Working out during the winter months can be brutal—it's hard enough to get out of your sweatpants when the temperatures drop, let alone put on paper-thin leggings. Luckily, a lot of brands make gear that's tough enough to withstand chilly outdoor workouts and frigid commutes to the gym. Sorry, folks—looks like you just ran out of excuses. Here are my picks for activewear pieces that will keep you warm (and stylish, of course) while you hustle your way through winter:
When you think about it, snow is really just fancy rain. To protect your belongings from the wetter days of winter, I recommend looking for a waterproof material like patent leather.
The Basic Backpack from Lesportsac will easily become your go-to when you need to face the elements on your commute. This style has enough zipper pockets to keep your items safe and lightly padded shoulder straps to keep you comfortable.
Ever get to the gym on a cold, slushy day and realize the legs of your pants are completely soaked? Throwing on an additional layer, like these Adidas Tiro Pants, can help. They have a zip on the bottom of the pant to easily slide over your shoes, so no matter how wet you get on your way in, you'll feel fresh when you hit the gym floor. Plus, any Adidas track pant is a timeless staple to have in your workout wardrobe.($45; footlocker.com)
When it comes to an outdoor winter workout, you've gotta keep your head and ears warm. If wearing a bulky hat is slowing you down, try this headband from Turtle Fur. It wraps your ears in two layers of thick, lofty fleece that will give you warmth as well as breathability while you're on the run. Bonus: no sweaty hat head.
If your hands are in need of some serious coverage, these gloves from The North Face are great. The stretchy fleece material is thick enough to handle super-cold windy days while still giving you touchscreen functionality on all 10 fingers so you can continue double-tapping your heart out.
But take this one with a grain of salt—gloves are as easy to lose as socks (where do all of those single missing socks go??) so before you shell out the big bucks, try a cheap pair from Old Navy.($45; rei.com)
ICYMI, the men's legging trend began a few years ago and is showing no signs of slowing down. Nike nails it on most functional workout pieces, and these Pro Therma Leggings are no exception—not only are they thin enough to layer under your sweats to the gym, they're also lined with a lightweight fleece so you can run outdoors in them (even in the dead of winter).
Not screwing around with the cold? These Polartec Sculptek tights from Athleta are thick (like almost plush) and will keep you toasty on polar days. They almost feel like wearing a sweater on each leg, which is awesome—you know, when it feels like it's negative a million degrees outside.
And while these leggings might sound like they're impossible to move in, but they're actually quite functional. They even have a high-rise waistband and pockets where you can stash your keys and wallet, like a lot of Athleta's other gear.($118; athleta.com)
If you prefer to work out in cropped leggings but don't want your shins to freeze off on your commute to the gym, leg warmers are an easy fix.
I recommend these soft leg warmers from Under Armour. Not only are they great at their job (they do keep your legs warm), they're also just fun to wear. Plus, they can easily fit in your gym bag without taking up a ton of space.($27; amazon.com)
Vests are awesome for days when you can't be bothered to wear a full coat, but need to keep your core warm—and I love this Down for It All Vest from Lululemon to help you do just that.
The down puffiness doesn't add bulk, making this lightweight vest a secret weapon for cold runs. You can basically stuff your entire life into the gazillion pockets, and there are two super-deep side pockets that are big enough for both your current phone and whatever giant model comes out next.
When it's freezing outside, it's truly a struggle to take off your sweatpants. These days, you can get away with wearing them out of the house fairly easily, but it helps to have a pair that looks more put together.
These Everyday sweatpants from NYC brand Alala will answer both your comfort and style prayers. They have a comfy elastic band, pockets (praise be!), and are mid-rise to keep you comfortable while looking cool.
If your goals include wearing a warm, cozy hoodie all day without looking like a total slob, great news: Lululemon has the perfect hoodie. The velour Scuba plush hoodie has a relaxed fit (cozy!) and shines with metallic details (classy!). It's the perfect layer to wear on its own or underneath your winter coat. It also comes with thumb holes in the sleeves for added hand warmth—I mean, why even make hoodies without those anymore?
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Cassandra Sethi is an NYC-based personal stylist and the founder of Next Level Wardrobe. Sign up for her weekly Next Level style tips and insights at nextlevelwardrobe.com.