You might have heard the term “technical fabric” before — it refers to high-performance fabrics created specifically for fitness gear and sportswear. Many of these fabrics are designed to pull moisture from your skin during periods of heavy sweating, spreading it evenly throughout the fabric so that sweat evaporates quicker, leaving your body dryer after an intense workout. Other types of technical fabrics are designed to help insulate your body in cold weather without adding bulky layers. There's even a type of fabric with silver infused in it that absorbs the smell of sweat so that you can re-wear it over again!
Over the past few years, fabric scientists have come a long way in developing these fabrics, and many well-known brands have created stylish designs with them. Here are a few of our favorite threads that will keep your body temperature normal while looking uber chic.
One of Lululemon's most popular fabrics, Luxtreme® is primarily used in running gear for women and men. The moisture wicking is inherent in the fabric so will last for the life of the garment.
One of the newest and coolest types of insulating technology, KLYMIT’s NobleTek insulation uses argon gas to keep your body warm. Each vest comes with a small tank of the stable gas, and one pump should last you several months. One layer of the gas traps as much warmth as a traditional jacket that’s twice as thick. Plus, you can adjust the amount of argon in your vest as the temperature gets warmer or cooler! It's like a personal A/C thermostat.
Anti-stink — need we say more? Our favorite fabric from Lululemon, Silverescent, uses X-STATIC® – The Silver Fiber®, to create an anti-bacterial material perfect for fitness garb. Whereas your standard cotton tanks tend to hold onto that yucky smell even after washing, the Silverescent line of threads inhibits bacteria growth so that you can re-wear time and time again. Made for women, but more importantly, also for our smelly men ;)
Our lives changed after we got our first nano puff jacket from Patagonia. Not only does it fold up into a ball that you can fit into the palm of your hand, but it's windproof, water-resistant, and is made with warm, incredibly lightweight, highly compressible PrimaLoft® One insulation. Made for men and women.
Who says you can't go running in a dress? Nike's Dri-FIT running dress creates an ultimate balance of style, comfort and performance. The Dri-FIT properties wick sweat away from the skin to the fabric's surface, where it quickly evaporates. We recommend wearing tights with this dress, though — especially if it's a windy day outside!
Featuring another Lululemon moisture-wicking fabric, Luon, we love how this jacket looks very anti-fitness. You can wear it into the office, or on your bike! Its slim, chic shape will keep you looking (and feeling) very cool on the streets.
First, we have to say that we are OBSESSED with the collaboration between Stella McCartney and Adidas. Finally, cute and bright fitness apparel! These tights are a great example — they are built with ventilating mesh inserts and a sweat-releasing ClimaCool fabric to keep those legs breathing while you're focusing on the breathing that really matters. Side note: this Stella McCartney and Adidas swimsuit makes us wish it were summer right now.
Perhaps our favorite of the bunch, the SCOTTVEST line of technical apparel is even geekier than the fabrics it's made with. Sporting a full line of "iPad and Macbook Air compatible" threads, this brand has created apparel with features like patented wire management, XL pockets that can hold an entire iPad or 11" Macbook Air (who needs a laptop bag when you have one of these!?) as well as clear touch pockets so that you can use your gadgets without them out of their pockets! The windbreaker jacket even folds into itself to fit into a tightly packed bag or to serve as a handy pillow while traveling.
What high tech fitness gear are you flaunting lately? Leave us a note in the comments below or find us on Twitter.