You pull your new favorite leggings out of the wash, and that’s when you spot it: the dreaded pilling. Will it prevent you from continuing to wear them? Probably not. But is it frustrating to see something you paid good money for deteriorate after just a few washes? Definitely.
The fact of the matter is that many types of activewear aren’t usually built to last. And while budget-friendly pieces have their place—like when you’re hopping in on a quickly passing trend—investing in some higher-quality pieces can often end up saving you money in the long run, especially if you work out a lot (or just live in leggings).
Take it from corrective exercise specialist Tatiana Lampa, who has gone through a lot of activewear as a former group fitness trainer and current online coach. “I always choose quality over quantity,” Lampa says “It may feel like a lot at first, but [think about] how many times you buy ‘cheaper’ or ‘fast fashion’ clothes that only give you a few wears, and it’s out in the garbage within a few months. My quality activewear has lasted me many years.”
To get her take on the pieces that will stand the test of time, we asked her to share her investment activewear picks from Saks.com, where you can score long-lasting, quality pieces that are also next-level stylish. And, when you throw them in the wash, you won’t have to worry about instant pilling.
Keep scrolling for 8 stylish, investment activewear pieces you can snag from Saks.
7 Days Active, Vida Zip-Front Jacket — $150.00
If you want a pop of color from your investment piece, opt for this gorgeous lavender hue that won’t be going out of style any time soon. Not only will the shade instantly elevate your go-to black leggings, but it’s neutral enough to go with lots of different color combos. “You can wear it to your workout classes, the gym, and to run errands with,” Lampa says.
Port De Bras, Arrow Unitard — $325.00
Unitards are no longer exclusively for your throwback workout costume—and we’re here for it. This statement piece is made of a polyamide-elastane blend, so it’s super durable and elastic. “I absolutely love a unitard,” Lampa says. “They are back in style and you can get multiple uses out of [them]—working out at home, the gym, or going out!”
Farm Rio, Mixed Scarves Ski Jumpsuit — $615.00
Taking your active endeavors to the ski slopes? Investing in a statement piece you can wear year after year is a no brainer. “If you’re looking to be noticed out on the slopes, this beautiful print is a great option,” Lampa says (and it’s only available at Saks). Not only will whoever you’re skiing with have no problem finding you, but its looser, more comfortable fit will keep you both warm and stylish.
RLX Ralph Lauren, RLX Golf & Tennis Wrap Miniskirt — $168.00
Athletic skirts have become the effortlessly cool, must-have piece in the athleisure world, and this wrap-style Ralph Lauren one is both functional and elegant. Plus, this skirt is breathable thanks to its moisture-wicking fabric. “This is a great investment if you’re active in either [golf or tennis],” Lampa says.
Year Of Ours, Veronica Ribbed Leggings — $125.00
Every time you wear these stunning rose violet ribbed leggings, someone will ask you where they’re from, (basically) guaranteed. But why wouldn’t they after seeing the fun color, as well as the extremely flattering cut, thanks to the crossover waistband? And as an added bonus, there’s no need to worry about limiting movement in these squat-proof leggings, so you can drop that sumo squat even lower.
Year Of Ours, Ringer Rib-Knit Crop Tee — $79.00
Looking for a crop top you can wear to the gym *and* brunch? This Year Of Ours pink crewneck is a great basic that you can wear all the time. The color isn’t the only thing that gives it personality though—the rib-knit construction gives this shirt that extra oomph (and makes it extremely comfy).