I still shudder when I remember showing up to my first-ever hot yoga class in my favorite pair of leggings—made of cotton. Needless to say, that rookie mistake made the next 90 minutes of my life much harder than it had to be. The sweat-soaked fabric dripped onto my mat and created a makeshift Slip N’ Slide as I downward-dogged and planked my way through class.
My standing splits have improved significantly since that fateful sweat-filled day, but more importantly, I’ve also wised up in the area of hot yoga-appropriate apparel. I quickly learned that moisture-wicking fabrics are an absolute must for absorbing sweat while flowing through class in a room boasting 90-degree temps and high humidity levels—not to mention, they’re also necessary for keeping unpleasant odors at bay in my gym bag after class.
After learning my lesson, I’ve tried more than a few hot yoga-friendly brands on for size, but it wasn’t until I wore Girlfriend Collective’s High Waist ⅞ Leggings ($68; nordstrom.com) and Paloma Sports Bra ($38; nordstrom.com) that I finally found the perfect match. Positive reviews had already peaked my interest about the sustainable and size-inclusive activewear brand, so earlier this year when Girlfriend Collective launched a collection with Y7, my favorite hot yoga studio, I figured it was a sign to give it a try.
As a big believer in the confidence boost of a coordinating set, I naturally went for the Paloma sports bra and high-waisted leggings in a matching honey shade, and couldn’t wait to debut them at my next class. When I first put the leggings on I immediately noticed how surprisingly soft the fabric was, despite being made from recycled water bottles (who knew sustainability could be so comfy!). The polyester and spandex blend and high-waist fit hugged my body with a snug, compressive fit but didn’t feel constricting like some pairs I’d worn in the past. I took a look in the mirror to confirm they looked as good as they felt, and to my surprise, they did.
To buy: Girlfriend Collective High Waist 7/8 Leggings, $68; nordstrom.com
Even better, Girlfriend Collective held up during my workout better than anything I’d ever worn before. The lightweight yet opaque fabric on both the leggings and sports bra wicked away sweat as I flowed through backbends and power lunges—even in a 90-degree room—and I knew I was hooked. For the rest of the class, I didn’t fuss with the waistband on my leggings or have to readjust my sports bra once, and as someone who wears a D-cup, that’s saying a lot.
The bra felt supportive but not restrictive, and the racerback fit combined with the breathable, flexible fabric allowed me to move freely through every pose. Like the other clothes in the line, the Paloma sports bra uses eco-friendly material that’s derived from recycled water bottles, and I like knowing that I’m supporting sustainable brands through my clothing choices.
To buy: Girlfriend Collective Paloma Sports Bra, $38; nordstrom.com
My drawer of mismatched workout clothes has since been reinvented as a collection of my reliable Girlfriend Collective pieces, whether I’m wearing them as matching two-piece sets or mixing and matching different items. No other activewear brands I’ve tried have kept me this cool, dry, and comfortable after such sweaty workouts, so it’s safe to say I’ll never head to another sweat sesh wearing anything else.
With a range of colorways (like the fall-appropriate warm Sedona shade I’m currently eyeing) and different styles available (my go-to ankle leggings also come in a full-length fit), head to Nordstrom to shop some of Girlfriend Collective’s most popular styles and upgrade your sweat-proof workout wear in the chicest and most sustainable way.
To buy: Girlfriend Collective High Waist Full Length Leggings, $68; nordstrom.com
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