These are *officially* the 18 best items of gym wear you can buy, according to six fitness pros

Kit that flatters, sweat wicks and lasts the long run.

Best gym wear: Alice Barraclough testing some of the kit in this round up
(Image credit: Lillie Bleasdale, Alice Barraclough and Ally Head)

Knowing what constitutes the best gym wear - in other words, the fit kit that will genuinely stand the test of time and support you through even the sweatiest of workouts - can sometimes feel like a chore. Will the sweat-wicking leggings genuinely sweat wick? And will that extra supportive bra genuinely be extra supportive or just another gimmick? 

To help you cut through the noise, we've asked four fitness experts who test workout gear for a living and tried literally thousands of designs in their time for their desert island kit picks. In other words, we picked their brains about their ride-or-die gym wear items that they use day in, day out, and couldn't live without.

The below are the best of the best, never rolling down, stretching after a few washes, showing sweat patches or providing inadequate support. We're not about buying for the sake of it here at Marie Claire UK, rather, investing in items that'll last the long run. Know this, though: one study carried out by Barbell Apparel in 2021 found that of 2000 regular gym-goers, 79% of people believe that owning good gym wear is a key step in achieving your fitness goals.

So yep - having supportive, sweat-wicking workout clothing is important. Luckily the gym wear game has never been stronger, with designers, high street brands and sports labels answering our need for functional and fashionable workout kit. 

For the expert's recommendations, keep scrolling, and don't miss our guides to the best gym leggings, best sports bras, and best gym trainers, while you're here.

Best gym wear: 18 bits of fit kit to buy now

All of the products in this roundup have been tried and tested by team Marie Claire UK

We enlisted the help of MC UK Senior Health Editor, Ally Head, an avid marathon runner who loves strength training, Junior Shopping Editor Valeza Bakolli, who might skip the running malarkey but loves an at-home Barre or yoga workout, fitness writer and triathlon-loving Alice Barraclough, personal trainer and strength training-fan Chloe Gray, and personal trainer and head coach at PASSA Lillie Bleasdale, who's current marathon personal best sits at an impressive 3:03, not forgetting Pilates and sound bath-loving health writer Dionne Brighton and HIIT- loving Editor Grace Lindsay.

Keep scrolling for their top recommendations. 

The best workout leggings

If you've read our guide to the best gym leggings, then you'll know that there are quite literally thousands of options to choose from. It was hard to narrow it down, but all four fitness pros agreed that the below two pairs were their absolute favourites.

Best gym wear: lululemon Wunder Train

(Image credit: lululemon)

lululemon Wunder Train High-Rise Tight 25"

Reasons to buy

+
Durable 
+
Comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Investment piece so comes at a higher price point 

What we thought when testing? lululemon leggings have a cult-like following for a reason - because, simply put, they're the best. They're an investment, but they are easily the comfiest leggings we've tried and they really do last forever. 

While there are lots of styles to choose from, MC UK Senior Health Editor Ally Head is a big fan of the "Wunder Train" style in black. Designed with sweat and support in mind, they're butter soft, sweat-wick well, and never cut you in half, either (she's run several half marathons in them, so you know you're in good hands). 

Bleasdale agrees, adding that they're one of her go-to's for strength training, long runs, and recovery yoga. NB, here: the 25" leg length will be great for petite women under the height of 5 foot 2 but do opt for a longer leg length if you're taller and don't want a cropped fit.

Best gym wear: Adanola Ultimate Leggings

(Image credit: Adanola)

Adanola Ultimate Leggings

Reasons to buy

+
Can be worn in and out of gym classes 
+
Range of leg lengths 

Reasons to avoid

-
Lighter colours show sweat patches.

What we thought when testing? For those of you looking for leggings that can be worn to your Saturday morning Pilates class and then to brunch afterwards, this Adanola pair might be more your style. Brighton is a huge fan of the brand, and these leggings are her go-to for more low-intensity workouts. They're incredibly flattering and come in various colours and leg lengths, like the lululemon tights.

The only downside is that they're not as sweat-wicking as other competitors (read: lighter colours will show sweat patches) and can pile and bobble more easily.

Best gym wear: Nike

(Image credit: Nike)

Nike One leggings

Reasons to buy

+
Sweat-wick free
+
Anti-chafe
+
Comfortable.

Reasons to avoid

-
Three quarter length.

What we thought when testing? There's a reason Nike is globally renowned for its fit kit - it's one of the best brands on the market and won't break the bank, either. Head's go-to workout legging from the brand is their One Luxe legging, worn by athletes and celebrities alike.

While they feel slightly thin when you first put them on, they insulate and sweat-wick well, keeping you warm, cool and supported throughout your session.

The best sports bras

If you're looking for one of the best sports bras, it's important to consider what kind of support you're looking for. 

If you've got slighter bigger boobs and plan on doing a more intense workout, you might want to opt for something more supportive, like one of the best sports bras for big boobs. However, if you're doing something more gentle such as a yoga or Pilates class, then a low support bra should do the trick. 

We've included our top picks for each, so you're fully covered, no matter the workout intensity.

Best gym wear: Under Armour Infinity Mid Covered Sports Bra best gym wear

(Image credit: Under Armour)

Under Armour Infinity Mid Covered Sports Bra

Reasons to buy

+
Medium support
+
Breathable 
+
Adjustable straps
+
Sweat-wicking

Reasons to avoid

-
Only medium support so if you are looking for something super supportive, then keep scrolling

What we thought when testing? For medium support, you can't go wrong with this bra from Under Armour. The design boasts a soft, breathable structure, the material is super sweat-wicking and it even contains mesh panels for added airflow. It runs true to size and comes with adjustable straps to fit you perfectly.

ON Running Active Bra best gym wear

(Image credit: ON Running)

ON Running Performance Bra

Reasons to buy

+
Super supportive
+
Great for runners
+
Breathable
+
Mesh panel and strap back 

Reasons to avoid

-
Only offers light padding (team MC UK preferred this when testing - it was more lightweight)

What we thought when testing? Need a more supportive bra? Look no further than ON Running. The brand's Performance Bra is comfortable, breathable, and offers just the right amount of support. It's great if you're a runner who trains over long distances as the straps contain responsive elastic to move with your body and ensure the bra supports you in the right ways. Plus, it's breathable thanks to the full mesh racerback panel on the back. Win, win.

best gym wear: Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Running Bra

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Running Bra

Reasons to buy

+
Supportive
+
Size range from 30A-38F
+
Sweat-wicking
+
Adjustable straps

Reasons to avoid

-
The design might not be everyone's taste, but not everyone has to see it 

What we thought when testing? The Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity bra is one of Barraclough's top picks for its unrivalled support.

"There's been quite a lot of hype around Sweaty Betty's latest bra – the Zero Gravity Running Bra – and rightly so," she shares. "After over two years in development and numerous rounds of wear trials and bounce testing, it's finally hit the shops and we're impressed. Designed for running and high-impact exercise, this sports bra supports (not squashes) and is available in sizes 30A-38F."

Featuring thick almost neoprene-like seamless straps, an easy hook and eye closure and a quick-release top clasp so it's easy to get in and out of, this could well be our new favourite bra for chafe-free running. Plus, the colours are gorgeous, too.

Best gym wear: lululemon Energy High Support

(Image credit: lululemon)

lululemon High Support Energy Bra

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable straps
+
Hook-and-eye closure 
+
Butter-soft material.

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher price point
-
Can be difficult to get on and off.

What we thought when testing? Head wore this bra for her first Boston Qualifying Marathon, the London Marathon in 2021. She chose it for race day for a number of reasons - it's high support, easy to put on, butter-soft, and has never chafed (and she's tested it on a lot of long runs). As with all lululemon kit, it sweat-wicks well and dries quickly, too, meaning you're not left feeling uncomfortable.

The best workout tops

Invested in a sports bra and now you're on the lookout for a top to wear with it? Luckily for you, here at Marie Claire UK, we're big fans of oversized gym t shirts, because let's face it, we don't always feel comfortable working out in just a crop top. 

It's important to note here that the second t shirt below is made from cotton, and so is best worn for lower intensity workouts like Pilates or weight lifting (it won't sweat wick as well as the first). 

Check out our top picks below.

Best gym wear: Gymshark

(Image credit: Gymshark)

Gymshark Vital Seamless T-shirt

Reasons to buy

+
Breathable 
+
Sweat-wicking 
+
Flattering fit

Reasons to avoid

-
The tight-fitting style may not be for everyone

Gymshark is one of the best affordable gym wear brands out there and the t-shirts are no exception. If you're thinking about doing a more intense workout, opt for the Vital T-shirt. This design is breathable, sweat-wicking, and made from a super soft, stretchy material that won't irritate you during your workout.

Best gym wear: lululemon Align Tank Top

(Image credit: lululemon)

lululemon Align Tank Top

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in bra
+
Scoop back 
+
Can wear outside the gym

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly cropped 

What we thought when testing? Another of Barraclough's top picks was this lululemon top, which, in her own words, she's "low-key obsessed with." 

"With a built-in bra, you don't need to wear a sports bra underneath it (small caveat here: this top is probably only supportive enough for those with smaller chests)," she explains. "I love the low scoop-back design and wearing it for yoga, Pilates and even strength classes."

Other need-to-knows: it's tight-fitting and ever-so-slightly cropped to just above the waist, meaning it's super flattering and pairs perfectly with high-waisted leggings. Oh, and it's made from lululemon's Nulu fabric, which means, just like the famous Align leggings, it feels buttery-soft.

Best gym wear: PE Nation

(Image credit: PE Nation)

PE Nation Pioneer Tee

Reasons to buy

+
Organic cotton 
+
Wear in or out the gym for a casual day time look 

Reasons to avoid

-
Need to size down 

What we thought when testing? When it comes to stylish, on-trend gym wear, no one does it better than PE Nation. This top is designed for lighter sweat sessions, and can also be styled with jeans and trainers for a casual daytime look. 

Made from organic cotton and boasting sweat-wicking abilities, our one tip is to make sure to size down as we found it ran a little big.