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.
Getting fit can happen anywhere and everywhere and it won’t take an entire home gym to get you there. These handy bits of kit can help transform your fitness and help you reach your goals.
Heart Rate Monitor
A heart rate monitor is the perfect bit of kit to make sure you’re working hard enough. Training with your heart rate enables you to monitor not only your effort but your overall level of fitness too. The quicker your heart rate returns to normal after a workout, the fitter you are. As your fitness improves, you’ll also find what originally had your heart rate soaring will become easier and you’ll know when it’s time to up the ante to continue improving.
For more info on how to train with heart rate, see our introduction to heart rate training zones.
You can also read reviews of some of the most popular monitors available.
Trying to get fit at home can be tough as you are blurring the lines between rest and exercise. It's best for your motivation to change into your fitness clothing so that you are in the right frame of mind to workout before you even start.
Research has shown that having the right activewear can actually improve your efforts, as well as provide you with a more comfortable routine. Technical fabrics wick sweat and prevent odour and chafing to enhance your activity. Whether you’re training at home, outside or in the gym, your activewear should match your effort. Sundried’s activewear collection is designed to help you reach your full potential and support your performance.
The TRX is a great addition to any home workout routine as it can be easily installed in any room of the house with a mount or even using a door frame. TRX workouts add an extra dimension to body weight training by adding intensity to body weight exercises through the use of suspension. Users create constant tension on the abdominal muscles whilst performing multi-dimensional, compound exercises using body weight and suspension resistance. Integration is better than isolation. Training multiple muscle groups at a time promises faster results. Adding a TRX to your home routine will add extra intensity and diversity to your routine to keep you moving forward towards your goals. Want to know more about the TRX? Read our TRX posts.
Why not try our TRX challenge or other TRX exercise guides
Kettlebells are another tool which can easily be incorporated into a home training regime. Kettlebells increase strength, speed and power and boost your metabolism whilst burning calories. A traditional kettlebell is a cast iron weight; it’s spherical in shape with a flat base and handle at the top, these can be swung, snatched and lifted in various ways to build a strong, fit physique. There is such a variety of exercises you can do with a kettlebell that they can be a very good purchase for a home gym, however if you’re entirely new to kettlebells we recommend you seek some tuition from a qualified instructor before going it alone, flying kettlebells make their fair share of damage. Find out more about kettlebell training here.
When most people think of working out, they picture a dumbbell. Dumbbells are the symbol of working out and quite possibly the most important purchase when it comes to training at home. Adding weights to your routine will help build muscle, strengthen your bones and burn more calories. Start by getting a dumbbell tree, or adjustable weights, so you can improve as you go along. The list of exercises you can do with dumbbells feels endless, so it’s worth investing in a sturdy pair which will last you a long time.
If you're tight on space, resistance bands are great for creating extra intensity to your routine without requiring loads of room. These can easily be stored out of the way and are great for assisted stretching as well as incorporating into your routine. Bands increase strength, improve your balance and reduce joint pain.
A foam roller is a great addition to any home training regime for use before, during and after workouts. Foam rolling your muscles stimulates increased blood flow to tired muscles as well as relieving knots and improving circulation using a technique called self myofascial release. As well as using a foam roller to stretch, it can be used during your workout to create an unstable platform, for example using a plank. The unstable platform creates extra work as your body is forced to recruit further muscles to try to help it stabilise as well as complete the exercise. Learn how to foam roll your legs.
Fitness Apps and DVDS
Fitness technology is constantly growing and there are a variety of different apps and DVDs which can help inspire your creativity when it comes to training at home. Try to opt for DVDs which are challenging and shake up your routine to keep your body guessing, rather than just depending on one. If having your favourite trainer on DVD motivates you, buying their apps and DVDs can be a perfect tool for staying motivated and excited by your indoor routines. When training at home workout DVDs can also be good for monitoring your intensity, as you need to keep up with your trainer. Anyone who said getting fit at home is easy, has never tried Insanity!
The most important kit you can bring to a home workout routine is motivation, if you’re willing to try and give it your all, you will succeed. Whether you’re at home, in the gym, travelling or outside, Sundried have a way for you to stay active.
When it comes to gym wear, you want to make sure you're comfortable above all else. If you're constantly having to hitch up your leggings or pull at your sports bra, you'll end up distracted and your workout won't be as good. We take a look at what makes the perfect gym clothes for women.
As well as being comfortable, you want your workout clothes to look good! Think about co-ordinating sports bras and leggings and flattering colours and shapes. The Sundried Breithorn Bra 2.0 comes in three colours all with matching leggings. The flattering racerback design won't chafe and means no straps slipping down while you move. It's so stylish that you could just wear it as a crop top when you head out with friends or family.
Women's Athletic Wear
You want your workout clothes to make you feel like the real deal: an athlete! If you feel comfortable and confident in your sports clothing, you'll perform better at the gym. The Sundried Tour Noir Tank features a stylish cut-out back which will show off your figure and the mesh insert is super on-trend. If you're after something a little smarter, the Sundried Piz Fora women's training vest will make you look like a real professional and can be worn seamlessly outside of the gym too thanks to its clean lines and subtle colours.
High waisted or not? Capri or full length? Stretchy or compression? There's a lot to consider when it comes to yoga pants or gym leggings. Only you can know what works best for you and what you're most comfortable, so stick with what you know. High waist gym tights can flatter your figure and cinch your waist, but they can also be uncomfortable if they're too tight.
Above all else, make sure you're comfortable and that you feel confident enough to get on with your workout without being distracted by your activewear.
Chantelle Znideric is a style director and award winning personal stylist, as well as an avid runner and Sundried fan. She tells us how exercise helped her combat postnatal depression.
How did you get into running?
I got into running after I had my second daughter who is now three. About ten months after she was born I got post natal depression. I felt incredibly low; daily child- and work-related tasks felt like huge mammoth tasks, and most days I just couldn’t even face getting out of bed. Feeling like that was such a big contrast to how I normally am; I am generally an easy going, positive, and driven person so this was very hard to deal with.
My husband suggested I try the Couch to 5k app but I couldn’t be bothered to run then walk and run then walk so instead I started going for short jogs up the hill, it wasn’t even 1k in distance! I felt so exhausted and incredibly unfit. However, over a period of a few weeks, I started to feel energised and I became addicted to being outside, having the fresh air hit my face and feeling free from the daily binds. Every day I would get up at 5am and take to the roads before the kids or anyone else in the neighbourhood had woken up. I loved it and it really helped me to shed the negativity that enveloped me.
At the moment, I’m still running fairly regularly, which is really good for me. A few months ago I signed up for the 10-mile Great South Run in Portsmouth after doing the Brighton Half in February so it’s definitely on my agenda to increase my distances and work harder in the run up to this event.
In terms of doing any other training, I don’t really have time to go to the gym or anything like that so my husband downloaded an abs app a few months ago, which we do every night. Not sure if I’ve seen much improvement though but that may have something to do with all that extra ice cream!
How do you feel about enclothed cognition*?
I totally believe in enclothed cognition, as it’s what I preach, work to and live by in my work as a personal stylist. Basically, when I work with my clients, the majority of them want to be appropriately dressed for their lifestyle, work or social engagements and dressing the part will definitely increase confidence, attitude and positivity. Ultimately, they want to look stylish and feel confident.
*We introduce the term “enclothed cognition” to describe the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes.
What are your top 3 fitness fashion tips?
- For those that shy away from wearing colour, keep it simple and chic by wearing dark colours but with bright trainers. There are loads of amazing styles and colour combinations out there so don’t be afraid of getting creative.
- Invest in the best sports bra your money can buy. You will feel super comfy during every workout leaving you to enjoy and focus on your exercise.
- Dress for your body shape. Certain clothing styles will accentuate your body shape and it’s exactly the same with gym kit. For example, if you have curvier legs wear darker colours, otherwise if you are tall and athletic go for printed bottoms and tops to add curves, and if your midriff isn’t quite as toned as you’d like opt for high waisted bottoms.
How do you choose what activewear to buy?
I’m a bit of a sucker for certain brands and if I see a new brand in the press I like to give it a go.
What qualities do you look for in activewear?
Luxe styling, quality fabrics, and how it feels on are all important to me.
Recently, athleisure has meant that we’re seeing activewear worn more and more as fashion pieces, what do you think of this trend? Is it here to stay?
I have to say I love this trend, as it definitely suits my off-duty lifestyle running around after two young children. In general, my current style has a sporty twist so I love tailored joggers, luxe sweatshirts and bomber jackets for work. I also live in sneakers, my husband has lost count of the actual number of pairs of sneakers I own! I promise you though it’s really not that many.
What are your key workout wardrobe pieces?
My workout pieces consist of my Sundried Ruinette Tights, they are amazingly comfy to wear when I’m running and I love the feel of them, a white Sundried Tour Noir Tank, some brightly coloured Adidas Boost sneakers and a colourful Nike cap.
Would you recommend Sundried?
Absolutely, I would totally recommend Sundried, I love all the pieces individually in the womenswear capsule collection and the quality is superb. What more can I say?