The 10 Best Athleisure Items of 2023

These athleisure items are perfect for working out and traveling.

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 Best Athleisure Items Every Traveler Needs

Amazon / Allbirds

When packing for a trip, selecting versatile pieces is key for maximizing suitcase space — which is where athleisure comes in. Lightweight, fashionable, and typically constructed with sweat-wicking materials, athleisure pieces are designed to be worn for workouts and wandering new cities alike. Exercise dresses, bike shorts, leggings, and more can be worn as outfits in and out of the gym, providing comfort and compression while you’re on the move. 

We’ve rounded up the coziest, most fashionable pieces of athleisure wear from some of our favorite brands. These are designed to take you from a morning boxing class to brunch with friends, or from the airport on to a full day of sightseeing. Whether you’re looking for pieces with hidden pockets, quick-drying fabrics, or trendy designs, we’ve found something for every type of traveler. 

Best Overall

Girlfriend Collective Tommy Dress

Girlfriend Collective Tommy Dress

Girlfriend Collective

Why We Love It
  • It’s an ultra-versatile piece that’s comfy enough to wear all day — plus it’s available in a wide range of sizes and made of recycled material.

What to Consider
  • The built-in shorts offer extra coverage, but can be a nuisance as you’ll need to remove the entire dress for bathroom breaks.

When it comes to feeling comfortable and supported while still looking stylish, Girlfriend Collective’s Tommy Dress takes the cake. This square-neck exercise dress is chic enough to pass as an LBD for a night out, but it boasts additional details that elevate it from fashionable to super functional. It’s crafted from a compressive fabric that will keep you feeling pulled together but never constricted, thanks to four-way stretch. We love that the material is made from almost 80 percent recycled water bottles, creating a silky-soft feeling you’ll want to move in all day long. The dress itself is not only recycled but recyclable, through Girlfriend Collective’s ReGirlfriend program which allows you to trade in old pieces for store credit. 

While there are ample exercise dresses on the market, the Tommy Dress is one of our absolute favorites thanks to its sustainable materials and size inclusivity (it’s available in sizes XXS to 6XL). The built-in shorts also stand out for their ability to stay put, so there’s no need to worry about them riding up while you’re running or stretching — plus, they’ve got pockets for storing your phone and other essentials. The dress is fitted in the chest and body-skimming through the waist, making it structured enough to workout in yet flattering and flowy enough to hit the town for a night of dancing. 

Price at time of publish: $88

The Details: XXS to 6XL | Recycled plastic bottles and spandex

Best 7/8 Leggings

Alo Yoga ⅞ High-Waist Airbrush Leggings

Alo Yoga ⅞ High-Waist Airbrush Leggings


Why We Love It
  • The high waist flatters and sculpts, plus the compressive fabric means the leggings stay where they’re supposed to — there’s no need to readjust them throughout the day.

What to Consider
  • At over $100, they’re more expensive than other leggings we considered, but they’re crafted to last a lifetime.

Leggings are a travel essential. Comfy and versatile, they take up hardly any room in your suitcase and can be worn in so many ways — pair them with your favorite lived-in T-shirt for long haul flights, dress them up with heels and a flowy top for dinner, or mix and match with a sports bra for a restorative yoga class. Simply put, these high-waisted leggings are the only ones you’ll ever need. Sure, the price tag can seem daunting, but anyone who’s slipped in Alo Yoga’s Airbrush fabric knows there’s no going back. The second-skin material is thick enough to offer fully opaque coverage (yes, they’ve been squat tested!) yet is so lightweight and breathable you might forget you’re wearing them. They’re also moisture-wicking, odor resistant, and machine washable. 

While these are designed to hit just above the ankle, note that these look more full-length if you’re short or petite. They’re a flattering choice for everyone, thanks to the supportive and sculpting fabric that can even be worn while commando. While black and white are classic color options, they can also be scooped up in nine other vibrant shades. 

Price at time of publish: $130

The Details: XXS to XL | Polyester and spandex

Best Bike Shorts

Nike GO Women’s Firm-Support High-Waisted 8” Bike Shorts with Pockets

Nike GO Women’s Firm-Support High-Waisted 8” Biker Shorts with Pockets


Why We Love It
  • They feature six (yes, six!) pockets, including side, zipper, and waistband.

What to Consider
  • Minimalists may prefer a design with fewer seams.

Whether you’re layering these bike shorts with a crop top for a Kim Kardashian-inspired fit or wearing them to SoulCycle, they’re equipped with unique features designed to make your life easier and more comfortable. The thicker waistband — which is available in mid- and high-rise — smooths your stomach and helps prevent rolling, while a discreet internal drawstring ensures a snug fit no matter what you’re up to. 

The fit on these is snug and secure, with just a bit of stretch. What really stands out about these shorts is that there are six pockets: two side pockets that are deep enough to fit an iPhone, three small ones on the back waistband, and one side zipper pocket to keep cash, keys, or other small essentials. 

Price at time of publish: $65

The Details: XXS to 2XL | Recycled nylon and spandex

Best Jacket

Alo Yoga Legend Jacket

Alo Yoga Legend Jacket

Alo Yoga

Why We Love It
  • This jacket is perfectly lightweight for transitional weather.

What to Consider
  • Plan to size down if you prefer a more fitted style.

This lightweight jacket is the perfect sporty layer for those summer morning walks when it’s not-quite warm enough out yet. The light fill is squishable enough to tie around your waist on hikes or stow under your seat on flights, making it the perfect travel companion. We’re big fans of the roomy, unisex design, which matches with just about every outfit – just be sure to size down if you’re looking for a tighter silhouette. The jacket features a front zipper and snaps for a secure closure, plus a breast pocket and side zip pockets to store your phone, wallet and more. The drawstring at the bottom and cinched cuffs allow for an adjustable snug fit. 

Price at time of publish: $255

The Details: XXS to 2XL | Polyester

Best Sneaker

New Balance x Staud XC-72

New Balance x Staud XC-72


Why We Love It
  • The beachy ‘90s design is sure to turn heads.

What to Consider
  • If you need extra knee or ankle support, you may want to look for a pair that’s specifically designed for that.

These are not your dad’s New Balances. Trendy but functional, this New Balance x Staud collaboration channels laid-back beach vibes inspired by ‘90s surf style. Whatever your style is, these are easy to coordinate with everything from neutrals to more vibrant patterns thanks to their sandy color palette. With a vertically split outsole, they’ve got enough traction for trekking up steep hills in Lisbon or navigating cobbled alleys in Paris — but they might not cut it if you have any particular needs in terms of ankle or knee support. We love that they come with three sets of shoelaces (black, white, and light blue), so you can change up the look depending on your mood.

Price at time of publish: $255

The Details: Women’s 5.5 to 13.5, Men’s 4 to 14 | Nylon, suede, and patent leather

Best Workout Set

Fabletics Good Vibes 4-Piece Bundle

Fabletics Good Vibes 4-Piece Bundle


Why We Love It
  • This four-piece set is an incredible value that can be mixed-and-matched for any occasion.

What to Consider
  • You need to opt into Fabletic’s membership plan in order to score the 70 percent discounted pricing on this bundle.

Whether you’re running errands or running on the beach, this casual four-piece set has got you covered. It includes Fabletics’ Luxe Terry Sweatshort, Principal Low-Impact Bra, 100 percent Cotton Scoop Tank, and Shrunken Hoodie — all for less than $100, if you opt into their membership program, (the program charges $60 per month, which can be applied towards purchases, and you can cancel at any time). It’s available in a range of playful colors and patterns, with our favorite being the French stripe/orange passion combo. Wear them all together or just throw on the low-impact sports bra and soft terry shorts (complete with handy pockets) for a walk, or layer with the cozy tank and midweight cropped hoodie if the weather cools. 

Price at time of publish: $215, or $65 for members

The Details: XXS to 4XL | Shorts: Terry; Bra: Polyester and elastane; Tank: Cotton; Hoodie: Cotton and polyester

Best Size-inclusive

Girlfriend Collective Sport Skort

Girlfriend Collective Sport Skort

Girlfriend Collective

Why We Love It
  • The skirt pulls double duty as a chic wardrobe addition that’s actually durable enough to work out in.

What to Consider
  • The undershorts don’t offer a lot of protection from chafing.

Girlfriend Collective consistently wins out in terms of size inclusivity, which is a priority for their brand. Available in sizes XXS to 6XL, the Sport Skirt is a flirty and feminine addition to your go-to golf or tennis looks. It’s as suited to the course as it is to the club, thanks to built-in shorts that provide secure compression and two convenient pockets. We love that this allows you to try out the mini skirt trend without worrying about feeling exposed. The skort is so flattering you’ll probably want to grab it in more than one color — luckily, it comes in eight shades, so you’ve got plenty of options. 

Price at time of publish: $62

The Details: XXS to 6XL | Recycled bottles and spandex

Best Affordable

Dragon Fit Women Sleeveless Yoga Tops

Dragon Fit Women’s Sleeveless Yoga Top


Why We Love It
  • This buttery-soft tank is ultra moisture-wicking and never clings to your body.

What to Consider
  • The fit is somewhat cropped, which may be especially noticeable on people with longer torsos.

If you’re looking for a ride-or-die tank to take with you on your travels, look no further than Dragon Fit’s Sleeveless Yoga Top. Made from a super stretchy nylon and spandex blend, it moves with you without ever clinging to your skin or riding up. The ice silk fabric is cooling and soft to the touch, plus it boasts incredible moisture-wicking properties to keep you feeling fresh all day long. The breathable material is also wrinkle-resistant, making it a great travel companion to wear solo or as a layer. If you’re looking for a more fitted, compressive silhouette, consider sizing down as this one is more body-skimming. It’s so soft you’ll want to scoop it up in more than one of the 12 bold colors, as it’s the perfect tank for all-day wear when you’re touring a new city. 

Price at time of publish: $20

The Details: XS to XL | Nylon and spandex

Best for Cold Weather

Lululemon Scuba Oversized Half-zip Hoodie

Lululemon Scuba Oversized Half-Zip Hoodie


Why We Love It
  • There’s a hidden phone sleeve in the front kangaroo pocket.

What to Consider
  • There isn’t an overly warm inner lining, which makes this a versatile layer but not necessarily thick enough for a truly cold climate.

Designed to support you while you’re on the go, this half-zip pullover hoodie is the perfect layer for keeping you warm and cozy after a workout or in chilly fall weather. It’s crafted from lightweight, breathable cotton that keeps you warm while quickly absorbing any excess sweat. The super soft feel makes this a piece you’ll want to live in, especially thanks to the convenient phone sleeve hidden inside of the front kangaroo pocket. It’s intended as a roomy, oversized fit, so you may want to size down if you’re looking for something more fitted. We love the elastic zipper that can be used as a hair tie in a pinch, and the retro thumbholes for added comfort. Scoop it up in 11 colors, ranging from teal to mango. 

Price at time of publish: $118

The Details: XS to 2XL | Cotton and polyester

Best for Warm Weather

Athleta Retreat Linen Wide Leg Pant

Athleta Retreat Linen Wide Leg Pant


Why We Love It
  • These easy, breezy linen pants have discreet pockets to store your essentials.

What to Consider
  • At the moment, they’re only available in fairly vibrant colors.

Linen will be your best friend in the summer — it’s a breezy, lightweight, wrinkle-resistant material that’s as comfortable as it is stylish. These wide leg pants feature an ankle slit for maximum freedom of movement and breathability, making them an ideal choice for days when you’re running to catch a train or just wandering around a new destination. They’re the perfect lightweight layer, and they’ve available in six summery colors that will immediately brighten up your suitcase — just note that the linen is somewhat sheer. While these are better suited to lounging than lifting weights, they’re a great addition to any athleisure wardrobe, especially thanks to the drawstring waistline and 4 pockets (two zip front, two back) where you can stash your essentials. 

Price at time of publish: $90

The Details: XXS to 3XL | Linen

Tips for Buying Athleisure Items

Put comfort first

Athleisure was designed to walk the line between workout apparel and loungewear, so there’s no need to be cinched into too-tight tank tops or constricting leggings when there’s so much stylish and soft clothing on the market. Look for pieces that feature four-way stretch and are breathable enough to wear year round. Moisture-wicking materials are also key for feeling fresh all day long, even after an intense workout session. 

Choose the right size

It’s always a good idea to read product descriptions before purchasing in order to get the best idea of what the fit is like in real life. Customer reviews can also offer crucial insight, as people will often get quite specific with their information, offering their height, weight, and body type in order to give context for how the piece fit them. 

Consider compression 

If you’re planning to do anything beyond low-impact activities, you might want to consider compression fabrics. They help to minimize movement and the possibility of clothing riding up or rolling down, making them essential for running, cycling, and playing sports like tennis or golf. They’re often sculpting and smoothing, providing a flattering fit without feeling constricting. 

Dress for the weather

Breathability and moisture-wicking materials are key for year round wear. If you’re dressing for warmer climates, opt for materials like linen, thin cotton, lightweight nylons, and more. Pieces that are breezier and feature slits or zippers also help to improve airflow, which will keep you cool on the move. In colder temperatures, look for fleece-lined pieces or heat-retaining layers that can be paired both with workout clothes and day-to-day looks.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the difference between athleisure and gym clothes?

    While plenty of athleisure wear is made from similar materials as gym clothes — sweat-wicking, odor-minimizing fabrics like nylon, lycra, polyester, and more — it’s designed to be stylish enough to be worn in and out of the gym, rather than just worked out in. 

  • How should I pack athleisure clothing?

    One of the primary attractions of athleisure is that it is lightweight and packable. Fold or roll your pieces (the jury’s still out on if one form actually saves more space than the other) and slide them into your carry-on. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this story, T+L contributor Sophie Dodd researched the best athleisure brands on the market, poring over dozens of pieces to select the most stylish and comfortable ones from each brand. She used her expertise as a full-time traveler and commerce writer to curate a list of the most versatile pieces for everything from airport lounging to HIIT classes. 

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