We know that dressing poorly affects our performance in work and throughout our daily lives, and what you wear can influence your thinking and negotiating skills, and even hormone levels and heart rate. Investing in good, performance-driven gear can help you seat your squat like a pro and deadlift like a champion. And if you're not fuelled by the gym, you'll be comfortable and stylish while walking the dog on the pier. What's more, modern gym attire with luxe fabrics and feminine detailing have transformed the classic sports aesthetic into something worthy of attention. If you're on the market for new gear to help you achieve that final pull-up or deadlift, then try these five Irish and international best-sellers on for size.
Why we love them: Gym+Coffee is an Irish active-wear brand who are dedicated to helping spread the movement of a positive healthy lifestyle through exercise and activity. The brand has combined the connectivity and inclusivity of community cafés with the aspiration of having a healthier mind and body. "A few years ago we noticed a growing lifestyle shift in Ireland. People's attitudes, desires and behaviours were changing in a very positive way", it says on their website. "The cafe had become the new social gathering point. Exercising and outdoor adventure had become the new way of connecting". For Gym + Coffee, it's about community and involvement instead of hard-core exercise alone, which is just one of the reasons why we're loving them.
What we're buying: The brand has just launched their first collection of gym, yoga and everyday leggings. We always need a pair of sturdy, structured and functional leggings and the 'All In' pants will go seamlessly from deadlifting to kayaking.
All-in classic, €65 at gympluscoffee.com
Where: New York City
Why we love them: ADay is a sustainable and environmentally ethical athleisure clothing company based in Soho, New York. Their big thing is to do "simplify our wardrobes and do it in a conscious way" and they do this by working with engineers around the world to find and create technologically advanced fabrics – like thermo-regulation to wrinkle release. Founders Meg He and Nina Faulhaber aim to create a baseline wardrobe for the everyday woman in the best possible fabrics that draw you back time and time again.
What we're buying: Made from a silk-like fabric, this high-neck tank is flattering and airy for early morning runs or evening strolls through the park. The back features a neat pleating detail and front drops into a gentle drape. This isn't just a work-out top: pair with culottes for a cosy post-beach look.
Why we're loving them: Peachee Collection is a luxury athleisure label by fitness enthusiast and entrepreneur Bonnie Shortall. The new label is most notable for its figure accentuating, high-rise fitness leggings that hug and shape the body; making for a more comfortable over-all gym experience. Having experienced many changes in her body – from overweight to lean – Bonnie recognised a gap in the market for comfortable, confidence-building gym wear for women.
What we're buying: Being in a male-dominated gym can be daunting but with Peachee leggings we can feel confident and sexy and push harder with every workout. "Peachee leggings flow with the natural curves of your body, and the thick compression material is not only moisture wicking but also keeps everything in place to gives you that hourglass figure", states the website. The camo pattern is a fresh and fun approach to traditional workout gear, too.
Figure accentuating Camo high-rise fitness leggings, €69 at peacheecollection.com
Why we're loving them: Outdoor Voices specialised in making clothes to sweat in. Launched in 2014 by Tyler Haney, Outdoor Voices is a colourful collection of purposefully designed, high-tech and functional gym and recreation wear that is a breath of fresh air. Driven by a desire to celebrate active lifestyles of all different backgrounds, Outdoor Voices is fundamentally about “Doing Things” – getting involved in recreational activities, whatever they are, and being active (it also happens to be their hashtag across social so you can get involved too by using #DoingThings).
What we're buying: The exercise dress is the most recent addition to Outdoor Voices' growing repertoire of athleisure gear. Yes, you can exercise in a dress and still be comfortable and confident. The dress has secret figure-hugging shorts hidden under the skirt that means you're fully protected whether you're squatting or rock-climbing. Sold.
Exercise dress in seasonal pink, €84.66 at outdoorvoices.com
Where: Los Angeles
Why we love them: Indie brand Koral has gotten a lot of attention over the last year, mainly because their items have an equal focus on high-fashion and function. Koral was established by Brazillian-born designer Ilana Kugel in 2014 wants to create fashion-forward activewear that's designed to "empower women to live, look, and feel her best". Faux leather and mesh are among Koral's staple fabrics, which just add to the brand's dual functionality of working out while werking it out. The products also come in a broad range of inclusive sizes, too.
What we're buying: A unitard. Stay with us on this one: what could be better than one piece that supports and stretches with your body, and looks good in doing so? It might seem a bit 80s-at-home-workout, but we're willing to give it a try.
Collect jumpsuit, €155.50 at koral.com