes to yoga tops for women, a loose flowing yoga top is the queen. Layered over a stylish sports bra or crop top and vest, a loose yoga top will create effortless style and a cool, casual look. Wear your monochrome top over colour block under-layers for a bold statement, or keep it all black-and-white for timeless style.
Black leggings should be a staple of every woman's wardrobe. They're incredibly comfortable and versatile and can be worn with almost anything. Wear your black leggings under a long top for coverage or pair with a crop top if you're feeling bold in the summer months. You can wear women's running leggings as everyday casual wear by pairing them with a casual t-shirt or vest and a hoodie. This fashionable look will not only look great, you'll be super comfortable all day and will have full freedom of movement without having to worry about being confined to tight jeans. The other big benefit of wearing gym leggings as everyday casual wear is that they are often squat-proof leggings, meaning you don't need to worry about people seeing your underwear under your black leggings!
If you're going to invest in women's gym wear, you want it to look great as well as perform well at the gym. A great pair of leggings will be slimming and cinch your waist as well as sculpting your bum. Look out for high-waisted leggings which often feature tummy control and compression-style leggings which will lift and firm the appearance of your behind. These days, it's all about wearing fashion gym wear which will look good both in and out of the gym. If you look great, you'll feel great; it'll improve your confidence and give you the motivation you need to succeed.
Finding a great sports bra can be a challenge, but if you know what to look for you'll have a better chance. We look at how to choose the best sports bra.
Are sports bras good for you?
Continuous and vigorous movement like that done during exercise can put a lot of strain on the ligaments in your breasts. Once they've stretched, they stay this way, and can lead to the appearance of sagging. By wearing a sports bra, you are supporting your breasts as well as protecting the ligaments and tissue within the breast. This means that yes, sports bras are very good for you, especially if you have a large bust. If you have a fairly flat chest, chances are you'll be able to get away with not wearing a sports bra. However, the racer back design means you don't have to worry about straps falling down like on a normal bra, so wearing a sports bra is definitely beneficial when training and doing exercise.
Sports bra for running
Running is a high impact sport and as such you should definitely wear a sports bra when running. Sports bras were only invented 38 years ago, and before this women had to endure a lot of pain during exercises such as running. Nowadays, a sports bra is a staple element of women's gym wear and most women own one. When it comes to running, you need a sports bra that fits well and won't chafe or rub as you move. Your sports bra should fit you well to avoid doing damage to your breasts. A racer back sports bra will keep the breasts close to the body and stop them moving too much as you run while sports bras with individual cups are good for ladies with larger breasts as they give individual support to prevent pain and damage.
Extra high impact sports bra
When it comes to choosing a sports bra, trial and error may be best. If you have a larger bust, you may need an extra high impact sports bra to keep your breasts in place and give you the support you need. Extra high impact sports include running, CrossFit, tennis, and any sport where you may be jumping. An extra high impact sports bra should feature a tight fit and supported cups for best results.
What is a seamless sports bra?
These days, seamless activewear is very popular. This is because it reduces chafing and improves comfort, as well as overall appearance of the garment. When it comes to women's activewear and women's fitness clothing, you want it to be comfortable. Seamless activewear is made with stretch fabrics and omits any stitching which can sometimes chafe. A seamless sports bra will be made from one piece of fabric and give a locked-in feel so that you can run and jump safe in the knowledge that you won't suffer any tissue damage to your breasts.
Do you buy your clothes from the sport shop more often than a fashion retailer? Womens fitness clothing is on the rise and we explore why.
Womens Gym Wear
Wearing your gym leggings to lunch is now a widely accepted thing to do, and we couldn't be happier! 'Athleisure' is the trend of wearing gym clothes as everyday fashion so it's no wonder sales of sports clothing is on the rise.
Ladies gym wear is comfortable, flattering, and now it's super stylish too. Wearing your workout clothes as all-day fashion means you can exercise at any time and not be inhibited by tight jeans or worry about sweating in an expensive cashmere jumper.
Seamless gym clothes allow for better freedom of movement than ever before and prevent uncomfortable chafing. The Sundried seamless sports bra is super flattering and will be the most comfortable sports bra you've ever worn. Forget uncomfortable cups and chafing under the armpits. This sports bra moves as you move and almost fits like a second skin. The stylish design means you can wear it on its own or under an equally fashionable workout top. More and more women are choosing to wear fitness clothing as regular clothes and this sports bra is no exception. Instead of wearing a painful bra, why not wear this sports bra every day?
Womens Gym Leggings
If your gym leggings are smart and stylish, you can wear them for pretty much any occasion! The Sundried Ruinette leggings flatter your figure and are so comfortable you'll want to wear them every day. If you need to run for a bus or play with your kids, you'll be able to move with ease and the sweat-wicking technology will mean you stay dry and comfortable no matter what.
Long Sleeve Tops
As winter approaches, you'll need to start thinking about those outer layers. There's nothing worse than running to catch a train in a big coat and then sweating as soon as you step onto the hot carriage and rushing to strip down to your t-shirt. That's why wearing sports clothing is such a good choice. The Sundried Long Sleeve Training Top is seamless so it's always comfortable and super flattering. It has technical sweat-wicking and anti-odour capabilities so even if you do overheat, you won't feel uncomfortable. Plus, it's unbelievably stylish! No one will even know it's supposed to be fitness clothing.