The hardest part of Marie Kondo-ing your closet has to be sorting through your activewear. Simple may be in when it comes to fashion—I mean, there’s nothing chicer than a great pair of jeans, a crisp white oxford shirt, and some Stan Smiths—but how do you resist filling your drawers with the latest activewear trends? (No more new crop tops, palm tree prints, or shredded leggings?!)
Lucky for those who do want to pare down their workout gear, there are a handful of visionary activewear brands that have perfected the concept of a capsule wardrobe—basic essentials that are carefully edited, but can be mixed and matched to create lots of different looks.
Not only are these minimalistic pieces totally appropriate for the office or a rooftop bar, but they’ve also got the technical chops to withstand a sweaty mid-day barre class. “There’s such an idea of ‘the woman with the never-ending to-do list,’ and so many people are trying to help that woman out,” says Meg He, co-founder of ultra-sleek activewear brand Aday (which has taken the capsule concept to the next level, with an ultra-curated collection). “But we believe that our customer thrives in that environment. We just want to give her the everyday wardrobe that will help her lead that life effortlessly.”
So where do you begin when creating your capsule workout wardrobe? For He and fellow Aday co-founder Nina Faulhaber, it’s all about choosing neutral hues like black, navy, and white, in quick-drying, lightweight materials such as nylon, cotton, and bamboo. A good rule of thumb: Think about what makes you feel best when you’re on the go, and stock up on that.
How far can you take the wear-anywhere ethos? A newscaster in New York wore one of Aday’s silk-like short-sleeved tops on-air during a broadcast. (Talk about sweat-tested under pressure…and lights.)
Oh, and the duo wants to emphasize that this shouldn’t feel like sacrificing your personal style for a uniform. You can still keep your fun, statement pieces for special occasions—avocado activewear, anyone?—but for everyday dressing, streamlining your workout wardrobe will free you from stressing over what to wear to 6 a.m. bootcamp or nervously checking your silk blouse for sweat marks on your way to a meeting with your boss. And ultimately, that’ll allow you to focus on what you actually want to do.
Ready to start building your capsule wardrobe? Scroll down to discover seven not-so-basic, work-to-workout staples that you soon won’t be able to live without.
The clean white tee is a closet staple—but the vented, layered back on this one makes it look extra-special (not to mention keeps things cool mid-spin class).
This jumpsuit already made the list of best items to pack for vacation, but it can easily be transitioned into your everyday wardrobe—no, really. Pair it with a skirt for the office, an oversized sweater for a casual day of exploring, or rock it on its own for ballet class.
Layer this top under a blazer for meetings, pair with your cutest bralette and jeans for a night out, or wear with your favorite printed leggings for a jazzed-up spinning look.
Zara Reversible Bra Top, $19.90
Zara’s super affordable bra top is reversible, which instantly doubles its wear. It’s also got a longer crop-top fit, so you can pair it with any kind of high-waisted bottom and not look like you came from the gym.
This faux-leather top is 100 percent technical for any and all workouts—but it’ll also score you tons of compliments at happy hour when you layer on your favorite statement necklace.
The leggings that practically broke the internet constantly sell out but, luckily for you, they’re back in stock just in time to jumpstart your capsule wardrobe this fall.
Outdoor Voices has perfected the art of creating incredibly comfortable athleisure in chic, muted shades. For a pop of color in your capsule workout wardrobe, this top (in a super breathable, barely there jersey mesh fabric) is an excellent addition.
Inspired to clean out your closet? Here is the official Marie Kondo guide to decluttering every room in your house—you’re welcome. Once you’re done, treat yourself with a Tom- and Gisele- approved dessert.