From Function to Fashion: Women’s Workout Clothing That Has It All

Activewear fitness clothes outfit - cute pink fashion matching clothing for girl training with weights and phone headphones to listen to music during workout at gym on purple exercise mat background.

Key Points

  • The best women's workout clothing is functional and fashionable. 

  • Browse Lululemon, Nike, Athleta, Adidas, Carbon38, Sweaty Betty, and others for the best fashions in fitness.

  • Each clothing item fits comfortably and supports various workouts, but be aware of potential downsides.

Searching for athleisure wear that's actually worth every dollar? Whether you're lounging, exercising, making a much-needed coffee run, or all of the above, changing clothes in between is an avoidable hassle.

Take a note from American runner and TikTok personality Mrs. Space Cadet: "I need tights that are so comfortable I don't even know I'm wearing them."

To help you assemble a reliable (and stylish) workout wardrobe, here's a list of popular sports bras, leggings, and exercise tops on the market.

Lululemon Wunder Under Leggings

Photo source: Lululemon

Wondering what the Lululemon hype is all about? While some say Lulu is outrageously overpriced, others rave that these leggings are the best in the biz.

Lululemon leggings for women are high-quality, versatile, long-lasting, and very comfortable. 

Price: $88 – $138

Sale Price: $49 – $89 (depends on inseam length)

Sizes: 0 – 20

Fabrics: 69 percent Nylon, 31 percent Lycra Elastane


Lululemon leggings for women feature a buttery soft exterior, cool-to-the-touch interior, and fast-drying material. Phew, no dreaded sweat stains! 

When you step into these leggings, they feel wonderfully weightless and breathable — perfect for training in hot, humid environments. Wunder Unders are high-rise with a hidden pocket in the front waistband. They hug your midsection to create a slimming effect.

Even better? Lululemon leggings stay snug all day long. 

Workout Type

Lululemon leggings support yoga and high-intensity workouts. Get your namaste on, take a spin class, do a HIIT workout, or run outside.


  • A tad too compressing for some women

  • Expensive

  • Laundry hassle

Wash Tip: Avoid fabric pilling by washing leggings with similar materials in cold water. Hang to dry. In a rush? Tumble leggings on low heat.

Note: Lululemon Wunder Under leggings were discontinued in 2021 and replaced with an upgraded version labeled Wunder Train. New pairs contain a hidden drawcord inside the waistband to prevent it from rolling down during exercise. These are available in-store and online.

Nike Women's Victory Compression Sports Bra

Photo source: Amazon

This Nike sports bra is supportive with removable padded liners. Its racerback design offers a wide range of motion, while the bra's DRI-fit jersey material inspires excellent performance.

When you fall in love with a clothing item, are you the type that has to buy it in every color? If so, this Nike sports bra is your new holy grail. Choose from an array of neutrals and brights. 

Price: $37 – $45

Sizes: XS – XL

Fabrics: 88 percent polyester, 12 percent spandex


Nike sports bras have moisture-wicking technology that leaves you cool and dry. They're also wire-free (your ribcage says thank you). 

Workout Type

Play low-intensity sports such as golf and tennis, walk, or enjoy yoga. Nike sports bras are also great for dancing, barre, and Pilates workouts. 


  • Runs small and feels too tight for some wearers (when in doubt, size up!)

  • Can cause chafing during long-distance runs 

  • Not supportive enough for higher-intensity workouts

  • Hard to remove after exercise 

Outdoor Voices TechSweat Crop Top

Formerly known as the "Move Free Crop Top," the Outdoor Voices crop top is stylish, breathable, and expertly crafted for high-intensity training. 

Price: $48 

Sale Price: $34 for Larimar color

Sizes: XXS – XXXL

Fabrics: 72 percent nylon, 17 percent Lycra, 11 percent polyester


This form-fitting garment is for conservative babes. It has a high neckline, adjustable Y-back, and removable pads. This Outdoor Voices crop top is flattering on all body types. 

Workout Type

Move and sweat your heart out! Wear this piece while doing cardio, spin, hot yoga, Pilates, marathons, and more. 


  • Noticeable sweat stains

  • Pads get rolled and wrinkled in the wash

  • Arm holes are too large for some wearers

  • Not as supportive during high-intensity workouts for bustier women

  • It may feel hard to breathe while running (too tight in the chest) 

Style Tip: Want to cover your midsection while out and about? Pair your Outdoor Voices crop top with Ewedoos Yoga Pants. These pants' high waistline and opaque materials cover you in all the right places. 

Athleta Elation Tights

Photo source: Athleta

Athleta tights for women are full-length, high-waisted, and support various workouts. The best part? Athleta exudes female empowerment by offering inclusive sizing for all women and encouraging them to celebrate each other's wins. 

Athleta president Nancy Green shares, "We believe in the limitless potential of women and girls, and we are passionate about the power of women coming together — it's in our DNA." 

You can dress Athleta tights up or down and wear them anywhere for any occasion. 

What's not to love? 

Price: $89 

Sale Prices: $24.97 and $74.99 for specific patterns

Sizes: XXS – 3X

Fabrics: 75 percent recycled polyester, 25 percent Lycra


Athleta tights for women are soft and stretchy, featuring a double-layered waistband for light compression. Their V-shaped waistline creates a flattering silhouette, while the inseam sits just above the ankle for increased airflow.

Athleta's quick-drying fabric wicks away sweat for a more comfortable workout experience. 

Need to keep your smartphone nearby for workout music? Elation leggings have a six-inch deep hidden pocket. Your phone slides right in!

Workout Type

Sport this durable pair of leggings while performing both low and high-impact activities. Weightlifting, yoga, Pilates, barre — you name it.


  • Expensive

  • May slip for smaller-waisted women (size down for a tighter fit)

  • Fabric pilling happens fast

  • Shows panty lines

  • Laundry hassle 

Wash Tip: Protect the fabric's integrity by placing clothing items in a mesh bag and washing them in cold water. Hang to dry. 

Sweaty Betty Power Leggings

Celebrities like Jennifer Anniston and Kate Middleton adore Sweaty Betty leggings. Why? This best-selling workout staple sculpts your booty, slims down your thighs, smooths out your stomach, and lasts for years. Quadruple threat!

Sweaty Betty leggings let you look and feel your best. Their stretchy, lightweight fabric moves with you and is very breathable. Bonus? There's a left-side pocket for your phone and a discrete adjustable drawcord.

Choose from over 20 vibrant colors and patterns!

Price: $100 (subscribe to their email list for 20 percent off your first order)

Sizes: XXS – XXL

Fabrics: 62 percent nylon, 38 percent elastane


Sweaty Betty leggings feel like a second skin: light, soft, and smooth as silk. Even better? They don't cling to your sweat.

Ditch the stress of getting overheated during a grueling workout and the struggle of removing your leggings afterward. 

Workout Type

This multi-sport legging is excellent for walking, running, yoga, spin, barre, Zumba, HIIT, and weightlifting. 


  • Pricey

  • Shows sweat (beware of lighter shades)

  • Waistband drawcord can be bothersome, especially on dreadful bloating days

Beyond Yoga Spacedye Slim Racerback Tank

Photo source: Amazon

This Beyond Yoga tank top is the ultimate athleisure piece. Confidently rock your workouts or kick your feet back and relax. The Spacedye Slim Racerback tank provides chic comfort and style with its compressive fit, skinny racerback design, and four-way stretch material. 

Price: $45 – $68

Sizes: XXS – XXL (some colors go up to 4X)

Fabrics: 87 percent polyester, 13 percent spandex


This fan-favorite contains a built-in shelf bra and buttery soft spaghetti straps that never pinch your skin. A Beyond Yoga tank top lets you balance athleticism with effortlessness.

Not exercising one day? Pair this piece with high-waisted jeans, a cardigan, and your comfiest shoes. 

Workout Type

With vigorous workouts, Beyond Yoga tank tops function well for smaller-chested women. Lower-intensity workouts such as yoga, stretching, hiking, and climbing the Stairmaster are best. 


  • Not enough support for bustier women

  • No bra cups

  • May be too short for modest wearers

  • Costly

Seeking more crop top coverage? The Bestisun Crop drapes nicely with an adorable front criss-cross design. 

Under Armour HeatGear Armour Capri

Photo source: Amazon

These Under Armour capri leggings are suitable for intense exercise. How so? Moisture-wicking technology lets you sweat 'til you drop.

Price: $26 – $40

Sizes: XS – XXL

Fabrics: 87 percent polyester, 13 percent elastane


Under Armour capri leggings feature a 26" inseam and a chafe-free fit — an answered prayer for all you thick-thighed beauties! They hug your hips and offer superior coverage for such an ultra-lightweight fabric.

Workout Type

Wear HeatGear capris while weight training, walking, and running.


  • Waistband cinches (uncomfortable and unflattering)

  • Not enough compression

  • Way too thin (almost feels like pantyhose)

  • Lighter colors are somewhat see-through

  • Loosens and slips down while you train

Carbon38 Takara Leggings

Carbon38 Takara leggings are legendary in the luxury activewear world. They're sleek, shiny, and stylish. These gorgeous tights also come in a variety of colors and textures. 

Carbons flatten your tummy, grant complete flexibility, fit like a glove, and hold up exceptionally well. 

Price: $109

Sizes: XXS – XXL

Fabrics: 80 percent nylon, 20 percent Lycra 


Carbon38 leggings have a liquid, almost velvet feel. They're ultra-thin yet highly durable. The no-roll waistband keeps everything in place. 

Are you a leggings fanatic who also despises wearing jeans? Dress up your Carbon38 Takara leggings with a crop tee, denim jacket or blazer, and sneakers.

Workout Type

Try weight training, yoga, Pilates, and more! Stick with cooler environments. 


  • Visible panty lines

  • Sheer and shows sweat

  • Staple colors frequently sold out

  • Too thin (susceptible to snags)

  • Not very breathable or sweat-wicking

  • Runs small

  • Super pricey (look for sales and markdowns)

Adidas by Stella McCartney Run Tank Top

The Adidas by Stella McCartney tank top features a built-in bra and circular back cut-out for enhanced airflow. It comes in unique colors like "Ice Grey" and "Glow Yellow," inspiring a colorful fitness wardrobe. 

Note: As of May 2023, this top is sold out. Yes, people truly dig it! If you want it, sign up for an in-stock notification or purchase gently worn tanks on Poshmark. 

Price: $90 

Sale Price: $63

Sizes: XS – L

Fabrics: 80 percent polyester, 20 percent elastane


Crafted with a Climalite material that keeps you cool and dry, this tank has it all. It's slimming but not overly tight and features a round, conservative neckline.

There's also plenty of room for your underarms to breathe!

Workout Type

Adidas by Stella McCartney is the perfect top for running and other intense cardio workouts. 


  • Expensive

  • May be unavailable online

  • Not many color options

Your Fitness Wardrobe Awaits

Three vibrant women in sports wear.

Quality women's workout clothing provides fashion, function, and performance. When shopping for your fitness essentials, prioritize all three elements for clothing you can count on.

Want more updates on everything fashion, fitness, lifestyle, and more? Subscribe to Fit&Fab today. 

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