This was a very good year for my closet in that I learned to clear out the excess and instead focus on quality pieces that I actually want to wear. I cut my denim collection in half, I cleared out a handful of quirky vintage frocks that were frankly just taking up valuable space, and I reimagined my activewear wardrobe entirely, which had historically consisted of threadbare T-shirts and whatever clean leggings I had on hand.
It didn't take long to realize that slipping on a fitness uniform that is equal parts stylish and performance-driven did wonders for my motivation. While an ever-crowded athleisure market—one that continues to blur the line between fitness and general lifestyle—might not necessarily bode well for my newly Kondo'd closet, I vowed nonetheless to be a little more discerning about the items I'd actually wear on repeat.
With that ethos in mind, keep scrolling to find the eight activewear pieces that got the most airtime in my wardrobe this year.
While there are a handful of brands that make excellent leggings, Girlfriend's have been my consistent favorite since they first hit the market a couple of years ago. I love how the ultra-flattering high waist hits just above my belly button, how effectively they wick moisture, and the way they conform to my body without feeling at all restricting. Best of all, they're sustainably made: Each pair is sourced from recycled water bottles. (I'd recommend collecting them in every color.)
I owe about 70% of my workout wardrobe to Outdoor Voices. I love how the brand continues to reimagine the workout uniform with fun, playful designs that are still rooted in performance. Exhibit A: The Exercise Dress, which got me through many steamy hikes this summer and is downright adorable to boot. I love this latest iteration, which includes a bike-short liner.
Before I first tried it on, I was admittedly skeptical that this bra would never lend the kind of support I need for my D-cups. I was dead wrong: The fabric is butter-soft, sure, but it has just the right amount of elastic and the thick band (and adjustable straps!) keep everything in place whether I'm in downward dog or wailing on a punching bag.
I was already hooked on this JoyLab seamless set when I saw how flattering it looked in the mirror—and even more so after it moved so nicely through a few yoga classes. But it was during a trip to Mexico last spring that I realized it's downright covetable: After posting this pic with Who What Wear managing editor Michelle Scanga, I fielded a dozen DMs asking where our colorful getups were from.
I'm a huge fan of any activewear staples that I can wear outside the gym, and this leotard from Live the Process is a gorgeous example. Somehow, it manages to flatter my C-cups without any additional support and looks just as lovely with sweats or shorts as it does with vintage denim and boots. The red one was such a staple in my wardrobe this year that I'm eyeing new shades like this stormy gray.
We called it: Fleece is the 2018 activewear trend with serious staying power (which is just as well since the chilliest months are still ahead of us). There's no better way to dress the part than with Outdoor Voice's adorably cozy Mega Fleece pullover, which is so popular that it sold out in every color in a matter of days. A word to the wise: Get on the waiting list for the next drop ASAP.
The goal: A loose-fitting tank that I can peel off when things get too sweaty during yoga but doesn't get in the way should I choose to leave it on. Oh, and it has to be cute. Check, check, and check.
Can I just go ahead and declare that textures are the new prints? The newest addition to my activewear wardrobe is this fuzzy turtleneck, which I scooped up in black and purple. The aesthetic can best be described as hygge meets Limited Too, which is as aspirational as it gets in my book.