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Redefining Fitness: A Conversation with Fashionable Athletes


Fitness fashion has exploded in recent years, with athletic clothing brands embracing both performance and style. As workout gear becomes increasingly versatile and fashion-forward, a new generation of fitness influencers is emerging at the intersection of health, wellness, and personal style.

To gain insight into this growing movement, we spoke with five prominent fitness fashionistas who are redefining activewear and sharing their passion for movement with expansive online audiences. Through our conversation, key themes emerged around community building, body positivity, sustainability, and of course – killer workout fits.

So lace up your sneakers and let’s dive in! Here’s what these fab fitness gurus had to say.

Breaking Down Barriers Through Sport

On Discovering Fitness and Building Inclusive Communities

For many of our panelists, sports served as a pathway to self-confidence from a young age. Track star turned fashion blogger Leah Stanley recalls, “Running empowered me through middle school and high school. It showed me what I was capable of and gave me this quiet confidence.”

Mia Richardson, whose athletic physique earned her a college volleyball scholarship, describes fitness as her “safe space” during turbulent adolescent years.

Kyla Jones, founder of The Thick Fitness community, echoes this sentiment. “Fitness was that one hour a day where my body type and my skin color didn’t matter,” she shares. “It was just me, some music, and the occasional encouraging word from a trainer.”

Yet traditional sports environments weren’t always welcoming for these women of color.

Leah describes often being the only Black girl on her track teams. Mia felt self-conscious as the “curvy volleyball player” surrounded by tall, slender teammates. And Kyla struggled to find workout gear that fit her curves.

Rather than be discouraged, all three leveraged social media to create welcoming fitness spaces for women who looked like them.

On Instagram, Leah shares body positive messages and affirms that health manifests differently for everyone. Mia provides modified workout routines for various body types. And Kyla’s Thick Fitness apparel line ensures that curvy girls can find cute, supportive activewear.

As Kyla concludes, “Fitness can be that safe, confidence-building space for any woman, regardless of her shape, size or skin tone. But the industry needs disrupters like us to make it happen.”

Blending Fitness and Fashion

For our panelists, fitness fashion represents more than just cute workout clothes. It’s a means of creative self-expression and community building.

“I fell in love with athleisure because it allowed me to blend my passion for health with my interest in styling,” shares Alyssa Klein, founder of @fashionfitnessstyle. “My followers seem to really connect with that duality too. I’m not just selling them leggings; I’m selling a lifestyle.”

Veronica Chen takes a similar approach with her blog, Fit For Style, which spotlights her favorite fitness fashion finds.

“Fashion and fitness go hand-in-hand for me,” Veronica explains. “I love wearing bright colors and fun prints to the gym. It puts me in a good mood and makes my workout more enjoyable.”

This fusion of fashion and fitness carries over into Veronica’s everyday style as well. “My athleisure pieces easily transition from the gym to brunch with friends,” she tells us. “It’s like a sporty twist on casual wear.”

Pushing the Industry Forward - Promoting Body Positivity

Pushing the Industry Forward

Our panelists agree that while the fitness fashion space has made strides, more work is needed to transform the industry.

Promoting Body Positivity

For Alyssa, Leah, Mia, and Kyla, body positivity remains an essential yet elusive goal.

“The industry still primarily shows one body type – tall, thin, white women,” Alyssa observes. “Seeing more diversity would help so many people feel welcomed rather than intimidated.”

Leah points out that fitness models rarely represent the average gym-goer. “Where are the cellulite ladies at?” she asks. “All bodies deserve to be celebrated and to feel comfortable breaking a sweat.”

To manifest change, these influencers lead by example – flaunting their curves, imperfections and all. Their refreshing takes on fitness continue inspiring women to embrace health at any shape and size.

Advocating for Sustainability

The rise of athleisure has brought increased scrutiny on clothing production practices. Our panelists feel passionately that brands must take responsibility for their environmental impact.

“We promote fitness to improve health,” Veronica says. “Meanwhile fast fashion is polluting our planet and harming communities. It’s such a contradiction.”

Veronica opts to collaborate exclusively with sustainable activewear brands. Alyssa also carefully vets partners, confirming their use of eco-friendly textiles and ethical manufacturing processes.

Their selective partnerships encourage consumers to vote with their dollars, rewarding responsible companies with their business. This motivates brands to implement greener production methods, igniting positive change.

Through these conversations, one thing is clear – our panelists are doing far more than selling leggings. They are building supportive communities, spreading messages of body positivity, and advocating for sustainability. In the process, they are collectively redefining what it means to lead an active lifestyle.

The Specs: Choosing Quality Fitness Fashion

The Specs: Choosing Quality Fitness Fashion

When it comes to choosing workout wear, functionality and comfort should be top priorities. Our pros share their criteria for selecting activewear that performs.


The optimal fitness fashion fabric depends greatly upon the intended activity.

For high intensity workouts: Look for moisture wicking performance fabrics like nylon or polyester blends. These will keep you cool and dry as you break a sweat.

For yoga and pilates: Seek out stretchy fabrics with ample give. Spandex blends offer both compression and range of motion.

For running: Choose breathable, lightweight materials that won’t cause chafing. Many brands now use recycled polyester which is both eco-friendly and quick-drying.

For lounging: When shopping for casual pieces, prioritize soft, flexible fabrics that feel amazing against your skin.


How activewear is constructed also affects its functionality. Consider these elements:


– Flatlock stitching prevents irritation and chafing, making it ideal for tight fitting workout gear
– Overlock stitching offers stretch and durability, common in yoga apparel
– Look for reinforced seams around the knees and seat for extra strength


– Wide waistbands provide tummy control and stay in place during movement
– Drawcords allow you to adjust waist tightness for the perfect fit
– Enclosed elastic prevents rolling or sagging


– Side pockets securely hold small essentials like keys and cards
– Waistband pockets fitting larger items like phones add convenience


Proper support is especially critical for vigorous athletic activities. Consider bras with these features:

Encapsulation style

– Individual bra “cups” surround each breast to reduce bounce
– Offers customizable lift and coverage


– Tight fit across the bust minimizes movement
– Racerback and strappy styles enhance support

Moisture wicking

– Keeps breasts dry as sweat accumulates
– Prevents discomfort and skin irritation

The Specs Choosing Quality Fitness Fashion FAQ

FAQs: Insights From the Experts

We asked our pros to share their most frequently received fitness fashion questions from followers. Here are the top answers they wanted you to know.

How often do you replace activewear pieces?

Kyla: I replace staples like leggings and sports bras about every six months. That’s usually when I notice elastic starting to stretch out. For other items, it varies based on wear. I’ll toss things once they start pilling or if a hole develops.

Alyssa: Honestly I probably hold onto things too long! I end up replacing items only once they are completely falling apart. But I know the recommendation is to swap out highly used activewear every three to six months.

How do you wash workout clothes?

Veronica: I wash all athletic apparel separately on a delicate cycle using cold water. Then I let them air dry to preserve elasticity. For smelly post-workout clothes, adding a half cup of white vinegar to the wash really helps remove odors.

Leah: What she said! I also try to avoid using fabric softener or dryer sheets since they can reduce wicking capabilities over time.

Any tips for making activewear last longer?

Mia: Immediately hang drying sweaty workout wear helps prevent shrinkage. I also store sports bras folded rather than hanging to maintain the band’s elasticity.

Alyssa: Great suggestions! Also make sure to wash similar colors together so they don’t bleed onto each other in the laundry. That can accelerate fading over time.

The Specs Choosing Quality Fitness Fashion conclusion

In Conclusion: Leading the Active Lifestyle

We hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the world of fitness fashion! Our panelists demonstrate that your workout wardrobe can do far more than clothe your body during exercise. With conscious styling choices, it becomes a means of creative expression, community connection, and catalyst for positive industry change.

As Kyla wisely stated earlier, the active lifestyle transcends physical movement alone. It’s a mindset – one encompassing self-care, body positivity, style and fun. We invite you to embrace your own flavor of fitness that nourishes your body and soul.

Now go rock those leggings, live boldly in your skin, and get moving in whatever way fuels your fire! The path to confidence and joy starts from within.