I Just Spent Hours Searching for Stylish Workout Clothes—This Is What Stood Out

Hands up if you find yourself setting a new gym goal every January (and this time, really meaning it), only to cancel your membership within a few short months. Raise your other hand if you're determined to break this cycle in 2024. Same—and you can hold me to that. And although we firmly believe that a new year doesn't need new resolutions, a new you or new hobbies, there are some habits I would like to improve on this year. 

When it comes to working out, I'll take motivation wherever I can find it, even if it's in the stream of stylish activewear that starts hitting the new-in pages within moments of the clock striking midnight. It might sound silly, but I'm convinced that cute workout gear takes a little of the sting out of those ab-burning burpees. We all know the physical and mental benefits of working out, but there's nothing to say we can't look good while doing it, too. 


(Image credit: @kimturkington_)

Even if you're a hardened gym go-er and don't need that sartorial push, January is a time when many of us evaluate our wardrobes and assess the gaps. It doesn't mean we need to ditch it all and start a fresh, but we are perhaps looking to upgrade a basic here and invest in a new wardrobe hero there. Realised your trusty pair of sports leggings is looking a little tired? Or perhaps you need a few colourful pieces to refresh your comfy weekend wardrobe? If so, you're in the right place, because I've rounded up all the stylish activewear out there right now. And trust me, there was a lot to sift through. 

When shopping for gym garb, I believe comfort is key. Above all else, you want to feel like you can move your body without worrying about waistbands digging in or feeling unsupported in the bust area. If you're prone to overheating, look out for fabrics that are designed to keep you cool while you build up a sweat.

But you can put your feet up for now, because I've created an edit of all the pieces you need to get started. From sustainable sports bras made from recycled plastic bottles (yes, really) to relaxed sweatsuits you can wear to yoga, brunch and beyond, take a peek at my edit of the most stylish stretchy separates below.



(Image credit: @chrissyford)

Style Notes: Do your research and choose a sports bra that's supportive, flattering and will work well on its own as well as layered under T-shirts.

Shop sports bras:



(Image credit: @chloepierreldn)

Style Notes: Different exercises require different leggings; for slow-paced yoga, a stretchy cotton pair will suffice, while runners know the importance of sweat-wicking materials.

Shop leggings:



(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: Sweatshirts aren't reserved for the gym. The right one will also keep you company on coffee runs, lunch dates and shopping trips.

Shop sweatshirts:



(Image credit: @hollyjone_s)

Style Notes: Trainers are a cornerstone of all modern footwear collections. Depending on your workout of choice, you'll need a high-quality pair that offers support and breathability.

Shop trainers:



(Image credit: @emmahoareau)

Style Notes: Stick to sleeveless tanks for high-impact workouts and insulating long-sleeved tops for winter runs and park yoga.

Shop tops:



(Image credit: @stephaniebroek)

Style Notes: When you're not styling your sweatpants into chic everyday looks like all our favourite influencers, they still serve as a foolproof option for gentle gym sessions.

Shop joggers:



(Image credit: @elysewellness)

Style Notes: Athletic shorts are a must-have in the warmer months. No one wants to be squeezing their sweaty thighs into tight leggings when it's 30+ degrees outside.

Shop shorts:

Next Up: I Wear Sports Bras Even When I'm Not Working Out—These Are My Favourites

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Freelance Fashion Editor

Bébhinn Campbell is an Edinburgh-based fashion and lifestyle writer and editor. She started her first blog at age 14 and went on to intern at print and digital publications in Berlin and London, including Dazed & Confused and Indie magazine.

A job at a fashion startup took Bébhinn from Ireland to Scotland in 2019, where she now works as a freelance journalist and copywriter covering everything from travel and interiors to styling advice. As a contributor to Who What Wear, Bébhinn always keeps her eyes peeled for emerging trends and looks worth writing about. She prides herself on her ability to cut through the noise and identify solid investment buys, exciting new brands and fresh takes on classic design.

In her spare time, Bébhinn enjoys perusing Edinburgh’s best vintage shops, working through her out-of-control book collection and watching dog reels on Instagram.