Athleisure Wear

Ballet-Inspired Activewear Is Fall’s Answer to ‘What Should I Wear’?

Francesca Krempa

Photo: Outdoor Voices
While grey, oversized sweatpants or classic black bike shorts certainly have their place in your fall activewear lineup, it may be time to give your "groutfit" a feminine upgrade. Dance activewear, specifically ballet-inspired pieces, is having a moment, and the looks are raising the athleisure barre. 

Recently, brands like Alo, Left on Friday, and Outdoor Voices have all released dance activewear—sans the fluffy tutus—that feels graceful and designed for center stage. There's lots of crops, cut-outs, and keyholes, blending the perfect amount of function with femininity.

While we're absolutely not telling you to get rid of your favorite compression leggings or high-impact sports bras (there’s a time and place for them too, like a HIIT workout)—we're just saying these ballet-inspired options are worth wearing to the studio and beyond, no dance credentials required.

You don't have to be a ballerina to wear these dance activewear pieces

Outdoor Voices All Day Longsleeve Wrap — $68.00

Made from the brand’s best-selling CloudKnit material, this seriously stylish wrap top is as comfortable as its name suggests. It’s truly a versatile piece that can be worn well beyond the studio.

Outdoor Voices Smooth 7/8 Legging — $88.00

New from OV, these ultra-slick leggings are tight, but not restrictive; they contour to your body as you bend, twist, and twirl. Pair with the matching sports bra for an easy matching set.

Outdoor Voices All Day Crop Shortsleeve — $52.00

Layer this crop top over a sports bra or a bodysuit à la Flashdance. It’s made of that same, buttery CloudKnit fabric as the wrap top above, so prepare yourself to be swaddled in softness.

Alo Cover Long Sleeve Top — $68.00

Slightly cropped, pair this crisscrossed top with high-waisted leggings, bike shorts, or skorts. It’s crafted from a four-way, stretchy knit that is warm enough to be worn alone but also great for layering over tanks.

Alo High-Waist Goddess Leggings — $108.00

Feel like a goddess in these performance leggings, designed to move with your body, not against. The upper legs are made from a smooth, sculpting fabric that hugs you in all the right places, while the bottom ribbed calves can be scrunched up or pulled down—however you decide to rock them. Available in black and white.

Alo, High-Waist Airlift Short & Leg Warmers Set — $98.00

No dance-inspired outfit is complete without leg warmers. Feel like the real deal in this bike short and leg warmer set, designed to give you the coziest (and most stylish) warm up you can imagine.

Free People, Ballet All Day Skort — $78.00

This skort is about as close to a tutu as you can get. It’s pleated for a classic, feminine look, while the long bike shorts underneath make it perfect for everyday, casual wear. Available in pink, blue, green, and black,

Free People, Infinitee — $50.00

This sheer long-sleeve top is ideal for cozy days on the couch or in a barre class. It’s featherlight and drape-y, making it an excellent layering option over your favorite bras and tanks. The keyhole design in the back is super cute, too. Available in hot pink or black.

Free People, Cut It Out Long Sleeve Top — $68.00

Or, if you want something a bit more form fitting, go with this cropped ribbed long sleeve piece. In addition to its shorter hem, there’s a cut out, pinhole designs in the arms for extra breathability, and thumb holes to keep the sleeves in place. Available in a rainbow of colors, ranging from versatile neutrals to jazzercise-inspired neons.

Left On Friday, Wear To Short — $100.00

Crafted from silky, washable silk, these airy shorts are the definition of soft. The high-rise fit and brief liner make them a great option to wear in the gym or at-home. And while normal silk can’t bear a sweat stain, these are totally moisture-friendly. Available in black, navy, green, pink, and royal blue,

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