Ready to wholeheartedly embrace the softer side of activewear, I’ve recently had my eye on leggings and sweatpants (having finally bid farewell to the worn out ones I held on to for too long). But these days, every time I see a pair I want, there’s an equally covetable matching top, sports bra, or jacket that I also must have. And while I was all for the Juicy Couture velour tracksuits back in high school, these new matching sets feel nothing like those of the early aughts.
Good news, guys: Jenn Bandier, who’s turned her eye for trendspotting into one of New York’s buzziest active fashion boutiques, agrees. “While being too ‘matchy matchy’ was previously thought of as juvenile, it’s now the mainstream look for cool girls who want easy ways to feel put together,” she says.
“While being too ‘matchy matchy’ was previously thought of as juvenile, it’s now the mainstream look for cool girls who want easy ways to feel put together.”
Listen, I’m not sure of my cool factor, but I’m sure that I always want an easier way to look more collected—and this seems to be one step down from a unitard when it comes to simplifying my workout wardrobe in a chic way. Plus, according to Bandier, these types of twin sets are only becoming more elevated as designers embrace the trend. “Most of the brands our stores carry have offered matching sets before, but labels like The Upside definitely took the trend to the next level this season, with offerings in a slew of fun patterns,” says Bandier. “Heroine Sport is also known for their chic, sophisticated sets that not only have graphic color-blocking, but body sculpting powers, too.”
Other labels to look out for include Sweaty Betty, whose winter base layer combos look equally as put-together at the studio as they do on the slopes, Seattle start-up Girlfriend Collective (AKA makers of the “free” leggings), the luxe downtown NYC labels Live the Process and Alala, as well as fitness fashion giants like Lululemon and Athleta.
And the trend isn’t exclusive to activewear either. In fact, Bandier believes it arose out of—or perhaps in tandem with—the rise of matching sets in the ready-to-wear world. What’s more is that the sporty, comfy looks are really selling. “The blue sweatsuit from Twenty, a label who just launched their first activewear collection exclusively at Bandier, has almost completely sold out in its first week,” Bandier says. (I’m not surprised though because that exact set was in my imaginary shopping cart of dreamy activewear every night this past week!) Bottom line: With the ease it creates when it comes to styling, matching has never looked so good.