Gap has found a new lease on life with the addition of athleisure wear brand Athleta to its portfolio, which has given the retailer a much-needed boost in sales. Targeted at the fitness-minded -- but not restricted to those who work out -- Gap's in-house line, GapFit, and spin-off brand Athleta serve up functional and trendy separates for those who live in their yoga pants
, wear bikini bottoms at the beach, tank tops when they are running errands, and can be spotted eating a nutritious lunch in their leggings and a sweatshirt.
Activewear has undeniably become a staple in women's wardrobes -- and it even makes appearances in their semi-formal attire. With prices running lower than Lululemon, both Athleta and GapFit make for worthy shopping sprees for the girl on the move. This is exactly why we decided to give the Gap's athleisure wear brands a look, after we shopped at ZARA
and H&M for similar offerings
Our Favorites (pictured in order)
- Full Force Tank: This crisscross strappy tank top has a built-in wireless bra that is removable, so it can be changed up according to desired comfort. It's awesome for a workout, and we can totally picture ourselves wearing it under a blazer to work, too. The crushed-purple color is classy, versatile and costs $64 -- although other alternate colors in the same style are cheaper. Check them out before you decide what you want to buy here at Athleta.
- Kata Swim Skirt 2: The coral-colored skirt is designed for paddleboarding, swimming, or surfing and has a comfortable wide waistband that won't leave a woman flashing the crowd. With built-in brief shorts and a back pocket that drains water, we're loving this look for some paddleboard yoga, or even just to hit the beach on a sunny day. Pick one up at Athleta for $54.
- High-Impact Padded Sports Bra: Only a couple of days ago, we brought you some gravity-defying sports bras; let's just say that we'd like to add this one to that list. Ideal for those with C and D cups, the wearer can take high-performance exercises head-on, thanks to the separate molded cups of the encapsulation bra that provide ample support plus a little oomph. This offering from GapFit is priced at $44.95.
- Mind Over Mat Capri: Swap your leggings for this stylish capri in the summer. Priced at $69, the Breathable CoolMax® crotch gusset, comfortable waistband and an internal key pocket are all great functional additions. Also, the strappy lattice calf design make these an attractive pair of capri pants that can be worn from yoga to lunch to errands -- all without being flagged for fashion violations en route. Buy the Athleta capri here.
- Double Dare Bra: This one certainly passes the test. Giving the illusion of wearing two bras at once, the unique style provides a light compression to support the wearer's assets while letting her skin breathe through the ventilated fabric for added comfort. Get the moisture-wicking racerback bra for $49 at Athleta.
- gFast Cross Train Print Shorts: How fun are these shorts? We love the print and neon, and can totally picture dishing out some CrossFit moves in the pair. Built for high performance and sport, the super stretchable and breathable fabric prevents chaffing and won't cut into your skin at the waist or the thigh-round. Buy the training shorts from GapFit for $32.95.
- Reflective Mesh Yoga Tote: Funky, trendy, and flashy for all the right reasons, we're loving the reflective tote by Athleta. The mid-way bag opening is secured by a magnetic top, and the inside is lined with a carry pocket -- perfect for storing yoga essentials. The tote is a favorite among Athleta fans and is flying off the shelves at $37.99.
Where To Spend It:
On our excursion, we found that basics to get you started are aplenty at GapFit -- but, if you're really looking to build your collection or make a statement with activewear pieces that can be worn as smart casuals, then Athleta is the way to go. With a large variety of not just gym and sporting clothes, but dresses, accessories, and swimwear, too, Athleta has a bigger inventory (more apparel segments, colors and styles) to choose from, all of which have been designed with fashion trends in mind.
Also, GapFit is pretty awesome for its lightweight performance knits that are quick-to-dry, whereas Athleta's unique non-stink feature is a godsend for those who go straight from the gym to work, or don't have time to change it up between errands.
If price is ultimately going to be the driver of your decision between the two, that's where the lower-priced GapFit wins out over Athleta.