10 Not-So-Boring Ways to Style Your Activewear This Fall

If you've been exclusively wearing activewear since we've all been staying at home more, you might fall into one of two camps. The first camp is for the people who aren't sure why they'll ever wear "real clothes" again. Leggings are here to stay for eternity for them, and they don't hate it. They would buy stock in all the activewear brands if they could.

Those in the second camp see activewear as a means to an end and are desperately wishing to find a reason to get all dressed up for work or social gatherings again. They might take to wearing their nicest clothes around the house for a little pick-me-up. They take running errands or seeing friends for a socially distanced park hangout as an excuse to meticulously style the perfect outfit.

And yes, there are people who agree with both sides of the spectrum. All of this is to say we've been spending a lot of time in stretchy leggings and loungewear this past few months. It's gotten very routine. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I think some of us would appreciate a little change-up right about now, whether you love your leggings or are sick and tired of them. The start of fall is the perfect time to try something new.

I'm not saying we should all start wearing "hard pants" (as some people like to call them), but maybe, we can take a look at our activewear staples a little differently. For inspiration, I challenged our editors (myself included) with the task of styling the latest drop of JoyLab gear (the brand we co-designed with Target) for workouts and then creating a new look with the same pieces for lounging, WFH, errands, and beyond. The results were creative, doable, and still comfortable.

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman, Audience Engagement Editor

Workout Look

One of my biggest grievances with leggings is the dreaded muffin top. For women who are curvy, finding workout clothes that you can look good in and feel good about is a struggle. But what I loved about this set from JoyLab (other than the stunning color) is the fact that the fabric is a bit like shapewear. So there's no dreaded skin slippage during downward-facing dog. Both the leggings and bra fit comfortably and made it through my at-home vinyasa practice with no stress.

Everyday Look

If you were to read my Slack messages with co-workers, you'd know that I don't own sweatpants and rarely have clothes that I "lounge" in. I've always loved dressing up but was willing to give JoyLab a whirl. I'm glad I did, as I was able to meet some work deadlines with the utmost comfort and am obsessed with this burnt-orange matching top. For a girl who doesn't love athleisure, this is a look I can definitely back up. 

I've heard a lot about the JoyLab ribbed sets around the Who What Wear office. The brand keeps bringing them back because people love them so much. Now, I finally understand the hype. There's something about ribbed fabric that just looks expensive, so the set looks much more luxurious than its $20 price tag. I also love this baby-blue color—way more fun than my typical black leggings. 

Everyday Look

To transition from workout to loungewear, I took my Bala Bangles off to start! Then, I layered a pair of cozy JoyLab sweatpants on top of my leggings. I've been wanting to try this look out for a while, where the waistband peeps out for a cute contrast, and the combination of olive and baby blue turned out to be *chef's kiss.* The fact that JoyLab leggings are high waisted makes it really easy to pull off the combo without wearing the sweatpants super low-rise. For a run to the grocery store, I added a blazer in a similar hue for a bit more coverage. But once I'm back home, I'll be set to hang in just my sports bra-as-top and cozy layered lounge pants.

Like many folks in quarantine, I bought a spin bike to elevate my home workouts, and you'll know this because I'll find a way to work it into a conversation. (Did you know I bought a spin bike recently?) Now when I look for activewear, I'm really judging on how well it'll wear and support me through a high-impact spin class, usually with copious amounts of sweat involved. (Trust me, it's not a pretty picture.) I can tell you firsthand that this set really holds up in every way that I want it to. And that's a true winner in my book. 

Everyday Look

If a tie-dye shirt and a pumpkin spice latte had a baby, it would be this exact JoyLab top. I already have some really soft and cozy loungewear pieces from JoyLab, but this one takes the cake. It has every single quality that I look for in a perfect throw-over-everything type of top. And, let's talk about these leggings for a second. Incredibly supportive and breathable at the same time? We love that for them.

I wore this look for several days after I received it—from lounging on my couch all the way to the farmers market (it was a big week!)—and can attest to how comfortable and cute you will feel in it.

Anna LaPlaca, Who What Wear Associate Editor

Workout Look

First of all, this pale-green color is everything. It's such an instant mood booster, especially since I'm so used to wearing plain black pieces for my workouts. And let's face it, there's nothing better than a matching set to get you motivated to hit play on that workout video. The set has these micro-cutouts that make it breathable, and the fabric is so soft. I put this on intending to break a sweat in it, but I couldn't help wearing it to lounge as well.

Everyday Look

Speaking of lounging, this bra top has really come in handy while I've been working from home. It's just so comfy. I love that it can double as a crop top, so I styled it with some wide-leg pants and an oversize button-down shirt and then threw on a printed scarf that picked up the pale-green color.

Sarah Yang, THE/THIRTY Managing Editor

Workout Look

I've been wanting to try this JoyLab style for a while, especially after it got rave reviews from my colleagues. They all said it was cozy and soft and had just the right amount of compression. Editor in Chief Kat Collings even went for a second set because she loved it so much! With such high praise, this activewear set had a lot to live up to, and, boy, did it ever! I was so impressed with how comfortable it was to put on and wear. It was perfect for a mat workout, but I can also see how it would be supportive enough for cardio and HIIT classes. I also am obsessed with the big pockets on the side, which are crucial for storing my phone, keys, and credit card while I'm running errands or walking around my neighborhood and want to travel light. Plus, the mocha color is an unexpected (yet so pretty) shade for activewear, I think.

Everyday Look

Since those crisp and cool days of fall are just around the corner, I can't wait to wear these leggings when I'm lounging, working from home, or going to the grocery store. They're so comfy, and they're just the right amount of thick—warm but I won't overheat. (I run hot!) I paired them with this fun tie-dye top in a pretty sage green. The top is kind of like a sweatshirt and a jersey-knit tee had a baby. It's super soft and cozy. To complete my look, I added some house slippers. Ta-da. I think my at-home look for fall is set. I just need an appropriately themed candle, some tea, and a good book.

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