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Why is everyone in activewear obsessed with this color combo right now?


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Photo: LNDR
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After enough time spent sipping turmeric lattes and pouring over lookbooks this fall, certain patterns started to emerge regarding what the collective unconscious of activewear designers seems to be into this season: black velvet, earth tones, ’90s everything. Running through it all—from big brands to boutique labels—was a single color pairing that’s cropped up on everything from, well, cropped sports bras to windbreaker jackets (which are back in style, BTW): bright red and light blue.

“Over the past year and a half, there’s been a resurgence of primary colors in the activewear space.”

Bandier founder Jennifer Bandier offers a broad explanation for the combo’s sudden ubiquity. “Over the past year and a half, there’s been a resurgence of primary colors in the activewear space,” she says. “This trend is led by both start-up brands that have a retro vibe, such as P.E Nation, as well as established brands that are celebrating their heritage by tapping into their archives, such as Reebok and Fila.”

On a more visceral level, color trend forecaster and creative strategist Roseanna Roberts says the two colors in tandem are ideally suited for getting your sweat on: “Physiologically, red actually stimulates the body and speeds up your heart rate. It evokes a sense of strength and power, she says. While blue happens to be most people’s favorite color. (Sorry millennial pink.) Roberts says it’s popular due to its connection to nature (e.g. the sky, the ocean). “This hue creates a feeling of trust,” she explains. “It’s an intellectual color as well.” Together the two are a little bit aerobic, a little bit earthing, and one very chic sartorial statement. 

Photo: Instagram/@splits59

What’s more, there’s also something comforting about classic hues in a time of unrest, according to Roberts. “There’s a feeling of turmoil,” she says, “and an anxious lusting after a sense of security.” Which could also explain why everyone’s waxing nostalgic with ’90s styles and re-issued iconic pieces right now. (Looking at you Nike Air Max ’97s.) Though perhaps loaded with subconscious meaning and possibly capable of supercharging your workout, this trend is, above all else, easy on the eyes.

Below, 15 red-and-blue combo pieces to snag, stat.

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Retro puffer jackets are also trending this season, making them the ideal third piece to add to your activewear wardrobe right now.

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