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There’s nothing worse than planning to get a workout in — and then realizing you sweat through your clothes before you even made it to the gym. Ditto for an outdoor workout in the hot sun: If you’re wearing the wrong sports bra or leggings, you could end up damp for hours. That’s no way to deal with an hour of cardio. Take it from me: Now’s the time to run a temperature check on your activewear drawer to be sure you’re stocked with items specifically designed for heat and humidity.
Luckily, my barometer for the best clothes that hold up in the summer heat is high: Not only do they need to be cute, but they also need to be sweat-wicking, breathable and comfortable.
Generally, summer is a good time to steer clear of cotton; even though it’s technically a breathable natural fiber, it tends to absorb moisture and weigh you down when you sweat. Instead, look for synthetic fabrics like micromodal, nylon, polyester or proprietary compression-stretch materials, which are specifically made to wick sweat away from your body.
Ahead, find the favorite pieces that I’ll recommend to literally anyone within an earshot of me. (You’ll be happy to know they’ve all been tested in hot pilates.)
The right sports bra can completely transform your workout, especially if you have a larger chest. And while I’m not usually super comfortable working out in just a sports bra and no top, sometimes it’s inevitable. Whether I’m cycling on the beach (as an LA transplant, this is my favorite!) or heading into heated yoga, these are the best medium- and high-impact sports bras that keep me cool.
SET ACTIVE SculptFlex Contour Bra, $55
Fabletics Faye High Impact Bra, $17.98 (Orig. $59.95)
Ultracor Reflective Camo Terrain Bra, $128
Live The Process Cosmic Bra, $78
All Access Sport Rib Front Row Bra, $68
UNIQLO Active Racerback Wireless Bra, $9.90
Bike Shorts & Leggings
Real talk: I was secretly stoked when bike shorts staged a revival back in 2018, and now that they’re here, I refuse to let them go. Whether you prefer full-length leggings or bike shorts, look for a high-compression pair that you won’t have to tug at to keep up.
Alo High-Waist Biker Short, $58
SET ACTIVE Sculptflex Bike Shorts, $59
Gymshark Whitney Cycling Shorts, $40
Lululemon Wunder Train Contour Fit High-Rise Tight, $98
Splits59 Ella High Waist Bike Short, $78
Tops & Jackets
Oof, putting on a shirt or jacket when you’re still damp from sweating feels like my version of a nightmare, but sometimes, it’s necessary. I usually prefer something flowy and cropped rather than a fitted top thanks to the added ventilation, but that’s more personal preference.
Nike Pro Dri-FIT Women’s Cropped Graphic Tank, $26.97 (Orig. $35)
Norba Croptop, $120
Beyond Yoga Focus Crop Racerback Performance Tank, $68
adidas Training x Universal Standard Cropped Mesh T-Shirt, $35 (Orig. $50)
Athleta Pacifica Illume UPF Full Zip, $89
Varley Paseo Tank, $58
A/Div Daybreak Zip-Up Windbreaker Jacket, $79.95
If you enjoyed this article, here are 17 makeup products that won’t budge in the warm summer months!