It’s been five months, 12 days, and 17 hours since I’ve put on a pair of real pants. 2020 has established itself as
the dumpster fire of our generation the year that athleisure took over our lives. Anything requiring buttons or zippers was swiftly replaced with legging and sweats the minute WFH became a thing, and I don’t know a single person who has put on an actual bra (like, with cups and clasps and underwire) since March.
Considering all of us on Team W+G have taken every single one of our Zoom meetings in some iteration of “leggings and a sweatshirt” these last few months, there are a few favorite pieces that have established themselves as “essentials” in our wardrobes. Scroll through for the best-of-the-best pieces of athleisure that are getting us through quarantine… not a single one of which requires a button, snap, or bra clasp.
Lulu has long been a go-to for finding the best black leggings, and there’s a good reason why these are such a fan (and editor) fave. “I’ve been living in these because they are deceivingly non-constricting, and feel like silk on my legs,” says Rachel Lapidos, a Well+Good beauty and fitness editor. “They’re probably the only pair of high waisted leggings that feel comfortable enough to wear 24/7, and the black goes with every single top I throw on.”
Wearing a matching set—even if it’s still technically athleisure—has a way of making you feel more put together, and Girlfriend Collectives options are some of the best in the bunch. The brand’s sustainable sports bras, leggings, and shorts come in a full range of sizes and colors, which means you’ll be tempted to invest in an entire rainbow’s worth of workout wear. My personal favorite pairing? The Paloma Bra ($38) and Compressive High-Rise Legging ($68), which I’ve worn so often these past few months that they’ve started to feel like my second skin.
There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with finding the perfect T-shirt, and this pick from Outdoor Voices is exactly that. “This shirt is so good, I have it in every color,” says Well+Good executive editor Abbey Stone. “The sleeves are just the right amount of slouchy, and the subtle crop is perfect for high-waisted leggings and bike shorts.” And P.S.? “Don’t sleep on OV’s Warmup Shorts—the 5″ inseam is * chef’s kiss,*” says Stone.
Aerie’s latest “Offline” line of activewear touts itself as being “built for movement,” but it also happens to be great for wearing to WFH. Well+Good’s managing editor Samantha Leal loves these leggings, which come in four different leopard print patterns (plus classic black and grey) that are sure to garner dozens of compliments via Zoom. Pro-tip? The brand’s sweatshirts (like the OTT Fleece Hoodie) are among the coziest you can buy, so go ahead and add one to your cart and treat yourself to a full Offline outfit.
You know that ratty sweatshirt you stole from your high school boyfriend and have been wearing ever since? Well, this is the complete opposite of that. It’s ultra-cozy, but unlike most “sweatshirts” out there, it also happens to be seriously stylish thanks to its cropped, boxy silhouette and monochromatic color palette, which is why senior director of audience development Nora Grenfell is so completely in love with hers. Pair it with leggings (or jeans if you’re reaaalllly feeling fancy) to trick people into thinking you actually got dressed. Bra optional.
Whether you’re wearing leggings, sweat pants or bike shorts, you can’t go wrong by popping a white tee on top—and beauty and fitness director Ali Finney swears by this one. “I’ve been doing my best ‘quarantine’ Cindy Crawford in this baggy crop tee paired with jean shorts day in and day out since March,” she says. “Good thing you’re not supposed to wash your jeans… though it’s unclear whether the same can be said for white tees.’
The summer of bike shorts has been in full swing, and according to many members of team W+G, these are the best of the bunch. The inseam varies by size, so you won’t have to worry about them riding up when you flip into downward facing dog (or bend over to grab a snack out of the freezer), and their four-way stretch is so comfortable you’ll be tempted to sleep in them.
From the minute this exercise dress launched, it was the only thing our entire team wanted to wear—quarantine or otherwise. Whether you’re WFH or actually working out, it’s become a full-blown essential, and if you don’t have one of your own yet (or multiple, like many of our editors do), you’re missing out.
While leggings have certainly gotten their time in the spotlight these last few months, swishy joggers come in at a close second as far as “quarantine uniforms” go. W+G staff writer Kells McPhillips is a major fan of this set from Lively: “I love my leggings collection—but these joggers have outshone each and every pair since quarantine kicked off,” she says. “For optimal comfiness, I don the parachute pants with a sports bra and go about my businesses feeling like I’m working in sweats.”
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