Minimalist activewear – the kind you wear to the gym, but also out to coffee and grocery store runs – can be elusive. Some love extra frills, loud patterns, or straps that wrap around your torso an indeterminate number of times. But many of us are after neutral workout clothes: athletic-wear that is comfortable, affordable, sustainable, and looks as good during a workout as afterwards.
If that’s you, we’ve got you covered. There are a number of Scandinavian brands, including Danish sportswear brands, Swedish sportswear brands, and others, that have developed the ideal pieces for you. Whether you want something for yoga, dance, high-performancep training, running, or for lounging on the couch watching Netflix (or all of the above, depending on the day), there are activewear sets you’ll love.
Here are the best activewear brands to shop, including the workout clothes you’ll want to wear every day:
Made from organic or sustainable fabrics, Organic Basics has grown from a brand specializing in underwear to all kinds of basics, including a few athletic wear items. They currently produce leggings, t-shirts, tank tops, and sports bras, as well as other things you might need while active, such as underwear and socks.
The minimalist look of their clothes is part of their DNA, as is their ethical production and high-quality. Once you start buying your basics from this Danish brand, you might find it impossible to go back.
Get 10% off your entire Organic Basics order with the code SCANDINAVIA10.
Known for their blend of minimalist silhouettes and transparent supply chain, Everlane also makes a small range of activewear that provides the basics: leggings, sports bra, and bike shorts. All items are made from recycled materials and come in muted tones.
Their activewear line offers a comfortable fit with a high waistband, compression, and moisture-wicking technology. The leggings feature a flattering seam and pockets that are perfect for holding small items while you exercise. The sports bra is designed with a cross-back detail, allowing for a full range of motion during high-intensity workouts. In addition, the bike shorts are made with a longer inseam for extra coverage and feature a hidden pocket in the waistband.
Outdoor Voices captured a true Millenial vibe with their goofy hashtag, #doingthings. That’s right, we can all do things! Their tagline, “technical apparel for recreation,” gives a good sense of what the brand is all about: comfy athletic-wear that’s easy to take from your workout to your everyday life.
Their massive hit, The Exercise Dress, is a 90s-inspired, tennis-style workout dress that you can also wear out to the bars at night. While the brand has a number of colors and some pattern in its repetoire, the bulk of Outdoor Voices products are solid colored and minimalist.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Swedish tennis star Björn Borg and his tremendous head of hair? If you’re too young for that, you’re more likely to know about his namesake brand, also Swedish, that specalizes in men’s underwear.
In recent years, the brand has launched athletic-wear for both men and women, and the results are very good: high-performance legging, shirts, bras, mini-shorts, and more. They’re moved away from their 90s hyper-branded pieces, and are now opting for more minimalist designs with clean lines and simple silhouettes.
Björn Borg often uses high-quality performance fabrics that are designed to be breathable, moisture-wicking, and stretchy, providing comfort and support during physical activity.
The brand uses seemless ribbed fabrics in their activewear leggings, sports bras, and tops, as they provide a textured look and feel while also adding a bit of stretchiness. Also, their mesh is perfect for added ventilation and breathability.
For those looking for a cool, fun selection of activewear that’s also environmentally-friendly, Girlfriend Collective is it. Their colorful but minimalist selection of tops, leggings and bike shorts is all you need to get yourself moving.
They work with recycled polyester and nylon, and are very transparent about their production process. Bonus: if you decide you’re no longer into the Girlfriend Collective piece, you can actually send it back to be recycled and get 15 USD towards your next purchase.
In addition to their commitment to sustainability, Girlfriend Collective also prioritizes inclusivity in their clothing designs. They offer sizes ranging from XXS to 6XL, making their activewear accessible to more body types. This emphasis on diversity and inclusivity has earned Girlfriend Collective a loyal following of customers who appreciate the brand’s values and mission.
Swedish brand Ninepine makes the kind of activewear you end up wearing all day…and it looks good. Their high quality pieces suit a variety of workouts including running, yoga, and lifting, and they maintain structure after numerous uses and washes. Their activewear is designed to last, with reinforced seams and moisture-wicking technology that helps keep you comfortable during your workouts.
Ninepine doesn’t only make long-lasting minimalist activewear, their loungewear is excellent too, with stretchy trousers, sweatshirts, and accessories that give any outfit into sleek, sporty look.
Universal Standard began as a brand dedicated to offering size-inclusive, high-quality basics. They’ve kept that core value and have expanded to offer activewear. Their pieces are fantastic – realy stylish, high-quality, and a blend of athletic and street-wear. Their sizes start at 4XS and go to 4XL; it’s activewear that’s made for everyone.
Good ole ASOS; they really do have it all. You can find everything from sports bras and leggings to sneakers and gym bags. ASOS offers a vast selection of workout clothes that range from trendy to timeless.
Their selection of athletic-wear covers both classic brands like Puma and Nike, as well as the ASOS 4505 line, their own range of athletic-wear designed with both form and function in mind. ASOS 4505 also features a range of sustainable activewear options, made from recycled polyester and other eco-friendly materials.
There’s something for all styles here, as well as all sizes including hourglass, curve, tall, petite, and even maternity activewear. If you’re looking for good prices and good quality, you can’t go wrong with ASOS.
Filippa K Sportswear
The Swedish brand rooted in sustainability, transparency, and high-quality basics launched their athletic-wear in 2011 to much acclaim. The pieces are exactly what fans of the Scandinavian minimalist’s line would want from athletic-wear: it’s sleek, hard-working, made with luxe fabrics, and made with the clean lines we’ve come to know and love from Filippa K.
This is the kind of athletic-wear you won’t mind wearing outside the gym. Our only complaint is that we wish there was a wider range of sizes.
Known for their realistic approach to activewear and policy of no photo retouching (!), Aerie has gained popularity as a brand that provides comfortable, functional activewear for sizes XXS to XXL, including petite and long lengths for leggings. The Aerie workout sets, including Aerie workout shorts and workout tops, come in range of colors and patterns. The Aerie workout dress is a particularly popular piece that goes easily from a day of running errands to the gym and back again! And their pink workout set is another favourite.
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