Yes, exercise is good for your health, creates endorphins that make you feel chipper, etc. etc. etc. But for some of us (myself included), exercising also presents the enticing opportunity to source and wear an additional category of cute clothing. Scrolling through e-comm sites and filling virtual cars with leggings and sports bras I may, or may not, purchase is fun. I find it relaxing. And when I eventually decide on the perfect piece to click purchase on, I feel primed to workout. I tend to be more motivated to get sweaty when I like what I’m wearing – and that feeling isn’t unique to me.
A 2012 study published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that clothing can influence behaviour because it carries symbolic meaning. “When you put on new fitness gear, you begin to get into character like an actor putting on a costume for a performance,” sports psychologist Dr. Jonathan Fader told Shape. “As a result, you expect to have a better performance, making you more mentally prepared for the task.”
If you’re in the market for new workout gear, there is a slew of new leggings, sports bras and accessories hitting the virtual shelves this month. Nordstrom Canada has launched a microsite dedicated to its wellness offerings, which includes gear from Patagonia, Girlfriend Collective (like its highly rated sports bra) and Canada’s Arc’teryx. Joe Fresh debuted its Project Self campaign, dedicated to prioritizing yourself and celebrating the little wellness wins, alongside a vibrant new spring collection (watch Sasha Exeter model it for outfit inspo).
American digital-only retailer Pretty Little Thing has entered the Canadian market, which means Karrueche Tran’s 62-piece collection of neutral-toned workout and workout-adjacent clothing is now available to ship to Canada. For pre-and-post workout chill, there’s JW Anderson’s fashion-minded take on athleisure available exclusively at Net-a-Porter.
We’d be remiss not to mention Canadian brands Lululemon, whose wildly popular Align legging (the softest ones I’ve ever worn) are now available up to size 20, and Michi, who recently released a velvet workout set that makes moving your body during the winter months seem much more appealing.
Click through the below slideshow to see our picks of the best new workout clothes for 2021.