Fact: losing the impetus to go workout when your gear doesn’t match or feel good is a *thing*. Enter activewear sets, matching bras and tights that’ll have you feeling your best self while training. Not only will you look good, but you’ll also feel good when moving in high-tech fabrics that look cute and get the job done. We’ve rounded up 23 of our favourite activewear sets, just because.
But First, Why Is It Important To Invest In Good-Quality Activewear?
According to adidas, 92% of women find it difficult to focus on their workout when their apparel is uncomfortable. adidas partnered with Associate Professor in Exercise Science and Elite Athlete Physiological Consultant Jason White and Professor Joanna Wakefield-Scurr, head of the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth. Further supported by a global consumer survey, they uncovered the extent of the impact of inadequate apparel.
A shocking 58% of women said that they frequently have to stop to pull up their leggings during a workout, whilst almost half (49%) have had marks left on their skin due to tight-fitting apparel. Plus, up to 94% of women are reported to have asymmetrical breasts, which reinforces the critical importance of the correct and supportive fit, as well as adequate performance wear (check out our 19 best sports bras of 2023, if that’s you).
“From distractions to performance implications, the research and surveys have shown that a large majority of women face issues due to poorly fitting leggings. Whether the leggings are too tight or loose, comfort is a key element to performance, which is why unearthing this research is an important step to support a woman’s participation and enjoyment in all kinds of sport,“ explained Associate Professor Jason White.
So yeah, choosing the right activewear is pretty darn important, but of course, you still want to be sweating in style. Never fear, our hand-picked selection of activewear sets is here to ensure you’re sorted for 2023 and beyond.
Activewear Sets For HIIT
adidas Tailored HIIT Training Set
This is one of the workout sets that was created based on the research above, so you’re getting expert-backed gear (on sale right now!).
Designed with the sporadic movements of HIIT in mind, an integrated internal gripper on the high-rise waistband of these leggings helps minimise your tights rolling down as you jump and run. Meanwhile, the four-way stretch material aims to reduce the feeling of material digging in (don’t you hate it when that happens?) and provides all-round comfort. Plus, this bra’s HEAT.RDY tech and mesh detailing across the front and the open back design maximise airflow, so you’ll feel cool across those high heat and sweat zones.
Koko Active Kickstart Set
Who knew houndstooth could look so chic as workout gear? The shorts feature pockets for storing your keys or phone and the racerback detail on the bra is stunning and shows off your back.
Burnt Essential Sports Bra And Tights
A black set is a staple in any workout gear wardrobe and this one will be a fast fave. The sports bra is designed with a long line fit for more coverage so you can feel comfortable wearing it without a shirt. The back of the bra is the real star though; with wide straps and adjustable fasteners so you can customise the fit you’ll get some serious high-impact support.
The tights, on the other hand, have a thick reinforced waistband so you never have to worry about them slipping while you squat jump or doing a burpee. They’re also 100% squat-proof and designed to flatter all body types. BTW, Burnt is a proudly South African brand, too!
Under Armour Infinity High Sports Bra and Merdian Print Leggings
Under Armour nixed the traditional sports bra rules and injected the padding into this bra in a figure 8 pattern. The result? A more aerodynamic fit and a much lighter feel.
The ankle leggings (perfect for those who are shorter or enjoy a shorter legging) have specially engineered fabric that is super-soft and stretchy. But it’s not that low-support stretch you might first think of, this delivers support and lasting comfort while still being lightweight and breathable. Get ready to smash your push-up PB next time you hit the gym in this kit.
Activewear Sets For Running
New Balance Impact Run AT set
The bra has pockets at the rear for secure storage plus, reflective detailing for those early-morning runs. The tights have pockets too and a beautifully sculpted high waist detail.
Women’s UA Run Trail Set
With the winter fast approaching, a crop outer layer and shorts duo is the perfect pick. Both of these pieces are light, ultra-durable, stretchy (thanks to the 4-way stretch fabric) and built to dry fast so you can tackle any trail with confidence.
The crop is made of super-soft fleece material and has water-resistant woven panels for added durability. Best part? The slouchy funnel neck with drawcord adjust.
The shorts are made from UA’s updated HeatGear® fabric and have an expandable Speedpocket on the waistband, as well as side bungee lacing for extra storage. You can pack anything you need (even snacks)!
PUMA Run Ultraform Set
PUMA is another brand that focuses on developing workout gear with the female form in mind. This set was created for everyday runners. Both the tights and tank feature PUMA’s signature dryCELL moisture-wicking technology for enhanced temperature control to help you remain sweat-free. Plus, these pieces are made with at least 70% recycled material.
And if you’re wanting to upgrade your kicks, they’ve recently launched the Deviate NITRO 2 Electrocharged running shoe in the pic (matchy-matchy!) It’s super responsive and has a layer of premium NITRO Elite foam for extra cushioning. You can check them out here.
ASICS Papaya Bra and Tights
ASICS’ new Gel-Nimbus™ 25 shoe has been one of the hottest releases of 2023 (you can read our review here). But they didn’t just release a gorgeous papaya shoe, we got a stunning matching set, too!
The Accelerate Bra is a high-support running bra (goodbye movement!) that has a soft lower band (goodbye squished back skin!) and a cross-back design with adjustable straps so you can tailor your fit (goodbye awkward uni-boob!).
The high-waisted tights are supportive, soft and stretchy in the best way and they’re quick-drying so you don’t have to stress about sweat marks. They also have a phone pocket at the back that’s sweat-resistant and bounce-limiting.
Activewear Sets For Strength Training
Under Armour Crossback Low Sports Bra and HeatGear® Leggings
Under Armour asked real women how they could make UA bras even better, and then they made it happen! This one is built for light-support activity and has removable cups with perforations for better shape and breathability. And the tights have ergonomic flatlock seams to give you a comfortable, chafe-free fit. Both pieces are made with anti-odour tech which prevents the growth of odour-causing microbes. Cheers, stinky workout gear!
Oh, and those trainers you can see in this pic, those are Under Armour’s new Flow Dynamic trainers and the team tested them out. We absolutely loved them and you can read our review here.
2XU Racerback Crop and Compression Tights
This set gives major Legally Blonde vibes and we’re here for it. We’re also here for the quality fabric and tech in these pieces. The medium-impact crop has been designed to prevent bounce and is perfect for your gym training sessions and even short runs and spin classes.
Meanwhile, the compression tights are all about body-sculpting magic with no side seam construction, an extra high waistband and ultra-matte, anti-pill SLX fabric. The real star though? These tights have a mild graduated compression fit for increased circulation for improved recovery and reduced muscle stiffness post-exercise. We love when our workout gear works hard!
Burnt Milan Sports Bra and Istanbul Tights
Burnt is a local brand that has taken SA by storm and we can’t get enough of them! The Milan sports bra is their best-selling bra of all time and for good reason, too; it’s supportive, moisture-wicking and breathable. As if that’s not enough, it’s also double-lined and has removable cups.
And the tights live up to the high praise of this sports bra as well. Burnt promises they are 100% squat-proof with zero transparency which means you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing your underwear through your tights (we’ve all been there). They’re also engineered to sculpt your legs and have a pocket for your keys or gym card.
N3YH Sage Blossom set
We love an understated yet bold item and these pieces do just that. With just enough colour to give you a sense of style while you deadlift, this pairing wants you to mix and match items for mimosas, farmer’s markets and downward dogs.
Livv Activewear Snakeskin print set
Gold-flecked snakeskin just screams luxe while being as hardworking as you are in the gym. Scrunch detail in the rear accentuates that butt you’ve been working so hard on and the high waist is just *chef’s kiss*.
The Lot Outline Active Set
Um, at R440, you can’t really get a better deal than this activewear set. The outline detail sculpts and creates shape.
Activewear Sets For Yoga And Pilates
Puma Studio Trend Set
The soft materials will have you lounging around all day and supports through sweaty sessions with moisture-wicking tech. And just look at how beautiful it is?
Motherkind Cross-Over Active Wear set
Flattering halter neck detail? Check. High-waisted pants with drawstring so nothing comes undone? Check. Feeling like you can take on the world? Check, check, check.
Bacon Bikinis Activewear set
Think: soft, lush fabric that sits high at the waist and supports the bust. What’s not to love?
DailyFriday Seamless yoga set
If you’re working hard during your yoga sesh, you can’t go wrong with a pair of shorts. This detailed set includes flattering criss-cross shapes across the torso, so you’ll just feel your hottest self, while pivoting from horse to skandasana.
Me and the Sea Earthy Twig set
Find your flow with this gorgeous set of flowers that crawl up the legs. These pieces are individually cut, so your pair will be totally unique, plus the tights are double-lined (nothing showing when you bend down, woohoo!).
adidas Collective Power TLRD Impact Luxe
This bra, which was specifically created to flatter and support women of different sizes, is still available! Plus, it comes with gorgeous pink yoga leggings.
Nike Zenvy and Indy
The Nike collection creates pieces that seamlessly coordinate and match each other. Plus, Nike’s gone sustainable, with at least 50% of the product made with recycled nylon fibres. Big win.
H&M softmove™ set
Functional fabric helps to wick away moisture from your skin and SoftMove™, a supersoft, functional fabric that is lightweight and provides extra freedom of movement. Plus, that buttery fabric… *swoon*.
Mr P Checked set
This cropped bra with eyehole detail is good to go for coffee dates or the gym. The checked pattern is different without screaming you’re about to throw down at the weights.
Kelleigh is the Managing Editor of Women’s Health. When she’s not convincing her colleagues to try the latest TikTok trends, you can find her planning a holiday that never leaves the group chat, binge-reading or eating her way through Cape Town.
Michelle is a freelance writer at WH, passionate about all things health, fitness and mental wellness. She’s also an avid surfer and recently discovered skateboarding as a viable means of transport. Skate dates, anyone?