Outdoor Style

Beyond The Basics

Brands Move Beyond Simple Tops & Leggings to Create Multifunctional Fitness & Fashion-Worthy Pieces.
Michi’s Estrella Bra and Summit High Waisted Legging.

Yoga pants have come a long way, baby. While the idea of a yoga pant used to be quite simple (basic in color, stretchy for ease of movement), leggings—and tops—have become much more sophisticated. Athletic apparel dips into athleisure, pieces are multifunctional and they all just look really great and on-trend. Brands in the yoga, run and fitness space are offering a beautiful mix of performance and style for both men and women both for kickin’ it in class and kickin’ back at home.

Born in boutique fitness central - Venice Beach, CA - Onzie is rooted in hot yoga. The brand’s free flow fabric technology takes well to both chlorine and salt water, and lends itself to other heavy sweat environments like spinning, running and dancing. “Our clothing enjoys being wet!” says Kimberly Swarth, president of Onzie. Body support is the most important feature in a pant, the exec notes, with shaping also being very important. A wide waistband, gusset panel in the crotch area and smooth needle stitching are also notable. Perfect length tends to depend on the activity—a capri for spinners, extra long for yogis (to wrap the heel) and midi (7/8) for runners. Through color, print and shaping, “the legging should emotionally inspire the wearer. We want the woman to connect emotionally with the garment so that she can connect more with herself,” says Swarth.

Onzie’s High Rise Graphic Legging and Graphic Elastic Bra.

Also rising from the water world, TYR’s ties to swimming inspire the rest of its active collection. “We’ve worked hard to develop a reputation as a company consumers can look to when they want to move. Whether it’s in the form of competitive swimming, completing an Ironman, taking a yoga class or just getting back into working out,” says Erika Amandola, communications manager at TYR. Fabric in each piece is designed to perform both on and off land, perfect for a swim or paddleboarding session, then straight to yoga or a spin class. Each pant in the active collection is chlorine proof, antimicrobial and provides UPF 50+ protection. Ideal for SUP (stand up paddleboarding) sessions, Body Glove’s active collection is comprised of both lightweight and quick dry sports bras, leggings and shorts. “From gym to water, Body Glove Active will suit your active lifestyle,” notes Todd Davis, National Sales Manager at SGS Sports.

From left to right: Napa Brooke Tank by TYR, Falke Madison Bra Top and Long Tights; Body Glove Active Shamal Top and Work It Capri.

Reebok recently introduced a SUP yoga collection for spring/summer since the activity is being offered at many retreats around the world. Its SUP silhouettes are chlorine and sea water resistant, as well as UPF 50+. “The yoga community is growing and now more than ever people are finding the benefits of yoga as a way to escape from the chaotic and stressful world we live in,” says Jennifer Calouro, product manager on the studio team at Reebok. Almost all of the brand’s active pants incorporate wide self-fabric waistbands, no-abrasion panels, ergonomic side seams and fitted cuffs. Materials are designed to feel like second skin and feature Speedwick technology to keep the wearer cool.

For fall/winter 2017, Reebok will introduce two new seamless silhouettes into the studio collection. One is a seamless leotard with engineered cutouts for dance and studio classes, while the other is a seamless bodysuit with a high neckline and open back “so you don’t have to worry about your shirt riding up while in downward dog,” notes Calouro. The latter piece lends a nod to yoga by incorporating yoga poses knitted throughout.

Reebok x Elle Yoga Padded Sports Bra and Yoga Hot Short.

From Sweat to Street

Michi Founder Michelle Watson crafts pieces that tell a story and get the wearer in the right mindset for a workout. “I design to flatter the body and create clothes that people are excited to wear” whether that be for a “fierce and fiery sweat session or a mindful and mellow flow.”

Since consumers “want to go for lunch, take a ballet barre class and run errands all in the same outfit,” according to the exec, Watson’s team uses high quality fabrics, including Italian mesh that withstands wear and tear. Waistbands offer support and comfort, and will not ride down. “Bras and leggings with lace-up details transition from work to workout,” says Watson, while streetwear-inspired moto leggings and bomber jackets provide the perfect lifestyle accent. Positioned as a lifestyle brand, Falke “appeals to all customers who would like to experience understated luxury,” says Implus Marketing VP, Tanya Pictor. For fall/winter 2017, the brand is focused on its base layer Ergonomic Support System, which is a series of different skins to keep the wearer comfortable at his/her own rate. Pieces are fit for the athleisure audience, balancing performance and style. “If you stay true to the requirements that your products always have to perform first and foremost, then the styling part comes easy,” comments Pictor.

For over 30 years, innovative fabrics have been a staple at Longworth Industries, owner of Polarmax all-sports brand PMX. “Our life collection celebrates the fabrics that are engineered to meet the consumers lifestyle needs. These are the garments that ultimately become the consumers ‘go-to’ favorites,” says Houston Brady, marketing product manager at Longworth Industries. All offerings include Clean Seam Next-To-Skin Comfort, Acclimate Dry Moisture Wicking and Acclimate Fresh/Anti Microbial technology. “Our goal was to create a collection that allows the consumer to wear our product, comfortably, be it in the yoga studio, the gym, the grocery store or the airport. Hence the name, life,” the exec explained.