What are the Different Types of Women's Activewear?

Sheri Cyprus

Women's activewear is available in a wide range of sizes as well as types. There is both exercise-specific fitness clothing, such as stretchy knit yoga pants and tops, and general activewear that includes two-piece matching workout suits. Women's activewear pieces are available in separates from head to toe.

A woman wearing yoga pants.
A woman wearing yoga pants.

Fitness caps cover the head during outdoor exercise; they're worn as part of women's activewear outfits either to help shade the head and face from the sun or help direct rain away from the body. Women's jogging jackets add warmth in chilly weather. They may be hooded with a drawstring tie. Most activewear jackets zip up in the front. A fit that is close to the body, but still allows for easy movement is common in running and jogging jackets.

Women's compression shorts.
Women's compression shorts.

Women's workout clothes include many different styles of tops. Sports bras can be worn under athletic tops; they're designed to offer bust support during running or jogging. Half-top styles leave the midriff as well as the arms bare so runners or aerobics exercisers don't have to experience a shirt edge riding up during active movements.

A sports bra.
A sports bra.

Tank top styles cover the midriff, or stomach, but are sleeveless. Short or three-quarter sleeved t-shirts made for women's activewear tend to fit comfortably close to the body and have some stretch to them. Long sleeved fitness shirts are mainly available in skiing or snowboarding wear.

A woman's t-shirt.
A woman's t-shirt.

Fitness pants are sold in different leg lengths as well as fabrics. Nylon blends help wick away sweat and rain as well as protect outdoor exercisers from wind during outdoor runs. For warmer weather, comfortable cotton workout pants in capri or shorter lengths work well for many different sports activities, as do shorts. Yoga pants are available in shorts styles as well as full-length types of women's activewear. Yoga pants are designed to move well with the body and are made in many fashion colors.

Shorts and a top are usually appropriate for aerobic exercise in mild to warm weather.
Shorts and a top are usually appropriate for aerobic exercise in mild to warm weather.

Workout wear accessories include socks. Many of these are shorter length, such as ankle socks, or the type that fits just over the areas of the feet covered by shoes. White and colored cotton athletic socks are extremely popular, as are the types made from terry cloth. Terry cloth is made up of looped threads and is soft as well as absorbent. Women's workout shoes are available in styles for running as well as those designed for specific sports such as basketball or soccer.

Leggings and a long-sleeved sweatshirt are great for an outdoor workout.
Leggings and a long-sleeved sweatshirt are great for an outdoor workout.
Tank tops and form-fitting bottoms are popular attire for working out with weights.
Tank tops and form-fitting bottoms are popular attire for working out with weights.
A tank top and leggings are appropriate clothing for yoga.
A tank top and leggings are appropriate clothing for yoga.
White and colored cotton socks are popular types of women's wear.
White and colored cotton socks are popular types of women's wear.
Nylon blends are good for exercising in the rain.
Nylon blends are good for exercising in the rain.
Joggers and runners often wear apparel made from fabric that wicks perspiration away from the body.
Joggers and runners often wear apparel made from fabric that wicks perspiration away from the body.
Women's workout clothes include many different styles of tops.
Women's workout clothes include many different styles of tops.

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