“I love the Wolaco compression tights. I own some of the compression shorts, which are great, but what I love the most is a good 3/4 compression legging. Their material is a little thicker, which makes them durable but also gives them a tighter feel, which I love. Even though they seem to be thicker than some other brands they keep you cool and don't overheat you.”
“Nike makes a great training short that I own every color in because I like them so much! These Flex shorts are fitted but also have a stretch in them, so they’re not restrictive when I’m squatting or performing other hip bending movements. Since I train a lot with a barbell, I look for gear that is not going to fade or deteriorate from the bar rubbing against it, over and over. These shorts have proven to be worthy for training in my opinion.”
During the 1970s, Lauren, Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis became particularly known for their sportswear designs, made in all-natural fibres such as wool, combed cotton, and linen, which placed them at the top tier of American fashion design alongside the Anne Klein label (designed by Donna Karan and Louis Dell'Olio). Newsweek in 1975 described Calvin Klein as having styled his clean, casual separates with the authority of a couture designer, and by 1985, Martin described him as "one of the great American stylists" with a solid international reputation and worldwide influence entirely based on his skills as a sportswear designer. The industry empires of Lauren and Calvin Klein would be joined in the mid-1980s by Donna Karan's own-name label and Tommy Hilfiger, each of whom created distinctive wardrobes for the American woman based upon stylish but wearable, comfortable and interchangeable multi-purpose clothes that combined practicability with luxury. These clothes were also designed to have a long, stylish and undated life, rather than to only be fashionable for one season. In 1976, the designer Zoran brought out the first of a number of collections of extremely simple garments made of the finest quality fabrics; garments that barely changed over the years and which became cult objects to his wealthy clientele. In 1993, the fashion journalist Suzy Menkes declared Zoran's less-is-more sportswear prophetic of the early 1990s modernist trend, whilst Zoran stated that the work of Calvin Klein, Karan, and the Anne Klein label epitomised the "comfort, simplicity, and practicality" associated with sportswear. Most early 21st century sportswear design follows in the footsteps of these designers. Other notable sportswear designers of the late 20th century include Norma Kamali, whose 1980s fashionable garments made from sweatshirt fabric were highly influential; Marc Jacobs, whose eponymous label renowned for layered informality in both day and evening wear was founded in 1986, and Isaac Mizrahi, who presented his first collection in 1987.
The curator Richard Martin put on an exhibition on sportswear in 1985 at the Fashion Institute of Technology, in which he described sportswear as "an American invention, an American industry, and an American expression of style." For Martin, American sportswear was an expression of various predominantly middle-class aspects of American culture, including health ideals, the concept of democracy, ideas of comfort and function, and innovative design which might refer to historical concepts or leisure attributes. The establishment of a five-day working week and an eight-hour working day in America in the mid-20th century led to the need for clothing which enabled the fullest possible enjoyment of such increased leisure time, and was designed accordingly. A subsequent exhibition of 1930s-70s sportswear, also curated by Martin, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1998, was introduced by Philippe de Montebello as showing pioneering garments, whose modesty, comparative simplicity, and wearability treated fashion as a "pragmatic art." de Montebello carefully explained how significant American designers such as Norman Norell, Pauline Trigère, Charles James and Mainbocher, were not considered sportswear designers, as they were not dedicated to the design principles of versatility, accessibility and affordability in the way that Claire McCardell or Emily Wilkens were.
Chances are you’re intimately familiar with this mega-brand if you’re a gym rat, athlete, or even if you don't watch sports on the regular. But there’s a good reason that it’s the top dog in sports. That means the brand is always innovating with new technologies like Flyknit and Dri-FIT, which keep getting upgraded and integrated into more of its stellar gear.
We decided to help narrow the playing field by asking some of our favorite fitness experts and trainers—you know, the guys who spend their days (and early mornings, and evenings, and sometimes even nights) decked out in activewear and athleisure. Who better to give you the truth about the best fitness gear? Here are pricey men’s activewear and athleisure brands that are worth the price tag, according to trainers and fitness pros.