The official start of summer is approaching, and I’m already breaking out in a sweat just looking at my usual roster of yoga pants, leggings and tees. Summer is the season of shorts and tanks, and fitness apparel brands have delivered with stylish, functional pieces in sophisticated prints and a variety of shapes that suit fitness enthusiasts of all sizes.
In summer, sleeves are my enemy. I live in tank tops, whether I’m on the yoga mat, going for a run or just hanging out with friends. Summer is the perfect time to play with color, patterns and shapes, and you will have tons of options with this crop of sleeveless tops. Onzie’s Strappy Tank Top has a flowing babydoll shape that is perfect for days when the bloat monster makes the tummy pop out, and thoughtful details like a strappy back will help you keep cool and look even cooler. This yoga top is so chic in solid black or white, and the pattern, a glorious indigo tie dye, is more resort and less Age of Aquarius. The patterned piece is currently sold out, but sign up on the Onzie site to learn when it’s restocked or go with a solid option if you’re feeling impatient. For a similar tie dye pattern with a more classic shape, try the Hard Tail Supima Cotton Tank or the Phat Buddha Varick Tank.
The Wicking Laser Cut Active Tank from Livi Active, plus size apparel brand Lane Bryant’s active wear line, merges form and function for the perfect summer workout tank. The top keeps you cool and dry and comes in two very summery color schemes: turquoise dip dye adds interest and a beachy feel to a basic black tank, while Island Berry conjures up warm summer sunsets and cold brunch mimosas.
Muscle tees have that badass, borrowed-from-the-boys feel, but newer versions of the wardrobe staple are streamlined with a fit that is flattering and shows some skin. Plus, I am a sports bra freak, so any opportunity to show off a bit of my collection without full exposure works for me. Yoga apparel designer Spiritual Gangster’s Sky Above Me Coachella Tank in Vintage Black is even more daring. Pair the top with a sports bra in a bold hue — I’m partial to coral this summer — or a fabulous print. (Check out HellaWella’s tips for finding the right bra for you.)
Craving a bit more coverage? Tek Gear’s Graphic Yoga Tank, available at Kohl’s, is a happy medium between a muscle tee and a tank, with a modest armhole, relaxed fit, wider straps and a graphic cutout detail in back. It’s available in standard and plus sizes, so lots of fitness fashionistas can get in on the action. Admittedly, some of the designs are hokey, but the Never Stop Wandering option has an understated, vintage feel that works so well with the cut of the top.
Classic running shorts are the obvious choice for summer, and fitness apparel designers are adding fun touches and pops of color that add a bit of sweetness and sass to your workout. The Existence Run Short from Lorna Jane elevates a basic athletic short shape with a sleek graphic black and white stripe print. Danskin Now’s 2-fer Printed Active Shorts have a supportive inner layer that keeps moisture at bay, a must for those of us with thick thighs, and a variety of graphic floral and color blocked designs. Livi Active’s Cooling Run Short has similar layering for women size 14 and up.
Bermuda shorts are trendy right now, but even better, they are incredibly comfortable. The longer length is great for those who are just becoming acquainted with wearing shorts or who find that running in a shorter length sometimes results in unfortunate bunching. (It can’t be just me, guys.) One of these affordable options may be the short for you. The Danskin Now Dri-More Core Piped Bermuda Shorts with sweat-wicking technology have a comfortable, roomy fit and fall below the knee, while the Fila Endurance Plus Size Bermuda Shorts are classic in length and shape. If you’re into a more leggings-style fit, check out the Fila Strength Bermuda Workout Leggings, which let air in with bold mesh racing stripe insets in a variety of fun colors and come in standard and plus sizes.
HellaWella is getting you ready for summer with tips on how to stay active in the heat and humidity, exercise safely and choose the right sunscreen (and why making your own is a terrible idea), so you can safely sport your new gear all season long!