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The Best Athleisure to Feel Comfortably Stylish

Stylists recommend nine key pieces to strike the perfect balance.

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

Thanks to the rise of athleisure, combining style and comfort has never been easier. Leggings and sweatshirts are no longer confined to the gym or the yoga studio—they're now a part of your everyday closet. But because athleisure is so popular, the market is saturated with more selections than we know what to do with. To help narrow it down a bit, we asked stylists for their recommendations on the best athleisure pieces.

"The casual and comfy aesthetic has been popular for quite some time, as demonstrated by the ubiquitous black legging seen on every woman, everywhere," says Elizabeth Kosich, certified image stylist and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling. "In fact, some would argue athleisure is American Sportswear redefined, though we can all agree it's a good look when styled right."

Ready to up your athleisure game? Read on for the nine best pieces that'll have you feeling comfy and fashion-forward.

RELATED: 7 Clothing Brands That Sell the Best Quality Leggings.

Oversized Hoodies

stylish woman in oversized hoodie
Sun Shock / Shutterstock

While you may not immediately think an oversized sweatshirt is a stylish choice, when done well, it's effortlessly chic.

"Oversized hoodies continue to be a comfy and popular choice," petite style coach Angela Foster says.

However, she warns against pairing these with looser bottoms.

"Unless you're very tall and very thin, avoid pairing an oversized top with an oversized bottom (like wide-leg pants)," Foster cautions. "That's just too much material for most women's figures and will turn an outfit frumpy fast."


woman practicing yoga in an athletic jumpsuit
fizkes / Shutterstock

A jumpsuit is a great go-to, especially when you're in a rush or just like to use it as a base for layering. If you're looking for a one-piece recommendation, Kosich recommends choosing one from the Beyond Yoga brand.

"Beyond Yoga's Hit the Scene Jumpsuit has a kick flare full-leg that disguises perfectly as a ready-to-wear hem," she shares. "Pair with lifestyle sneakers, a smart blazer, and a luxury handbag, and no one will know it doubles as workout gear."

RELATED: The 12 Best Belt Bags for Women, Stylists Say.


woman in black workout romper
Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

Speaking of one-pieces, a romper is another option you'll reach for in the summer months. According to Kosich, a particular option from Aritzia will become a closet staple.

"Summertime calls for rompers, and Aritzia's Divinity style is your next favorite onesie," she says. "Claimed to be 'birthday suit-ish,' the buttery soft, pill-free material feels like a second skin and is so comfy you'll want to buy multiples. Pair with a cropped shacket, socks, and sandals to channel your inner Hailey Bieber."


woman wearing green joggers / Shutterstock

Yet another trendy athleisure piece you shouldn't be without is a pair of well-fitting joggers.

"Joggers continue to be a popular option because the relaxed cut is a more forgiving choice for women concerned about bumps below the waist," Foster explains. "Another benefit is the fabric. Many joggers can be found in soft, light-weight cotton or cotton blend, making them cooler, less clingy, and as revealing as lycra."

According to Kosich, you can't go wrong with The Gym People jogger pants.

"The cut is tapered and flattering without sacrificing comfort, and the color options are endless," she notes. "Choose one in your best dark neutral, pair with a classic white cotton tank, and layer with a classic white shirt to finish."

To emphasize your shape, Kosich suggests adding a pair of aviator shades and a button-down with the sleeves rolled up. To avoid the dreaded "pajama" look joggers can sometimes have, take Foster's advice and wear your joggers with a fashion sneaker and a tailored top.

Biker shorts

woman wearing leopard print biker shorts
KK_face / Shutterstock

Biker shorts have also made a comeback in recent years. While you can definitely wear them to work out or when hitting the bike trails, you can also throw them on with a button-down or your cute, oversized sweatshirt!

Kosich suggests the Athleta Elation Ultra High Rise 9 Short, specifically.

"This classic 9-inch biker short is ready for anything, anytime. Its buttery soft, moisture-wicking fabric is perfect for yoga, pilates, barre class, and ready-to-wear for hours on end," she says. "The ultra-high rise cut works great with crop tops, so pair with a boxy v-neck or muscle tank, wayfarers, and a baseball cap for a weekend warrior look."

RELATED: 10 Lazy Girl Tips for Always Looking Stylish.

Sports dresses

woman wearing tennis dress
EHStock / iStock

When you need something a bit more elevated but still want to feel at ease, a sports dress is the way to go.

"Dresses are another spectacular way to up-level your athleisure wear game. Pair with espadrilles to really elevate the ensemble," Foster suggests.

While fitted options might be preferable if you're heading to the tennis court, looser options are available as well. Foster recommends the KNY Sport fleece dress, noting that it's "'easy-breezy' at its best, and has just enough design detail to keep it from being boring."

As a bonus, DKNY constantly adds new colors and tweaks the design each season "so we can justify having 10 in our closet," Foster quips.


women wearing athletic skirts
PeopleImages / iStock

If you prefer wearing two pieces, you should also invest in a performance skirt or skort.

"The explosion of pickleball means tennis-style skirts are everywhere this season—and thank goodness because they're fun and super flattering," Foster says. "The built-in shorts mean bending, stretching—or heck, just getting caught in a strong breeze—never puts us in a position of flashing onlookers."

High-waisted leggings

older woman wearing leggings
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

Of course, no athleisure wardrobe is complete without leggings, which are pretty much synonymous with the aesthetic. There are tons of options to choose from in this category, but Kosich says Sweaty Betty's Power UltraSculpt High-Waisted Workout Leggings stand out from the crowd.

"Sculpt technology, fun prints, and a super high-rise design, Sweaty Betty's workout leggings are sporty, flattering, and functional at once," she says. "The ultra high-waisted cut pairs perfectly with a cropped sports bra."

RELATED: If You're Over 65, Don't Wear These 10 Clothing Items to Exercise.

Wide-leg pants

wide leg athletic pants
edit:AscentXmedia / iStock

When you think of athletic pants, you probably think of options that are more fitted (like leggings). But there are also options if you prefer a relaxed fit.

"Like denim and dress pants, wide-leg athleisure bottoms are super popular this season," Foster says. "There is a plethora of choices in both cropped and ankle-length inseams, so short, average, and tall women will easily find a style that fits."

She adds, "Plus, they look spectacular on women who are blessed with a busty top."

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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