Fitness.Fashion.Function | 7 Fashionable Work-Out Brands

January 18, 2013

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Most of us have difficulty finding motivation to work-out, especially during the winter months and it’s freezing cold outside. The thought of waking up at the butt-crack of dawn or heading to the gym after work (when’s it dark outside) usually makes us want to hibernate at home with some comfort food. I know it may sound a  bit bizarre but I truly believe that looking good and feeling comfortable in your gear while working out not only gives you the motivation to make it to the gym, yoga studio, spin class etc but it also encourages you to work out harder while you are there. If any of you are sporting oversized sweatpants and your boyfriend’s fav shirt from college, I demand you to burn them immediately and get in shape with clothes that pair both fashion and function.

Emails have been streaming in from followers about what I wear to work out. I live and die by Lululemon and Nike for my feet but I also like to stick out and wear things that are unique, so I started to do some research on some of the coolest fitness brands you should definitely add to your work-out clothing repertoire, no matter what your chosen form of exercise is.

1. Lululemon


Canadian cult brand Lululemon, created in 1998 on the west coast in Vancouver, BC, has long been my go-to for running and yoga apparel.  In recent years they have grown and expanded with stores across the US. In my opinion, they were the first leader in producing fashionable workout clothes that are also functionable and comfy with collections for both men and women. With such a diverse product offering with items that can be worn for spinning, hot yoga, running, tennis in addition to outerwear, undergarments, hair accessories, bags, mats  and even clothes to walk your dog in the winter…these guys have clearly covered all the basis. However, many have complained that their price points are too high. Pants and leggings range from $98-120 and tanks from $52-58. But with this price point, you get the best return policy ever. I have returned leggings from 3 years ago because the Lululemon logo had worn off and they gifted me with another pair that was comparable.

2. Sweaty Betty


Lululemon is not yet available in the UK but Brit’s can still mix fashion and comfort with this functional brand, founded by Tamara Hill-Norton. This fitness fanatic is really into fashion (she’s attended the British Fashion Awards, has already been featured in Vogue UK and has a background in textile design). This mash-up is evident in the brand’s line and the gear can take you from the yoga studio, the ski slopes, to brunch with friends. Sweaty Betty has practical looks to be used for every sport – from swimming to running. Hands down, the most diverse fashion fitness brand I’ve ever seen. Price points are a bit on the high end as well. The company’s signature marathon shorts will run you around $70. In regards to shipping to North America, they are only servicing the US right now (sorry fellow Canadians) and usually takes up to 10 days for shipping.

3. Lucy

Lucy Activewear

These guys came on to the fitness fashion scene a year after Lululemon back in 1999 and are fast gaining followers, especially out west seeing as though it was launched in Portland, Oregon (for those followers out there). Lucy was founded by a group of gals who were on the hunt for stylish but high performance wear tailored specifically for women – so there is no men’s collection! The brand has an amazing mantra inspired, eco-loving yoga and studio collection but also has Barre class sticky socks (effing amazing!) and signature pants in different lengths to help out the extra short or the ultra tall. Prices are what I would call average and they have a stellar return policy.

4. NUX

Nux Activewear

I’m kinda coveting this LA based line, which is a huge fav amongst fitness mags and celebs alike. This is not the line of clothes for those that are leisure gym-goers…this is some serious performance wear. I died when I discovered that their fabrics are super moisture absorbing and many of the designs are seamless. One of the very few brands that categorizes it’s pieces by how much compression/support they provide (compression being the level of hold created by their innovative body “engineering” designs). If you love Bikram yoga like I do, then you can rejoice…NUX has a full hot yoga collection with bra tops and micro shorts. Most of the clothes are bodycon, so not so much relax gear. Modest price points – pants range from $49-69 and tops come in around $40.

5. Zella


Zella is Norstrom’s in-house line of fitness fashion clothes and I couldn’t help but notice that the clothes’ aesthetics closely resembles Lulu. It’s actually been rumored that it could have been created by a former Lulu designer. You can find camel toe free “move” pants – an absolute necessity and I love the fact that they have a kiddie line too! Although very comparable to Lululemon visually, the price points are not as steep. Tanks and running capris are around $30. Only available at Nordstrom stores and online (don’t worry Canucks – Nordstrom’s now ships north of the border to Canada).

6. Electric Yoga


Fashion and yoga lovers will ADORE this line, designed byMichelle Bohbot, who also is the designer and creator of Bisou Bisou. You will find super bright colours and bold graphics. They even have – wait for it…an “anti-slip” yoga pant, which pretty much is a pant/legging with a rubberized foot stirrup so no mat  necessary! Prices range from the mid $50 price point for bras to $198 for their epic quilted trench.

7. Alo

Alo Sport

If you’re a vegan and prefer to choose brands that are both sustainable and eco-friendly, then this is for you. You will be happy to know that their LA based design house is even solar powered and they have several in-house recycling programs- natch! Collections for both guys and gals but definitely less flashy and fashionable to what I am accustomed to wearing but their clothes are made out of luxurious fabrics like bambo and organic cotton. The prices are reasonable…tanks range from $26-56.

Do you know of any fashionable workout wear not listed here? If so, would love to hear about it!



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