Working out is hard enough on its own without having to worry about adjusting waistbands that roll down and feeling like you're spilling out of your clothes. Whether you're in the gym, doing an at-home workout, squeezing in a yoga session or just going for a walk, quality plus-size activewear is a must.
There are a few features to look for in plus-size activewear. In bottoms, especially high-waisted ones, you'll want waistbands that are thicker so they're less likely to roll down. In tops, meanwhile, you'll want moisture-wicking fabric that will help keep you cool no matter the cut or style.
Plus-size stylist Michaela Leitz says comfort and support are hard to come by if you're not wearing the right materials. "For a perfect balance of both, consider fabrics like spandex, nylon or polyester blends for your garments," she told Shop TODAY in an email.
"Nylon and polyester are lightweight, quick-drying fabrics ideal for wicking away sweat. To add extra support during exercise, opt for the slightly more durable polyester material," she advised. If you want more comfort and flexibility, she suggests opting for spandex.
If you want to take it to the next level, she mentioned you can look for more advanced technologies and features like water-resistance, odor control and breathability.
To help you get started on your search, these are some of the best plus-size activewear pieces on the market, according to Leitz and other shoppers, that will stay in place while you're hard at work.
Best plus-size activewear, according to a stylist
In addition to the wide range of sizes, Leitz is a fan of Good American's activewear for its quality and fit. "I love this sports bra; the round collar is quite high which prevents showing too much cleavage or our bust falling out of the bra when we bend down," she said, adding that the tripe layers of fabric help ensure maximum support for bigger busts.
Leitz is a fan of this brand's commitment to size inclusivity with a range that spans from large to 7XL. This collection is made of TENCEL, which she calls "softer than cotton" and, according to the brand, it's also biodegradable (so you can make good on your resolution to be more sustainable).
Leitz loves Girlfriend Collective for their size range and sustainability practices, calling out these leggings that are made from 79 percent recycled plastic, according to the brand. Plus it has two side pockets, so you don't need to worry about where to store your phone or keys while working out.
Leitz called out singer Lizzo's Yitty line for their fit and said "the styles and colors are exactly what was missing on the plus size market." These leggings come in a variety of eye-catching colors and prints.
Best plus-size activewear, according to shoppers
Perfect for staying warm while you're out on a run, this quarter-zip not only looks cute but features paneling that makes the fit even more flattering. It also comes in blue, white and black.
Add a pop of color to your workout with these leggings that, according to the brand, are made with "EverLux," a fabric described as fast-drying, soft and cool to the touch.
According to the brand, this sports bra is ideal for low-impact workouts. It even touts features like sweat-wicking material and a secret pocket in the back. One reviewer called it the "best [sports bra] they've ever tried." It comes in four core neutral colors and six limited-edition colors.
If you prefer to take your workouts outdoors, you're going to need more than just a tank top as temperatures continue to drop the more we get into winter. This long-sleeved mock-neck from Old Navy is made with a breathable, quick-drying rib knit jersey material to keep you comfortable. Plus, right now, you can score an additional 30% off the sale price when you add this to your cart.
Call us crazy, but we love wearing workout leggings all year long, so we can never pass up a good deal when they're on sale. This pair of tummy control, high-waisted leggings even has a pocket hidden in the waistband so you can store your phone and get right to work.
You can't go wrong with a flowy tank top while working out. If you don't like your workout tops clinging too tightly to the skin but don't want to wear an oversized T-shirt, this Athleta tank top is a happy medium. It's lightweight and breathable enough to use for an intense workout or just running errands.
Pair your new tank top with these bottoms in another classic neutral color so you can look like a coordinated fitness pro without even trying. Plus, some brighter colors are currently on sale for $20-$40.
If you're looking for something with more of a relaxed fit, you can't go wrong with a pair of joggers. They even have a plush interior, which is helpful if you plan on taking your workout outside.
While they're commonly referred to some form of "flared leggings" nowadays, those of us who have been around for a while know this cozy and classic style by its true name: yoga pants. They provide supreme comfort whether you're running errands or folding into your next stretch.
One of the key indicators of a quality pair of workout leggings is a thick waistband. We find that thicker waistbands tend to do a better job at tummy control and keep us from feeling like we're spilling out of our leggings. This pair from Girlfriend Collective is sustainably made and comes in sizes ranging from XXS to 6XL.
One of the best parts of buying activewear is choosing from all of the fun patterns and prints! This patterned sports bra is an easy way to add a pop of color into your workout. It comes in three different colors and is available in sizes 1X-3X.
Stay warm in the briskest of temperatures with this winter jacket from Target's All in Motion activewear line. It comes in white, black, emerald green and an eye-catching hot pink. Don't wait to grab it — right now, you can snag pieces from the line for 30% off.
Embrace the '90s track pant trend head-on with these pants from Girlfriend Collective. They even have zippers at the ankles which make for easy removal without having to take off your shoes if you wear them over shorts. According to the brand, they are sustainably made from 100 percent recycled single-use bottles.
This Nike sports bra is made with stretchy fabric and Dri-FIT technology that is designed to help keep you dry and comfortable, according to the brand. The medium-support option has no padding and is good for medium-to-high impact workouts.
A basic black tank is a must-have for anyone's activewear collection. It has almost 11,400 verified five-star ratings and reviewers love the way it fits and holds up long-term. It's available in sizes 1X to 5X and comes in seven fun, flattering colors.
Available in sizes 1X to 5X, these running shorts are designed to keep you comfortable while you're on the move. They feature a drawstring closure so you can create your preferred fit and have a hidden key pocket in the waistband so you can workout hands-free.
We're big fans of these bestselling biker shorts. They have that ideal wide-waistband for tummy control and maximum coverage. There's also pockets on each side that are deep enough to hold at least two phones in one and a slim wallet in the other. Made with stretchy, moisture-wicking material, these shorts are designed to keep you cool and comfortable.
Tips for shopping for plus-size activewear
"There is nothing worse than being in your yoga class and your leggings are too short and roll down or your top rolls up and you must adjust the pieces every minute," said Leitz. From first-hand experience, we agree. Which is why we'll be taking the following tips she offered the next time we're shopping for our own plus-size activewear:
- Try it on. If you're shopping in-store, she recommends trying pieces on and moving around in them, even jumping up and down to simulate how it'll look and feel when you're actually working out.
- Don't be afraid to buy separates. While matching sets are all the rage right now, you might not get the best fit from a one-size set. Leitz says it's worth buying separate tops and bottoms to get the proper fit your shape needs.
- Adjustable straps are your friend. When buying sports bras and tops, look for ones with adjustable straps so you can tailor the length to provide the best comfort and fit.
Meet the stylist
Michaela Leitz is a plus-size fashion stylist and image consultant that also specializes in personal shopping. She became passionate about helping other women hone their own personal style after spending two decades not feeling confident in her own clothes. Now, she finds joy in helping people create a style they'll love both in-person and through virtual consultations.