Looking for Classic Athletic Wear? 10 Top Brands to Shop
If you go for a classic look in your everyday outfits — opting for workwear-inspired clothes and boots or choosing raw selvedge jeans instead of more modern materials — you’re probably hoping to do the same with your workout ensembles. But in the world of men’s activewear, flashy technical fabrics and technicolor patterns abound. So where can you go if you want athletic wear that looks as classic as the rest of your wardrobe? Ahead, here are our favorite labels for classic activewear. Whether you want something clean and classic or clearly vintage-inspired, these brands have something for everyone.
1. Aether Apparel
Aether‘s line of activewear is the perfect choice for a guy who wants the best of modern technical materials and an attractive and authentic look. Aether was founded by former filmmakers Jonah Smith and Palmer West, who wanted gear that’s technically advanced, without logos or unnecessary bulk. The label makes everything from understated base layers to classic shirts you’ll want to wear everyday to pants and shorts that look much more clean and refined than the workout gear you can buy at the mall.
2. Alternative Apparel
Alternative Apparel, a favorite brand among consumers who are conscious about the environmental and social impact of their clothing, is also a favorite among those who favor soft and simple basics in the place of over-engineered activewear. Many of the brand’s tees, hoodies, sweatshirts, and sweatpants are both comfortable and classic, and the Retro Sport Collection is a great place to start if you’re searching for some vintage-inspired tees, sweatpants, and other layers for your spring workouts.
3. American Giant
American Giant will be your go-to activewear label if you’re a fan of American-made clothing. American Giant is a San Francisco label that’s set out to lead a resurgence in American manufacturing, and its offerings are appealing thanks to high-quality materials, top-notch craftsmanship, and heritage designs. From classic crewneck sweatshirts to streamlined baseball jackets to the ever-elusive pair of comfortable but flattering sweatpants, there’s something for every guy to love in American Giant’s lineup.
4. Iffley Road
Iffley Road is a British brand of running wear that places an emphasis on premium materials and infinitely wearable cuts and colors. The label, founded by a husband-and-wife team who wanted running clothes they’d actually enjoy wearing, offers a wide range of garments, including running shorts and leggings, outerwear, tops, and tees. Everything from Iffley Road’s striped tees to its minimal running shorts will keep you comfortable and stylish during your workouts, whether you’re a dedicated runner or are simply jogging around the block to get to the convenience store.
Lacoste, founded in 1933, is a classic name when it comes to tennis apparel. Founder René Lacoste was a tennis icon who was nicknamed “the Crocodile” by his fans. The polo shirt was the revolutionary invention of Lacoste, who thought his sport’s uniform of a button-down shirt, trousers, and tie was too restrictive. Lacoste still makes classic polo shirts, plus other athletic wear staples like nylon jackets, tees, sweatshirts, athletic shorts, swimming trunks, and even fleece pants. The brand is a perfect choice for a preppy guy who doesn’t want to abandon his sense of style just to stay comfortable during a workout.
6. Le Coq Sportif
Le Coq Sportif is a French sports clothing and equipment company that dates back to 1882, when it was founded by Emile Camuset. Its name is derived from the Gallic rooster, an unofficial national symbol of France, and today, the brand is the official uniform supplier for many teams, clubs, and events, including the Tour de France. In the United States, one of the easiest places to shop Le Coq Sportif is ASOS, which stocks styles including tees, sweatpants, sweatshirts, and even shoes.
7. Outdoor Voices
Outdoor Voices is a fashion-friendly fitness brand that makes minimal pieces you’ll want to wear both during your workouts on your downtime. The brand was founded by Tyler Haney in 2013, and since has become a favorite among guys (and girls) who are searching for athletic wear that looks like it’s intended for recreation rather than for professional sports. The brand has a selection of tees in a streamlined color palette, sweatshirts in comfortable but flattering silhouettes, plus jackets, pants, and shorts that look as classic as they look modern.
Tracksmith makes premium clothes for runners, and is located at the halfway mark of the Boston Marathon in Wellesley, Mass. The label is influenced by Ivy League style classic American menswear — which should be music to the ears of athletic menswear enthusiasts — and most of Tracksmith’s clothing is made in New England. From old-school tees to more technical tops, the brand’s mens line can outfit you in classically styled but high-performing gear from head to toe. Everything is designed to be comfortable, lightweight, and flattering — an unusual combination.
9. Todd Snyder + Champion
The Todd Snyder + Champion collection is a cult favorite among activewear fans — and for good reason. The collab brings together a sportswear manufacturer that’s been in the business since 1919 and a designer label inspired by Saville Row, military tailoring, and New York style. Each season, the collaboration introduces a new collection of vintage-inspired activewear, from sweatshirts and tees that are impeccably designed (and either solid or emblazoned with vintage-inspired graphics) to perfectly trim pairs of sweatpants and shorts.
10. Victor Athletics
Victor Athletics is a relative newcomer, but is here to stay thanks to its sustainable and responsible approach to American manufacturing. The brand uses 100% organic cotton and partners with small, sustainable American manufacturers. The fabric is sewn into tees, hoodies, and joggers in a factory in Tennessee, and those items are garment-dyed and washed at another facility in Tennessee. The goods are also priced directly from the factory, which means that you get better athletic wear at a lower price. Each piece is both classic and American — a combination that many guys will love.