As someone who lives and breathes fitness, I spend the vast majority of my time sporting leggings and sports bras. I know, I’m living the dream! I have tried the vast majority of activewear brands available in South Africa, UK, and Germany and as a result I have formulated personal opinions on which ones are the best of the best. Brace yourself, I feel a shopping spree coming on…
If you know me, you know I am obsessed with Nike. I would go as far as saying it is my favourite ever activewear brand. Yep, seriously. Their sports bras are the best I have ever found in terms of fit, comfort and support. Plus, they are ridiculously flattering. Their leggings sit at just the right height on your hips and have nice thick waistbands to make you feel secure. Their hoodies are thick an cosy, and have the cutest little thumb holes. They are my go-to brand for trainers and I have an embarrassingly large collection of them! To be honest, every single piece of their kit that I have ever tried has been designed to be as flattering and high quality as possible. I am not joking when I say that about 90% of my activewear collection is Nike; and if you’re wondering, I buy my their pieces from the Nike outlet store in Metzingen, TK Max, Sportcheck or Breuninger.
Adidas is my second love. I have some basics from them but not nearly as much as Nike. I only have some training and lifestyle shirts from them, I mix and match these to make the perfect sporty chilled day outfit.
Cotton on are an Australian brand I discovered living in South Africa and I have never looked back. They specialize in incredible printed matching sets of bras, tops and leggings. The sports bras have the most flattering narrow cut which shows off your shoulders and the leggings and shorts are super cute. I have to admit I think I have thrown out my last bit of kit from them recently, because I bought it when I was still studying in SA, which was around 2012/2013. So it has lasted me quite a long time! The color just doesn’t look the same anymore and it totally washed out. But it gave me a good few comfortable years. I wouldn’t really compare the quality with Nike or Adidas but I did wear their kit to death. However, the thing which wins me over the most is their prints. They are just the right balance of eye catching and neutral at the same time; and of course they are super soft.
Ahhhh Forever 21. Why did you hide from me for so long?! I swear when I lived in London they did NOT have a big active wear range at all, and after recently going over there with my mom I discovered a whole floor of active wear, ranging from the cutest crop tops to creative leggings. Their sizes were a bit sold out so I was limited for choice, but that was a blessing in disguise because I would have bought the whole store. I ended up buying 2 pairs of black leggings. The waistband was just the right height and the material is thick and durable yet flattering and comfortable, and it had pockets!!!! Win win win! I’ve never been so excited about black leggings, or pockets before in my life. Next time forever 21 will definitely be my first stop when I head into Oxford street haha
Again, who would have thought?
I am honestly an H&M active wear detective, I constantly browse the store and online website to see the newest ranges. And this could just be me but I find that the stuff they put on their website are not the best, but there are always these little pieces that I only find in some stores and not online that no one has and is good quality and looks cute. Maybe it’s just me? but I commute quite far and if I have to wait for my bus or train somewhere I pop in H&M. One of my new years resolutions will be to buy less active wear from H&M though, because I do buy it because its cute and cheap, but it definitely doesn’t last as long as some of the other brands. Because this is my uniform I need to look at it more as an investment. But because I have some staple shirts and leggings that’s lasted me about 2 years, I probably won’t stop checking the website every now and then.
Although these are my top five recommendations, I do still wear pieces from many other brands, leggings from Puma, sports bra’s from New Balance and I am always looking to try new kit from unique or emerging companies.
What are your favorite brands? Leave me a comment below!