The Best Athleisure Brands That Are Worth the Splurge


Readers have been talking about how athleisure has been a staple of their work-from-home wardrobe right now, so we thought we’d share a roundup of the best athleisure wear that’s worth the splurge. You can find nice-enough leggings and other athleisure basics at Old Navy, Target, Uniqlo, and so on (another example: the affordable Nordstrom-brand leggings we featured in a recent Weekend Open Thread), but if you want something that’s made better and will last longer, here are four brands to check out. 

Sales of athleisure wear have been growing in the last couple months, with most of us working from home and rarely leaving our houses or apartments. Being mostly seen by coworkers as a talking head (or not seen at all!) has definitely made athleisure work-friendly: The “business on top, party on the bottom” philosophy is working well for most of us. And because being away from the office gives many of us freedom to work out whenever we want, wearing athleisure makes sense. What are your favorite athleisure wear brands? Have you been wearing a lot of athleisure lately as you work from home? 

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Zella is a big reader favorite and most recently appeared in our “Some of the Top Things Readers Bought in March 2020” post. (Kat has recommended them here, too.) Many readers probably know this, but Zella is a Nordstrom house brand — it offers almost 100 pieces, from leggings to sweatshirts to shorts to tees. Besides straight sizes, plus sizes and maternity are available, too. Note that many of Zella’s offerings are on sale right now, so it’s a great time to give the brand a try. One item to definitely check out is their live-in high-waist leggings, which have more than 6,000+ customer reviews (!) and a 4.5 rating and are priced at $59. The similarly highly-reviewed live-in performance jacket is $89. 


This brand is another reader favorite and has been around forever. (It was bought by Gap in 1998.) Athleta is Fair Trade Certified and has earned B Corp certification, and many of its items are produced from sustainable materials. They’ve done collabs with Peloton and Derek Lam 10 Crosby, and their current collab is very close to home: They’ve partnered with Banana Republic.) At least one reader has mentioned being a fan of Athleta’s sweatshirt dresses, and I like the one I bought a few years ago — it’s so comfortable. Other reader recs are the Skyline Pant ($89), Sculptek jeans ($118), leggings, underwear, and more. (Note that although we shared bad news for Gap in our recent post on which major retailers are in danger of closing because of coronavirus, Athleta seems to be doing better than sister brands Gap and Banana Republic.) 

Title Nine

Reader favorite Title Nine is another brand that seems like it’s been around forever — since 1989, to be precise. (I distinctly remember my mom getting their catalogs in the mail when I was a kid — they had lots of photos of “real” women doing active things.) A few things to like about the company, besides their high-quality clothing: Their 360 Guarantee allows returns/refunds for a year after purchase, they provide grants to new, grassroots sports/fitness programs helping girls in underserved communities, they have a great reputation for customer service, and they’re committed to avoiding fast fashion practices. Good bets are their casual skirts and dresses, and sports bras — note that they’re offering free shipping right now. A few highly-rated examples are the Yes Capri ($69), the Double Dare Dress ($89), and the Manresa Hoodie ($89). 

Beyond Yoga 

Co-founded by a second-career yoga instructor (third, really), Beyond Yoga produces their clothing in Los Angeles from responsibly sourced materials and is committed to ethical practices. In addition, their manufacturing partners around the world are WRAP certified (for safe, ethical manufacturing practices). Available in sizes XXS–3X (and maternity, too), the styles are fit-tested on “real” people (the company’s employees, in fact). Nordstrom has a nice selection of their items, including these fun ombré leggings with gold flecks ($66 on sale) and these high-waist leggings ($97). Note that the brand’s sale items are selling out quickly! (A timely note: The company is offering handmade, non-medical, fabric face masks for $20, and if you buy two, another two will be sent to essential workers who need them. All of the money goes to mask manufacturing, shipment, and donations. If you need more options, check out our post on where to find the best face masks for coronavirus.) 

A few other athleisure brands to consider: Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, Carbon 38, Outdoor Voices, Koral, ADAY, Vuori, or even reader favorite like Under Armour  — what else are you considering for your splurges?

What have you found is the best athleisure wear that’s worth the splurge? What are some budget brands you like? 

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