Huge thanks to Nordstrom and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post
Since I doubled down on athleisure last year and started working out again regularly, I built my own Athleisure and Activewear Mini Wardrobe. In case you want some inspiration for building one too, I’m sharing mine today, and I’m partnering with Nordstrom and ShopStyle to do it!
The Mini Wardrobe
Let’s start with a few pieces to build your mini athleisure and activewear wardrobe. This is just a starter wardrobe to make sure you have a solid foundation that is cohesive and mixes and matches. If you want more options, you can of course use as many items as you want. The point is not to limit yourself. Rather, it’s to create a solid foundation that mixes and matches easily to ensure that you can do more with less pieces and get dressed easily! 🙂
I recently shared that I discovered the beauty of fantastic-feeling athleisure and workout clothes and began revamping my wardrobe accordingly, filling it with items from Zella. I’ve sung the praises of Zella leggings for years, but it wasn’t until last year that I explored a lot of Zella’s other items. Man, was I missing out! The items are pricier than what I was used to, but they feel SO much better! The fit is better, the quality is better, the nuances in style are better, and the material just feels better overall. I didn’t think my already comfortable wardrobe could get comfier, but I really do enjoy these pieces a lot. I’ll share about some of them in more detail below!
As a reminder, if you are interested in trying some of these items but feel hesitant, Nordstrom offers free shipping and free return shipping on all orders, so you can try with very little risk. This is one of many reasons I shop at Nordstrom so much. Besides the fact that I consistently find clothes that feel amazing, Nordstrom also makes it very easy to shop. They also offer curbside pickup so you can order online and drive up to a store to have your order delivered contact-free to your car. Their return policy is also extremely generous, which gives me peace of mind as I try new items. And, if you become a member of The Nordy Club, you get perks like earning points on orders and receiving store credit when you use their alteration services. Check out The Nordy Club HERE!
SIZING: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6 in clothes and 8.5 to 9 in shoes.
Shop the Items:
Workout Tank (both colors) | Long Sleeve Tee 1 | Long Sleeve Tee 2 (other colors)
Sporty Sweatshirt | Tunic Sweatshirt | Printed Sweatshirt | Jacket
Leggings 1 | Leggings 2 | Joggers | Sneakers
You can also shop those items, along with similar alternatives, by clicking through the widget below:
TIP: Keep the color palette simple. I went with black, grey, purples, and pinks to create a cohesive core. If you want to use different colors, you could go with blues and greens, reds and corals, or anything you want. Also, if you want a larger wardrobe, you can absolutely add more colors.
Now I’ll share some of the many outfits you can make with this wardrobe, and I’ll talk through the items on the list and why I included them.
The Items & Outfits
Black leggings are an athleisure and activewear staple! Of course, I’m wearing my trusty Zella Live In High Waist Leggings. I’ve talked about these for years, but in case you are new around here, these are a PMT fan favorite! They are thick, not see-through, and have flattering compression to keep things more secure. They also have a high, wide waistband that helps flatten your midsection. They are pricier than other leggings, but now that I’ve had them for several years, I can say they are definitely worth the price. They have 7,000+ reviews and 4.5 stars. See the many ways I’ve worn them HERE. I wear size M. Find them HERE.
I also really, really love the shorter Zella Live In High Waist Pocket 7/8 Leggings. They hit around the top of my ankles for the perfect length (I’m 5’6″), and the pockets are wonderful! The pockets sit on the hips instead of sticking out around your thighs, and they are deceivingly huge! I wore that pair so much last year that I ended up buying a second pair. Check them out HERE. I wear size S.
Another athleisure staple, and a great option besides leggings. Holy moly, it’s taken me a while to find great black joggers, and I have been LOVING these lately!
I was hesitant to try them because they cost more than I’m used to paying for joggers, but Erin from team PMT, plus the 4.5 stars from almost 900 reviews made me SO curious. They feel so, so good–like BUTTER! They are very stretchy with a soft, smooth feel. Besides that, I don’t really know how else to describe them except that they feel like butter!
They retain their shape well, and the knees don’t get super baggy. They aren’t thick, so if you’re looking for something warm and fuzzy, this is not the right pair for you. These definitely have more of a sporty vibe for a stylish athleisure look. If that’s what you’re going for, give these a shot! These have a higher waist at 11”, which I know some of you love. Check them out HERE. I wear size S.
Grey Leggings (or another color)
If you wear athleisure and/or activewear a lot, add another pair of leggings. These leggings are dark heather grey. They don’t look that different than the black pair above, but they feel super different. They are smooth, INSANELY soft, and feel so different than typical leggings! They have a warm and cozy vibe.
They have ribbing at the waistband and ankle cuffs for a sportier vibe that’s great for Athleisure and some lighter activity. But, they’re so soft and comfy that I wear these for loungewear, too. In fact, I’m wearing them right now. 😄 They have huge pockets down the legs, too. The pockets are more noticeable in some colors than others, so if they stand out to you too much in one color, try again in another color.
They have 480+ reviews and 4.7 stars. My friend even texted me and said, “I bought the Zella leggings you recommended and they’re sooooooo soft!!!” Check them out HERE. I wear size S. They also come in a cropped version in lots of colors HERE. If I were to choose a color besides grey for my second pair of leggings, I would have gone with the Burgundy London in the cropped pair. But, I prefer longer leggings this time of year.
Of course, for activewear you need some workout tops. I prefer working out in tanks, but I’ll share some t-shirt options, too.
I have been loving these tanks! They are very soft, pretty lightweight, but not paper thin. They have 150+ reviews and 4.7 stars. I was worried about them being cropped, but they work fine with all my high waisted Zella leggings. Find them HERE.
Check out some workout tees in the widget below:
Long Sleeve Tops
Add a couple of long sleeve tees can be paired with leggings for athleisure or thrown on after a workout. This one has a relaxed, worn-in vibe that makes it very soft and comfy. Plus, it has thumbholes! It comes in several colors that you can find HERE. I wear size XS.
Given that most of my time is spent at home nowadays, I’ve been digging sweatshirts so that I can stay warmer without having to wear a lot of layers.
For athleisure, black has been my top choice as it pairs easily with everything. There are two black sweatshirts that are awesome. One is the Zella High/Low Sweatshirt, and the other is the Zella Nola Amazing Fleece Sweatshirt.
Both are pricier than I was used to paying for sweatshirts, but I shared earlier this year that you can really feel the difference with these Zella sweatshirts in how they drape and hang on you. They just feel GOOD when you’re wearing them, and the drape makes them much, much more comfortable to wear and easier to move around in. Plus, they hold up through multiple washes WAY better.
The High/Low Sweatshirt is thinner with a great sporty, relaxed, worn vibe. I’ve been wearing that a ton. However, I just got the Nola Amazing Fleece Sweatshirt, which I will opt for on colder days. It’s better for keeping you warm since the inside has an amazing FUZZY lining! It’s not even fleece–it’s straight up SOFT as heck and fuzzy! I wear the High/Low Sweatshirt in size S, which you can find HERE. I have the Nola Amazing Fleece Sweatshirt in size S which fits just perfectly. However, I want to size up to M for an even slouchier fit. Also, if you have a longer torso I would recommend sizing up as this seems to run on the shorter side. Find it HERE.
A tunic sweatshirt is great to have if you want more coverage in leggings. To provide more visual interest, go for one with special details. This one has raw hem details at the shoulders, for example. This sweatshirt is really soft on both the inside and outside and comes in 5 colors HERE. I wear size S. However, I would be mindful that this material feels like the type that might pill, so you would probably need to use a sweater shaver on it. (In contrast, the Zella High/Low Sweatshirt from above does not pill, and the Nola Amazing Fleece sweatshirt feels similar on the outside.)
Last is a printed sweatshirt, whether it has a graphic on it or an allover print like the one I’m wearing above. Since we’re working with a lot of basics and solid pieces in this mini wardrobe, a printed sweatshirt is a great statement piece to add a little variety. This Zella sweatshirt has an on-trend splattered ink print and is available in 7 colors! It’s pretty thick, but the interior has more of a terrycloth feel which is better for activewear, though you can of course still lounge in it at home. One note is that the waist feels a bit narrow compared to the shoulders. I sized up to M for a looser and more relaxed fit all around. Size S fit, but since it all fit way closer to my body, the broader shoulders were way more accentuated in the smaller size. Check out all 7 colors HERE.
There you go! Those are 10 of MANY outfits you can make with this mini wardrobe. I have been living in these pieces lately and have so, so, SO appreciated higher quality athleisure and activewear. I honestly didn’t think a sweatshirt or pair of joggers could get even more comfortable, but Zella has proven me wrong, haha! I hope this helps you create a little activewear and athleisure wardrobe to make getting dressed easy. And, if you want incredibly comfortable pieces, I recommend checking some of these out!
Remember, you can shop these pieces, along with similar alternatives, by clicking through the widget below:
Did you download the Winter Starter Kit Checklist yet? If you want a quick list to start a mix and match winter wardrobe, download the free checklist by filling out the form below. This list easily turns into 14+ outfits!