Working from home has meant Australians are buying, and wearing, more activewear than ever before. But is it just more of the same? From new labels like Sōlo the Staple and Nagnata, to Jennifer Lopez’s go-to studio style, here are six clever upgrades that combine function with form.
The sales of activewear are up across the board – suggesting that while we may not be venturing too far from home (well, yet), we are prepared to splash out on a new pair of leggings to spice up our work-from-home wardrobe.
While the thought of spending your hard earned cash on iso essentials like sweatpants, hoodies and lycra pants that let you snack to your heart’s content (hey, no judgement – we’re with you on that), may I suggest that there are some new-comers to the activewear scene that are not only cute but pretty damn revolutionary, too?
Leader of the pack
One such leader in this new-wave of activewear is Alicia Superina, founder of Sōlo the Staple – an Australian brand that launched during the COVID crisis. Her timing may have seemed unfortunate at first, but with isolation has come a greater appreciate for activewear that works as hard as we do. And Superina’s designs certainly have function at their core.
“I knew I wasn’t alone in these frustrations. I observed that many women in each class I attended would stop and readjust their activewear at the same time as me. I wondered why so many of us were putting up with ill-fitting or inappropriate clothing, which ultimately hampered a great workout. I dreamed of activewear that didn’t need to be altered, that looked amazing on and that was something a little different and eye-catching.”
She explains her brand’s point of difference, saying “The greatest design innovation of all has been our signature tuck point, specifically designed for your tank to slide into with ease and stay put, drawing your figure in at the waist and providing more coverage if you want it to and from the studio. Thanks to the tuck point, it looks like you’re wearing leggings and a tank until you are ready to start your workout.”
“When I floated the idea of the tuck point with Pilates enthusiasts and instructors, the most common response I received was; “Oh, that’s a genius idea” or; “That’s me! I am always tucking my top in”. Sōlo customers have loved this design element thus far, and so the tuck point will continue to feature on all of our upcoming bodysuits.”
A new world order
Upon further research, we found a more activewear brands are re-engineering the basics of their collections – introducing more functional features, or making their styles more versatile. There are also some just plain ol’ cute new trends to try if you’re in an activewear rut.
Leotards, unitards and bodysuits are set to replace your standard crop-and-leggings combo, sweaters have had a high-fashion makeover and science is finally giving us the sports bras we deserve (read that don’t flip out in the wash, or give you underboob chaffing).
And if you need something to help you justify a new workout wardrobe, we found the science to prove that retail therapy is just as good as the other kind of therapy – and a whole lot more fun.
What: A bodysuit with a ‘tuck point’
Why: “For years I was constantly stopping mid-workout to tuck my top into my pants” says Sōlo the Staple founder Alicia Superina. Sound familiar? This ingenious ‘tuck-point’ lets you slide a tank or tee into your bodysuit to keep it anchored so you can get on with your sweat session.
Shop it: Sōlo the Staple bodysuit, $180, at Sōlo the Staple
What: A multi-tasking jumper
Why: Pick a sweater that will look just as good with a pair of jeans or leather pants as with your trusty leggings and you just doubled your outerwear wardrobe. Look for multi-colour marled knits with sporty trims to do the job.
Shop it: Sweater, $149 at The Upside
What: A ribbed-knit set
Why: Flaunt those curves in a retro take on the ultimate Pilates uniform. New-gen brands like Byron Bay’s Nagnata or AIM’N have got you covered in modern silhouettes that nod to ’70s workout wear.
Shop it: Crop top $253 Nagnata at Net-a-Porter and shorts, $277, Nagnata at Net-a-Porter
What: A one-piece padded crop
Why: Sounds confusing, right? If you’re a fan of soft crop tops, but still like a little padding for added support you may be familiar with the pain is those singular padded inserts that can flip and move mid-workout (or when you pop it in the wash). This crop from Nike has a singular padded shelf – minimising annoyances but still giving you the shape you want. Perfect for medium-impact workouts, this cute crop is also made from at least 75% recycled materials.
Shop it: Nike crop, $50, at Nike
What: A seam-free sports bra
Why: If you love running, but hate the sometimes painful chaffing or rubbing that a full-support sports bra can bring, you might want to try a seamless, bonded style instead. Made free from stitching around the back-clasp, with build-in moulded cups, no underwire and a bonded seams, the Enlite Bra from lululemon is a feat of engineering that will make you feel like you’re wearing nothing at all (in a good way).
Shop it: Bra, $119, lululemon
What: A yoga unitard
Why: It’s a little retro, sure – but there’s something slightly freeing about wearing a bodysuit or unitard to stretch out in. Without tops riding up, or waistbands digging in, a unitard can give you both fluid lines and distraction-free vibes in the studio. Look to Live the Process, The Upside, More Body or try this one that Jennifer Lopez swears by, by Beyond Yoga.
Shop it: More Body bodysuit, $179 at More Body