(Trends)

Activewear Trends Are Going Bold In 2022

From Y2K designs to catsuits.

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two models wearing activewear and sneakers

If workout clothes take up more space in your closet than ever before, the biggest 2022 activewear trends are sure to pique your interest. Pieces like leggings, sports bras, and biker shorts never seem to get old for gym clothes enthusiasts, whether you get in movement five days a week or purely like the look and feel of stretchy attire.

Jennifer Bandier, founder of the boutique Bandier, tells TZR how activewear has gone from a considered part of one’s wardrobe to a foundation category. “That’s not changing in 2022,” she says. However, after the last two years, with more reason and desire to dress up again, activewear trends are going beyond workouts, evolving to what Bandier describes as ‘athluxe.’ “Think activewear meets luxury,” she says, such as pairing workout sets with elevated footwear, cashmere, and blazers.

Echoing Bandier, Shopbop’s Fashion Director Caroline Maguire tells TZR that while people return to their pre-pandemic workout routines, the fully-dressed urge with everyday outfits extends to activewear, driving a desire to shop more trend-driven activewear. “People are having fun with [activewear], incorporating bold fashion items into their workout looks,” she says. Think cozy winter boots and a shearling coat atop leggings and a tank top to and from a workout class. Or, a button-down shirt styled with a sports bra, biker shorts, and sandals post-yoga flow. “These [combinations] make you both look great and feel good,” Maguire adds. Similarly, confidence-boosting is the workout catsuit, which Bandier says will become more prevalent in 2022.

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But, while activewear seeps into outfits unintended for a sweat, brands still focus on performance-driven designs in 2022. Aesthetics, like new fabrics, colors, and modern silhouettes, are, indeed, more heavily emphasized. But priority elements like four-way stretch and moisture-wicking materials, innovative sports bras for support, seamless silhouettes, and compression fabrics all abound this year.

Keep reading for the five biggest activewear trends in 2022, and shop the edit to get your gym (and leisure) looks on point.

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

The Bold Matching Set

A staple for exercise and leisure moments, matching workout sets will all but slow down in 2022. Muted earth tones still abound. However, the most exciting new versions come brighter and printed, including warm red and orange tones and logo motifs. “All Access just introduced a new color called ‘fiery red,’ which our customer loved,” Bandier tells TZR, also highlighting the signature bold tones and prints by Lapp the Brand, a new label carried by the boutique.

“I love the fun of mixing and matching, but the idea of throwing on a same-print top and bottom is easy while giving your look a more put-together feel,” says Maguire of 2022’s matching set trend highlighting Splits59’s vibrant assortment among her favorites. “Good American Essentials will also spice up your gym look with bold sets and the perfect fitting cropped tanks, offering a great range of extensive sizing options as well,” she adds.

A Long Line Bra

Sports bras are a workout wardrobe staple, not to mention a buzzy look to be worn with coordinating leggings and shorts. But for 2022, lines are elongating for a refreshed look. “Part crop top, part sports bra, this [silhouette] offers move coverage while letting [customers] flaunt their hard work,” says Bandier.

Similarly, Maguire says the in-between bra and tank shape is “the perfect fit for when you want to show a little skin” without feeling too bare. Wear yours outside the gym with bottoms of all kinds — low-rise cargos and jeans, waist-skimming skirts, or slouchy shorts.

Ribbed Fabrics

Bandier and Maguire both highlight ribbed fabrics as the material du jour in 2022. “We just launched ‘Sport Rib’ in the All Access collection with great success,” Bandier reveals. “[The fabric] provides such incredible function while also offering visual interest and texture.

The material is a signature of the It label, Year Of Ours, which Maguire ranks among her favorites. “[They’re] perfect to wear when you’re on the go and don’t have time to change from the gym,” she tells TZR. “I wear these 24/7, either leaning into the monochrome trend and layering the same colors together or throwing on an oversized blazer and some chunky jewelry to give my look a more polished feel before [working out].”

Y2K Silhouettes

The wide-spread Y2K-fueled cut-out trend extends to activewear in 2022. “We’re seeing this look everywhere right now,” says Maguire. The fashion director points to Alo’s sleek and satiny fabrics as a masterful way to wear this trend. “Their glossy leggings and monochrome zip-ups definitely elevate gym attire,” Maguire says. The brand also translates other recent fashion trends into their cut-out designs, such as asymmetrical necklines and split-hem leggings. Yoga pants are another ’00s activewear trend continuing in 2022 — it’s undoubtedly worth a go if you’re not a leggings person. Plus, cinched and ruched detailing, particularly on tops.

The Catsuit

According to Bandier, the one-and-done catsuit is transitioning from a microtrend favored by early adopters to a unanimous look for 2022. “It allows for ease of movement, and it’s impossibly chic,” says the boutique owner, highlighting Le Ore and one of her favorite brands that continues to reinvent the look. Try a cropped or romper silhouette if a full-length look isn’t for you. Styling tip if a one-piece feels too exposed: Try a pair of shorts layered on top for extra coverage and dimension. So retro.