Despite the bleakness that the current pandemic presents, the warmth of the summer is finally making its presence known and as the seasons change, and so will our wardrobes. It’s time shed those bulky layers and darker earth tones for much lighter, more vibrant summer fashions. 

Normally, if we were living in the age of normalcy, by this time of year, we’re either ready to show off the results of hitting the gym during the cold winter months or we’ve made a plan to get moving towards obtaining that body quickly.

Let’s keep it real — COVID-19 caused a serious glitch in our fitness goals, but the quarantine also sparked new levels of motivation and creativity to break up the monotonous daily routines and to put us back on path to staying fit.

Before the COVID chaos began, I decided I wanted to do something new when it came to fitness. I made a visit to Straightright Boxing & Fitness Little Rock. 

Thank goodness they too transitioned with the times and offered virtual classes to keep me moving. Luckily, the gyms are slowly reopening and once again we have the option to hit the gyms. However, you’ve got to look fabulous doing it! 

So let’s talk activewear and how to choose the pieces that will accentuate your current body as you put in the work for the new body. 

 

Knockout Gear

Guys have it so easy when it comes the basics of daily fashion, and workout gear is no exception. Women tend to care about the most meticulous details. Our sports bra and tights need to coordinate with the cute shoes. Meanwhile, some guys are fine living by the sniff-and-go creed as long as they get to hit the weights. 

I get it, the art of stylish selection usually falls into the hands of the wife or girlfriend, but no need to fret, guys. There are some great, no-nonsense choices that won't require you to forego the comfort you desire when breaking a sweat.

Famous brands like Lululemon aren’t pulling any punches when it comes to switching up the activewear fashion game. Though the keep-it-simple type of guy will always have the option to play it safe by opting for the basic shorts, baggy tees and sweats, more brands have broadened their style range to not only include the traditional black leggings, track pants and joggers, but also offer the trendier versions of staple pieces.  

Guys, hear me out. Don't sleep on this style game. You’re working hard to achieve those rock-hard pecs and chiseled chest and abs, so show them off with a fresh new style.

 

Styles That Fit Like A Glove

The beauty of the woman is that we come in all shapes and sizes. I love that the era of girl power has taught us to embrace our bodies whether we flaunt the curves of Lizzo or the lean physique of Taylor Swift. 

First things first, don’t get intimidated by the crop tops and stretchy tights that were actually designed to get you to the body that you’re confident with. If you’ve been following me, you know what I’m about to say next. The key to looking fashionably fabulous, even at the gym, is choosing the right pieces to accentuate your body type. With that being said, let’s go a few rounds with the struggles of selecting the right active wear for your body.  

Petites: If you have a smaller frame under 5’3, you’re destined to shop the petite section. However, petite frames can still have a hourglass, pear, apple or straight shape. To flatter the classic petite frame, stay away from the bulky straps when choosing a sports bra. You’ll want to opt for the thinner straps to avoid making your small frame look disproportionate. 

Another great tip for my fellow vertically challenged divas is to elongate the appearance of your bottom half. Shop for leggings with a stripe down the side and viola, you’ve lengthened your legs and visually added inches to your petite frame. 

Inverted Triangle: You’ll fall under this body type if your shoulders are wider than your hips. It’s all about balance here and the answer lies in using color to create the ideal shape proportion. 

Go for dark tops with a pop of color detail in the center, which will visually shrink the shoulders and draw the eye to the center of the body. Don’t stray from the colors on the bottoms. Choose bright hues to create definition and width.

Pear: The pear shaped beauty will find that hers is pretty much the total opposite of the inverted triangle. This body type has smaller bust width and a larger hip circumference. My favorite way to highlight the pear shape is with vibrantly colored or printed sports bras. This colorful trick will create the illusion of having more balance in the area from the bust to the hips.

Apple: To my queens that are blessed with a larger bust, narrow hips and a full midsection, the first rule is start with comfort. You’ll want to select pieces that allow you to move freely and don’t constrict around the waist. Select tops with a V-neck to visually open up the bust line and the add a dose of color. Pair your choices with capri-length bottoms to draw attention downwards.

Full Bust: For a full bust, support is key and a great sports bra is a must! Try a high-neck halter sports bra for a fuller-busted body. You won’t regret it if you’re into running, cross training, boxing or any other high-intensity workouts. The high-neck halter is perfect for layering under racerback tank tops.

Hourglass: Now, if you’re rocking the head turning curves of Beyonce, let me first say, you go girl! Show off your waistline with a classic crop top. It will not only be flattering to your figure but will balance your bust and hips.

There you have it — all you need to know about how to kick your active wear game up a notch. Visit the Lululemon team at the Chenal Promenade for these great looks and more. Don’t forget to step outside the box and try something different like boxing to jump start your fitness goals. 

 

On Location: Straightright Boxing & Fitness Little Rock

Photographer: Jon Colby

Models: Anthony Tucker, Reagan Martin 

Wardrobe: Lululemon 

 

Linda Rowe Thomas is an an award-winning fashion designer, author, philanthropist and motivational speaker. Thomas is the founder and creative director of Romás by Linda Rowe Thomas, in downtown Little Rock, the only only designer showroom and production house in the state of Arkansas.
Thomas' fashion career consists of more than 20 years in buying, marketing, management and design. To date, her celebrity clientele has included actresses, Grammy award-winning singers and professional athletes. Her highly sought-after couture label has graced the runways of the Golden Globes, ESPYs, BET and more. Thomas continues to showcase her brand at some of the most prestigious fashion shows in the world, including Mercedes Benz Fashion.