Cool Girls Are Going Sporty This Summer—Here Are 6 Fresh Outfit Ideas

With outside officially open, temperatures blazing, and the Olympics on and popping, it's no wonder all the fashion girls are embracing sportswear this summer. After all, there's arguably no other category besides swimwear that's more apt for the season. Whether it's dry-fit fabric or mesh, sportswear is literally made to be worn when it's hot. Realizing this and adopting sportswear into my summer wardrobe is definitely one of my most practical fashion decisions to date. Plus, the sporty aesthetic is getting a lot of love from brands, so our options continue to only get better. 

I scoured the internet for the best sporty outfits and everything you'll need to get the look, from sunglasses to workout sets, tops, hats, and more. I found that the best sporty 'fits tend to incorporate one performance piece at a time, mixed with the fashion aesthetic of your choosing—be it Y2K, cottagecore, or a Hot Girl Summer uniform. You'll know you went overboard with the sportswear ratio if it looks like you could actually be on the way to the gym. Keep scrolling for all my picks. They're good.

Dress + Sporty Shoes

2021 sporty outfits: dress and sneakers



This timeless combo has been a fashion-girl go-to for years now. I love how sneakers automatically transform any outfit into a casual one. When you don't know what the day will bring, this combo is particularly clutch. You can never go wrong with a breezy dress and some high-top sneakers.

Shop sneakers:

Like how Ariel wanted legs but the opposite… because we wanna be them, and they wanna be us.

This colorway is so trippy. Imagine it in motion.

There's something about split-toe sneakers that speaks my language. These are heat.

Tevas pair so well with everything. I love to wear mine with tube socks and a minidress.

Shorts + Boots

Boots and cutoff jean shorts have always been a thing, so why not try sporty shorts instead? Pairing these everyday Adidas shorts with showstopping boots and a designer bag is truly a lesson in how, when done right, high contrast can yield balance. 

Shop sporty shorts:

The cut, the nylon fabric, the length—these are ideal.

This pattern is so fun yet simple enough to go with everything. I also love how the back of the shorts is cut slightly lower. Truly a considerate detail.

Speedo hit the nail on the head with this combination of board shorts and Bermuda shorts.

These Pucci capri leggings are too adorable. I'd wear them with a loose-fitting top and some kitten heels or sneakers.

Shop the matching Sports Bra ($270).

Workout Set

I know I'm not alone when I say I love a set. Not only is the convenience unmatched, but you also can benefit from wearing a set as separates. This Dior set is the perfect example—both pieces would look stunning pared down with denim or white linen.

Tennis is all the rage this summer, and this exercise set featuring a classic polo tank makes a strong case to pick up a racket. Pair the set with shades and a center part as she did here and you're ready to rally, followed by brunch, of course.

Shop workout sets:

This could be the best workout set I've ever seen. 

Shop the matching Ruched Shorts ($58).

Both pieces in this set would be great additions to your summer wardrobe. 

The menswear-inspired pinstripes allow this set to pass as more formal than it is, and for that, I stan.

Shop the matching Oversized Shirt ($35).

IDK about you, but there's nothing like a cute set to motivate me to go to the gym.

Shop the matching Sports Bra ($40).

These come with spandex shorts as well.

Sporty Top

2021 sporty outfits: jersey



Sporty tops are often overlooked by fashion people, but lately, brands have leaned into making the category look cooler. I'm waiting for jerseys to truly blow up in particular. They are the GOAT in the summer and pack a strong punch stylistically, too.

I have been an advocate of sports bras as tops for many years now. Notice how I paired mine with a satin button-down and lots of gold jewelry to distract you from the fact that I am just wearing a sports bra. 

Shop sporty tops:

Sportswear brands are starting to take cues from capital "F" fashion, and I love it here.

I swear the Spice Girls used to wear these Adidas spaghetti-strap tops. 

Sports bras are so clutch in the summer—the support is unmatched. This one is cut longer than most, so it can also pass for a crop top.

This one reminds me of a surf rashguard. I love the topstitch. 

You could wear this as a dress, a cover-up, or a baggy tee.

Performance Accessories

The sporty aesthetic has even taken to the accessory world, which makes sense because performancewear is a superior experience in all categories. Sunglasses that look like they could belong to a cyclist are a particular favorite of mine. Maybe it's because they make you look so badass.

Shop performance accessories:

Pretty much indestructible, this watch is both fly and practical.

These look hard-core and are a dream for people watching.

Once you start wearing these bangle weights, you'll want to wear them everywhere.

Sporty Skirt + Baby Tee

2021 sporty outfits: performance wear skirt



I know you didn't expect to see skirts on this list, but hear me out. It feels like the ubiquity of the tennis-skirt trend made way for more sporty skirts this season. This one takes me back to the early 2000s. It reminds me of TLC's iconic FanMail era, when this adjustable skirt technology was probably brand-new. 

Shop sporty skirts:

We can always count on the Williams sisters to make performancewear look good. 

This would look great with all your bodysuits.

This skirt is straight from an episode of The Jetsons.

This flouncy skirt reminds me of figure-skating outfits I used to gawk over as a kid.

Looking like an Easter egg in the best way.

Shop the matching Polo Shirt ($27).