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What are the Best New Trends in Luxury Workout Apparel?

2020 trends in luxury workout clothes

When fitness is part of your identity and lifestyle, it makes sense to invest in workout clothes that express your personality and allow you to achieve peak performance. We’ve shared our take on the best luxury workout apparel brands. Now our correspondent (and kick-boxing instructor) Julie Chang Murphy is sharing the top trends in luxury workout apparel and activewear for 2020. Here’s how to look chic while working out this season.

why bother to look chic when you’re working out?

When I first started working out a few years ago, I wore old college t-shirts and a pair of gray performance shorts with multiple pockets. Those shorts had laid for months undisturbed in my dresser drawer, having served their purpose on a Hawaiian hike. None of these items matched or coordinated. And they were certainly not flattering.

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Did I feel like a boss being styled like a 10-year old boy? No. But I embraced the idea of a space where, for once, I could just wear something drab and functional. It was all going to get really sweaty anyway, right?

2020 trends in luxury workout clothes

Except, it turned out that there were times when my enthusiasm and drive started to wane. That’s when I discovered that a surefire pick-me-up was not another tired motivational meme or watching another perfectly proportioned 23-year-old on Instagram doing burpees.

No, dear reader, I only started looking forward to my workout again when I had new workout gear: a neon tank, or color-blocked leggings, or a patterned sports bra meant to be seen. When you’re committing or re-committing to an exercise routine– as is common this time of year- sometimes, it’s just the thing to energize you.

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When you look and feel good, you naturally up your performance. Like Serena Williams. Enough said.

the top trends in luxury workout apparel for 2020

With that in mind, here are some of the trends you need to know if you’re looking for a workout wardrobe refresh.

1. Not So Basic Black

It isn’t actually a trend per se, but we had to highlight some of these not-so-basic black pieces. Black is, after all, the most practical and flattering color. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

Carbon 38 is one of our favorite sites for fashion-forward activewear. Their strategically-designed black mesh cutout legging ($128) is a graceful update to replace those older pilling black leggings we know you have somewhere in your drawer.

look chic working out trends workout apparal

The best new trends  for looking chic in luxury workout apparel and activewear in 2020: Basic Black. Courtesy Photo.

Alo Yoga’s on-trend plaid leggings ($138) with their tuxedo-line accent have 4-way-stretch and moisture-wicking fabrication. Match them with their cut-out crop top ($58) and go get in the front row of the studio. A less-revealing option is this All Access knotted t-shirt ($75) with a subtle snow leopard pattern that transitions well from studio to street.

And Beyond Yoga’s pretty floral sports bra ($58) will match just about any tank you throw on top of it.

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2. Channel the Animal

Animal prints are everywhere and they’re a natural fit for the gym. Not only do they fit the primal energy of running for your life on the treadmill. They also help camouflage any pesky perceived flaws. For example, the busy patterns tend to smooth away any visible lumps, bumps and panty lines. Yay!

animal-print bottoms

We love these subtle snakeskin patterned high rise leggings ($108) with an ombre effect that makes them almost read like washed denim. If you’re not a fan of traditional leopard prints, Sweaty Betty gives their workout legging ($110) an upbeat update with an appealing yellow colorway in a sculpting jacquard fabric.

Python print lovers of all sizes will appreciate luxury activewear brand Alala’s ankle tight ($110) with a power mesh support inside waistband that goes up to size 3x. Pam & Gela’s ankle length leopard leggings ($155) nail the concept of retro-track pant styling, with contrasting side panels that help you stand out from the pack.

look chic working out

The best new trends for looking chic while working out in luxury activewear in 2020: Animal Leggings. Courtesy Photo.

animal-print tops

If you prefer to stick to your tried and true tights, consider an animal printed top instead. This classic and cool black and white python track jacket from Adam Selman Sport ($225) is a great choice for a run. The Upside’s leopard print jacket ($209) is water-resistant with a drawstring hood, so you have no excuse to get that outdoor workout session in.

trends luxury workout apparel

The best new trends for looking chic while working out  with luxury apparel and activewear for 2020: Animal Tops. Courtesy Photo.

Sports bras are always a low risk (and less expensive) way to try out a fashion trend. Noli Yoga’s tiger sports bra ($60) with mesh backing is designed for medium- to high-impact workouts. But for those in the front row, Michi’s high stretch red leopard crop top ($138) with cut-outs at the seams is calling your name.

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3. Blushing Ballerina

For a palate-cleanser from all those prints, our next trend is much more muted and serene. It takes inspiration from the light pinks and sand colored ballet tights and slippers worn by graceful and athletic ballerinas the world over.

trends luxury workout apparel

The best new trends in for luxury activewear while looking chic in 2020. Ballet Pink. Courtesy Photo.

On the beige spectrum, consider Beyond Yoga’s alloy ombre leggings ($110) which are technically renowned for their 5” waistband that holds you in tight during high intensity workouts. Lightweight and sweat-wicking, these clay colored Lululemon tights ($98) might bring you back to your dance school days. For tops, we love Carbon 38’s sheer, relaxed crop top ($39) to give you a little coverage, if you’re not one to wear only a sports bra but still want to show it off. Finally, Athleta’s basic crewneck ($44) is made from organic cotton and comes in this just-right sandy neutral.

trends luxury workout apparel

The best new look for looking chic while working out in 2020: Beige Activewear. Courtesy Photo.

Thinking pink? Nylora’s pale rose leggings ($125) feature contrasting ribbed side panels to promote even greater movement (for when you leap down the street after your workout is over). Bandier’s super soft capri tights ($98) feature heathered pinks in stylish color-blocked panels. Alo Yoga’s fine sweater knit top ($68) is perfect for your warm-up with its ballet-inspired wrap design and long sleeves. The overblown graphic houndstooth print on Varley’s sports bra ($75) is captivating – and we may like it even more than the non-pinching neoprene Y-straps.

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4. Workout Blues

Another color inspired trend is Pantone’s Color of the Year- Classic Blue. It’s timeless and confident and in activerwear, anything but boring.

Case in point- these floral cutout leggings ($185) with tri-dimensional elasticity in a dynamic cobalt blue. For superhero vibes, check out the famous Takara legging ($98) with its signature liquid look, available in cobalt or indigo. 

trends luxury workout apparel

The best new luxury trends for workout apparel while looking chic in 2020: Blue Activewear. Courtesy Photo.

Sweaty Betty’s lightweight and versatile work out vest ($75) features two layers- navy over powder blue- which can be worn together or separate. Blue is synonymous with indigo tie dye and this sports bra with moisture-wicking mesh panels ($98) from Electric & Rose will quickly become your go-to.

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5. Shine On

Color commitment-phobes can still make a big impact with metallics, shimmer, and shine. Year of Ours performance fabric leggings ($99) with silver houndstooth and a flattering overlapping waistband just came back in stock after selling out.

trends luxuey workout apparel

The new trend for looking chic while working out in 2020: Metallic Activewear. Courtesy Photo.

The asymmetrical silhouette and marbled foil design of Beyond Yoga’s crop top ($82) combines sport and style to marvelous effect. Iridescent and luminsicent, this Bra and Biker Short combo ($130) shines as brightly as you do…and not just because you’re sweating. This faux leather looking tank ($70) gets a luxe overlay of foil print. But rest assured, it’s just as sweat-wicking and stretchy as the rest of them.

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6. Matching Sets

If coordinating gym clothes is not your thing – especially at 6am in the morning – we have great news. Matching sets are totally the new trend for 2020. And no, they’re not only for tall thin models. Anyone can rock them, as they compliment all figures by creating a continuous, flattering line.

Khloe Kardashian’s Good American line is big on body positivity and compelling designs like this dip dye and seamless sports bra ($49) and legging set ($89) in moody blue and mauve. 

trends luxury activewear look chic working out

The best new trends for looking chic while working out in luxury apparel in 2020: Workout Sets. Courtesy Photo.

If you’re going for a matching set, why not make it fun with Splits59 paint splatter bra ($98) and tights ($158)? Girlfriend Collective makes ethical activewear from recycled plastic bottles up to size 6XL. And yes, they are every bit as compressive and stretchy as other brands. We love this sports bra ($38) and high rise legging ($68) in the Olympia color way.

Finally, matching sets can look very sophisticated and chic. Leave it to Alala to come up with the perfect set ($125), inspired by the graphic lines of New York City’s streets (very Mondrian, actually).

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7. One and Done

We’ve been noticing a new category popping up on our favorite activewear sites. Sometimes labeled unitard, jumpsuit or one-piece, these are A Thing. Although we haven’t worked up the daring to try one, we hope some of you do and channel Serena.

trends workout apparel look chick working out

The best new trends in luxury workout apparel for 2020: Jumpsuits. Courtesy Photo.

Be warned- Koral’s camo jumpsuit ($165) probably won’t allow you to just fade in with the rest of the class. This PAPER x Carbon38 collaboration is a body-hugging active one-piece ($158) in a trendy blue and black check pattern. Another collaboration piece- this time from Lululemon X Roksanda ($198) pairs the designer’s bold and feminine aesthetic with Lululemon’s technical luxtreme fabric. Ultracor’s unitard ($225) is made to order in this far-out galaxy print for the perfect fit.

The Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress. Courtesy Photo.

For those of us who may not be quite ready for these sleek and revealing one-piece outfits, Outdoor Voices has come to the rescue! Their Exercise Dress ($100) is a fan favorite that’s constructed from breathable LightSpeed fabric. It features practical elements like a built-in shorts liner and phone pocket. It comes in seven colors and 5 sizes, and is really flattering.

the top trends in luxury workout apparel for 2020

That’s it! The top trends in luxury activewear that you need to know this year. Whether you’re attempting to move from the couch to running a 5k, you’re joining a new yoga studio, or strapping on those boxing gloves, we think these workout wear trends will have you covered. Go get ’em!

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, fitness and even investigating police misconduct. Julie lives in NYC where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing and spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.

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