Get inspired with these summery sets.
If you’re anything like the team here at Marie Claire UK, you’re extra motivated when you’re wearing fit kit that makes you feel both confident and supported. We’re fans of fashion-forward designs that also perform, too – no crinkly knees, sweat patches or saggy waistbands over here. Enter stage right, our edit of the best women’s gym sets, tried and tested by the team.
A bit like our edits of the best workout leggings and best sports bras, we’ve tested all the items in this round up and can vouch that they a. look great and b. perform well, too – because we can’t be alone in looking forward to the gym more if we enjoy wearing the outfit. Case in point: one Barbell Apparel study found that, out of 2,000 regular gym-goers, 79% believe owning good gym clothes is an important step toward accomplishing their fitness goals.
Plus, 85% of people reported that having gym clothes that looked good gave them more confidence (bye, bye, gym anxiety).
Not only that, but the National Library of Medicine found a direct link between regular physical activity and self-esteem. What you wear certainly plays a part in how you feel, too – heading to a high-intensity intervals class with a bra that doesn’t support you or leggings that leave a crotch sweat patch don’t exactly sound confidence-boosting.
That said, knowing which women’s gym sets to shop to make you feel great can feel like a minefield – which is why we’ve done the legwork for you. Keep scrolling to shop our favourites.
We did a range of workouts from yoga to weight training to running to see how each set held up. There are no products included that we haven’t tried out ourselves, so you know that you’re getting our honest tried and tested opinion.
If you want to know more about how team MC get up close and personal with the products we include, make sure to check out our handy guide to how we test everything that makes it into our edits.
Who tested the matching women’s gym sets?
As our Health Editor, Ally’s done her fair share of testing when it comes to workout gear. She’s currently training for her seventh marathon (Chicago in October), strength trains every week, and loves to cycle to work (although she’s most definitely a fair-weather cyclist).
What did we look for when choosing our favourite women’s gym sets?
We’re so glad you asked. Keep on scrolling to see what we looked for when testing these sets.
- Are they true to size?
- Are they non-see-through?
- Are they sweat-wicking?
- Are they supportive?
- How did the material wash?
- Is the product good value for money?
10 of the best matching women’s gym sets, tested by team MC
1. P.E Nation
“Yep, you guessed it – I’m obsessed with P.E. Nation. The Aussie brand designs ridiculously stylish athleisurewear that, much to my surprise, really holds strong performance-wise, too. The material is shiny yet compressing, supportive without digging in, and sweat wicks seriously fast.”
“While the sports bra is both comfortable and flattering, it offers low to medium support, meaning its not suitable for those of you who need more support or will be doing higher impact activities such as sprinting or HIIT. Also note – it doesn’t come with any padding.”
“The shorts have a built-in mesh pant which was great for extra support, plus meant I was wearing underwear that allowed breathability. That being said, I probably wouldn’t recommend this set for workouts involving squats etc as the shorts can ride up a bit, but they definitely work for running.” Ally Head, Health Editor
“MyProtein is great for more affordable activewear. I tried out the ‘Adapt’ set, and was impressed by how soft and comfortable the leggings were. I felt very secure, and for someone who is no taller than 5ft2, the length wasn’t too bad.”
“I love the fact that the sports bra is reversible, as you get two looks for the price of one. That being said, I did find that the sports bra came up a little small and offered a halter-neck fit, meaning it didn’t offer as much support or coverage as other alternatives.”
“I wore this set for a yoga class and they didn’t roll down, crinkle at the knee, or dig in around the stomach. Sure, it wasn’t the sweatiest of classes, but I didn’t notice any sweat patches, either. I was impressed at the quality, especially for the price.” Grace Lindsay, Ecommerce Writer
“I am a big fan of Adanola. They’re one of those brands that seem to merge fitness and fashion perfectly. I’d wear every single one of their women’s gym sets to both the gym and brunch with friends, which for me is really important (because I really love brunch).”
“When I tested this kit, I loved the colour – ideal for summer – plus found the material to be both soft and stretchy. I felt very secure while working out in both the top and shorts – they offered more compression and support than I’d expected – and liked that the top came with a built in sports bra with removable padding. Win win.”
“I did the 12-3-30 workout while wearing this set, and while a little bit of sweat did start to show, considering how light the colourway, I was impressed. That said, if you do tend to sweat a lot during your workout, maybe wear this for a lighter session, like yoga, instead.”
“The set washed really well and I have worn it loads since. The only thing that I would note is make sure you wear the right underwear. I definitely did not (as you can see from the pictures above). Something seamless would probably be best.” Grace Lindsay, Ecommerce Writer
4. Sweaty Betty
“The first thing that drew me to this set was the design. I loved the contrasting pink colours and the panelling on the leggings, which gave them a stylish feel.”
“In terms of sizing, I found that the leggings came up a little small, whereas the bra felt a little big. This might just be because of my body shape (any other pear shaped ladies will know the struggle), but I would suggest trying on before investing. The website does recommend sizing down if you’re planning on doing more high-impact activities.”
“I did a pretty intense HIIT workout while wearing the set and a little bit of sweat showed up on the sports bra, but definitely not as much as I expected.”
“What stood out to me was the fact that the leggings were super high-waisted, helping me to feel secure no matter what move I was doing next. I also liked that they came with a pocket on the side, which were handy for storing my keys when on my way to the gym.” Grace Lindsay, Ecommerce Writer
“As a Sustainability Editor, I’m always on the hunt for gym gear that a. Performs b. Looks cute and c. Doesn’t leave a lasting impact on the planet. Allbirds are one of the most innovative sportswear brands, in my opinion, and were certified B Crop in 2016.”
“Comparing their activewear offering to when I first tried it in 2020, it’s come on leaps and bounds. I tried the matching green Natural Run Shorts and Natural Run Form Tank, and particularly loved the tank top. It sat just above my belly button, meaning I didn’t need to wear a top and had less washing to do. It was also supportive enough to run in, thanks to the in-built bra, although this wouldn’t be enough support for those of you with bigger boobs.”
“While I loved the look of the tank and shorts as a matching set, I found the shorts to be slightly too long (I’m 5ft2, for reference). That said, they offer more coverage than shorter, more race-style alternatives, for those of you that prefer a longer fit, plus they have handy pockets on both the front and back.” Ally Head, Health, Sustainability & Relationships Editor
“While Hush is predominantly a lifestyle – not sports – brand, I was pleasantly surprised when I tried their activewear offering. I tested the Gettie Star Sports Bra and the Gettie Star Leggings, which both say they’re designed for medium-impact sports. This I would agree with – while I didn’t get any major sweat patches while testing during Pilates or a strength training session, I didn’t attempt to wear for a run, as I could tell from the feel of the material that it wouldn’t be sweat-wicking enough (for my marathon training, anyway.)”
“Do buy if you love a fashion-forward women’s gym set that’ll get you compliments from fellow class-goers: don’t buy if you’re solely marathon training or have boobs that need more than medium support.” Ally Head, Health, Sustainability & Relationships Editor
7. Pocket Sport
“I’ve long been a fan of Pocket Sport – what was once, in my mind, a celebrity workout brand (the company belongs to Louise Thompson from MIC, and often celeb gymwear brands are more style than substance), is now firmly cemented as one of the best mid-range sports brands out there. I tried their Claude set in dusky blue, and their Morisot set in navy.”
“The Claude shorts have become my go-to – I wear them to the gym, Pilates, for walks and even for runs (although they’re not the most compressing, if you’re a distance runner). They’re super comfortable and have a grip circle in the waistband so they never roll down. While the Claude bra isn’t high support enough for say, running, I love how flattering the V-neck design is and wear it regularly for low-impact gym sessions, yoga and my day-to-day (Saturday coffee walks, I’m looking at you).” Ally Head, Health, Sustainability & Relationships Editor
“The Morisot, on the other hand, is a more supportive style. I wore it for gym sessions, HIIT classes and long-distance runs, and I particularly love the long line cut on the bra, meaning it’s supportive for both your boobs and belly. One key standout highlight of Pocket Sport’s matching gym sets for me: whatever the colour, I have never got a visible sweat patch while wearing the brand, which is a big plus point from me (I’m a sweaty workout-er).” Ally Head, Health, Sustainability & Relationships Editor
“Gymshark is one of the cult brands everyone loves, yet I’d never actually tried it before I tested this sets, so it’s safe to say I was intrigued.”
“The first thing I really liked was that the set came with a long-sleeved top. Weirdly these are hard to find in fit kit world and are ideal for anyone who’s self-conscious of their arms or prefers a little more coverage. I felt a lot more confident at the gym in this outfit and liked that the top had an oval cutout design and thumbhole sleeves, win-win.”
“Second pro: the material is thick, but no so thick that it’s not breathable for your sweat sessions. I loved this as it meant that the set was both flattering and supportive, however you might want to avoid it if its a particularly hot day. I found that the sizing ran a little small on me, so maybe size up if you don’t want it to be too tight.”
“That being said, thanks to the darker colour, no sweat patches showed up during my workout. It’s worth noting that I did opt for low-impact workouts when wearing this, so it will be interesting to see how it does during a more sweaty session.” Grace Lindsay, Ecommerce Writer
“Ok, so this isn’t technically matching, but it’s pretty close. When I say that these are the most comfortable leggings I’ve tried, I mean it – they’re a cut above the rest.”
“The leggings are buttery soft, fit me so nicely and made me feel really confident pre my session. Not to mention that the blue colour is beautiful. The only downside is that it does show up a little bit of sweat, but trust me when I say it’s worth it.”
“I also loved the top, and it’s a great option if you’re not keen to work out in just a sports bra or don’t want your midriff exposed. It’s made from a breathable material that stops the growth of odour-causing bacteria and felt really airy (that’s coming from someone who worked out on some of the hottest days of the year).”
“Both pieces washed well, and I know that I will have them in my wardrobe for a very long time.” Grace Lindsay, Ecommerce Writer
“New on the activewear scene is YMO from The Sports Edit, which stands for You. Me. Ours, Developed using seven years of industry insight and exclusively stocked on the premium sportswear site, I was curious to see what the kit was like.”
“First thought when testing the Spark Cross Strap Bra and the DayBreak Full Length Leggings was that I was impressed. This kit is a serious all-rounder – sweat-wicking, compressive, supportive and flattering, too, you can tell the designers know what they’re doing. I wore for long runs, interval training, and a gym session, and it held up throughout all three – no sweat patches, here.”
“The kit made me both supported and confident – which is exactly what you want from a matching gym set, after all.” Ally Head, Health, Sustainability & Relationships Editor