“It’s not about the size you wear, but the way you wear your size.”
Tonina – Every Body Deserves Love.
One of the most significant achievements of the women empowerment movement and policies on inclusivity is the inclusion of the plus-size figure in mainstream fashion.
Traditionally, brands and fashion houses used only stick-thin models in showcasing various types of apparel. These included clothes, sportswear, lingerie and swimwear.
Today, featuring plus-size and other more realistic-looking models has become a dominant fashion trend – something that is reflected in the plus-size activewear trend in Australia.
The Plus-Size Activewear Trend in Australia
Rather than conforming to unrealistic and often unhealthy images of women traditionally portrayed in fashion, women have now become more comfortable in their own skin. As a reflection of changing perceptions about how women are supposed to look, fashion continues to undergo transformation.
These changes can be seen in fashion magazine spreads, on the runway and online. One great manifestation of the adoption of inclusive fashion in the country is the popularity of plus-size activewear in Australia.
Plus-size gym gear is officially in and is now part of the conventional activewear offerings of several prominent brands.
So if you’re shopping for plus-size sportswear and want to explore other options, here’s a guide to buying plus-size gym wear in Australia.
What to Look for When Buying Plus-Size Activewear
Plus-size gym wear – just like any sized activewear – should both be functional and stylish. Shopping for curvy activewear requires you to focus on the key areas where support is crucial: the back, shoulder and pelvic areas. In doing so, you’re helping ensure you get a good workout with ample support and minimal post-workout stress on the body.
To help you find the best women’s plus-size activewear for you, consider the following:
1. The best plus-size activewear should match the fitness activity
When you go out to buy plus-size performance wear, always consider what activity you will use it for. Is it for running, yoga, tennis, walking, cycling or circuit training? The plus-size leggings or plus-size athletic wear sets you purchase should be appropriate for the impact of your fitness activity. It should also match the venue (will it be cold, windy, etc.), how long you’ll need to wear it, how much bouncing the exercise will involve, and so on.
2. The right plus-size sportswear must be comfortable
Whether you’re dressing for low-, mixed- or high-impact exercises, comfort is key. In general, when it comes to sports bras and plus-size activewear tops, pieces with wide and stretchy straps offer optimum comfort. For bottoms, high-waisted plus-size activewear shorts, anti-cellulite leggings and capri pants are both comfortable and designed to stay in place.
3. The ideal workout clothes for large women are supremely supportive
Support is a major consideration when it comes to fitness wear for larger ladies.
For cropped tops, look for ones with wide shoulder bands and padded straps. To get optimum sports bra support, look for extra silicone under-wiring, or wear a supportive sports vest over your sports bra. You may also opt for a fitted bodysuit to work as an outer layer or for longer tops to avoid unwanted exposure.
The best workout leggings for curvy figures are panelled and feature a wide elasticated waistband for a well-anchored fit. Shorts that feature supportive long-leg underwear as a base layer also work. Don’t forget to choose the right underwear, such as long shorts to guard against thigh chafing, and briefs with wide waistbands that stay in place.
4. High-quality plus-size sportswear should be breathable and moisture-wicking
Cotton fabrics blended with stretchy workout material is both breathable and comfortable. Newer materials such as technical performance fabrics combine breathability, odour control, sweat-wicking and stretchability to make the best plus-size activewear in Australia and around the world.
Where to Buy Plus-Size Activewear in Australia
Keeping the above qualities in mind, it’s now time to move on to our list of the best plus-size activewear brands in the country.
Are you looking for the best activewear for plus-size women (and everyone in general) in Australia that’s also eco-friendly?
If so, then look no further than dk active. Aside from making comfortable, durable, stylish and supportive sportswear, dk active uses regenerated nylon, organic cotton, bamboo and modal as its main fabrics, which are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified.
dk active apparel also has all the technical and practical features you need in women’s plus-size activewear. It’s moisture-wicking, breathable, comes with adjustable features and customisable fits, and provides UPF 50+ protection.
Curvy Chic Sports
Another proudly local born and bred maker of plus-size activewear in Australia, Curvy Chic Sports is all about feeling comfortable in your own skin.
With its range of plus-size yoga wear in Australia, you know you’ll look and feel good as you move, stretch and bounce about. Choose from Curvy Chic Sports tops, bottoms, jackets, cover-ups and swimwear. Enjoy the colours, classic lines and unique designs they make to help you express your moods, as well as who and what you are.
Truly an all-inclusive sportswear brand, Exotic Athletica creates fashionable, high-performance athletic apparel designed to fit all shapes and sizes. It not only specialises in making a wide variety of sports tops and bottoms but also features dresses, swimwear and outerwear, such as jackets and sweaters.
What makes Exotic Athletica one of the best plus-size brands in Australia is its classic, quirky, fun and sexy designs, which give curvy women the freedom to be what they feel in the moment. Whatever pieces you buy, Exotic Athletica sports apparel is always comfortable, flattering and supportive.
Be Keane Healthy & Fit
If you want to shop for clothes made by an Australian company dedicated to providing high-quality, functional and comfortable activewear for beautiful curvy women, Be Keane Healthy & Fit it is.
Featuring sizes ranging from 10 to 38, the Be Keane Healthy & Fit activewear range includes pieces that can be worn comfortably – whether you’re working out for a walk, off at boot camp, running or chatting with friends over coffee.
Be Keane Healthy & Fit offers stretchy no-chafing, sweat-wicking activewear in funky, colourful and edgy designs to suit all moods and tastes.
Inspired by the beauty of Māori and Pasifika wāhine (or Polynesian women) of all shapes and sizes, activewear in the Hine Collection is designed to inspire movement and confidence.
Featuring tights, sports bras, tops, shorts, outerwear, tracksuits, swimwear and sporty casual dresses, the Hine Collection has the perfect mix of inspirational activewear that’ll motivate you to become active and move with confidence.
Aside from making activewear made with quick-dry, sweat-proof and high-impact performance fabric, Hine Collection is also taking steps to achieve its sustainability goals.
Curve Boss Australia
As another brand specialising in plus-size workout wear in Australia, Curve Boss Australia takes pride in providing flattering gym wear and casual, sporty clothes for larger ladies.
Curve Boss Australia offers jumpers, jackets, loungewear, butt-lifting leggings, T-shirts and activewear sets made from comfortable, durable, supportive and high-quality performance fabrics, so you can ‘wear your curves with confidence’.
If you’re looking for plus-size yoga pants in Australia that are fun, colourful, quirky and give off a rocker chic or edgy vibe, Gabdala Collective is sure to have those.
Offering a wide variety of activewear tops, bottoms, outerwear for a range of sizes, as well as casual, fun accessories, Gabdala Collective successfully fuses function and fashion in its featured pieces.
Its sportswear collection is made from fabric blends that combine high levels of elastane. This, in turn, provides compression and ensures a perfect fit that’s comfortable and frees the wearer to move as they please. Gabdala Collective garments are also known for their durability and are designed for everyday wear.
Baseline by Ashy Bines
Baseline by Ashy Bines is an Australian brand that makes sports bras, T-shirts and tanks, jackets and outerwear, tights, shorts, headwear and accessories.
Decidedly feminine with a luxe feel and quality, Baseline by Ashy Bines activewear is designed for performance yet is supremely comfortable. Designed to suit all shapes and sizes, Baseline by Ashy Bines sports apparel is made using high-quality, durable performance fabric that’s both breathable and moisture-wicking.
With Baseline by Ashy Bines as your gym outfit, you’ll be raring to work out or go for a sprint around the neighbourhood.
Founded and owned by Australia’s premier fitness and healthy weight loss guru, Michelle Bridges, the brand offers crop tops, footwear, girls activewear mini-me range, leggings, outerwear, shorts, tanks and tees. Michelle Bridges also has an exclusive plus-size range for activewear designed to support the athletic requirements of larger women.
Aside from making high-performance activewear that’s soft, comfortable, breathable and sweat-wicking, Michelle Bridges also provides free exercise videos and dietary information for those who wish to lose weight in a healthy way.
RunFaster is an Australian company known for making high-quality, stylish and functional activewear that’s versatile, comfortable and suitable for wear at any stage of life, including pregnancy.
With sizes up to 3XL, RunFaster activewear comes in the form of tights, shorts, skorts, sports bras, sweatshirts, maternity and shapewear. They also make accessories such as towels, tote bags and sunglasses, as well as men’s athletic apparel.
Aside from making fun, super comfortable, flattering, high-quality activewear made from its RF Signature Supplex fabric, RunFaster remains committed to providing inclusive athletic apparel designed to suit everyone.
Alphaline is a new entrant in the activewear industry that’s committed to its charitable goals whilst providing men and women of different sizes premium-quality, affordable products.
Pledging 10 per cent of their profits will every month to charity, Alphaline is the brainchild of practising criminal lawyer Enis Erdem. He was let go because of COVID-19. Instead of getting discouraged, he saw this dismissal as an opportunity to pursue his passion for fitness.
Today, Alphaline makes activewear fabricated from durable, comfortable, breathable, sweat-wicking and quick-drying materials designed to keep you cool and confident whatever your workout.
Featuring sizes up to XXL, Dharma Bums is sure to be one of your go-to plus-size workout brands in Australia. Aside from featuring high-quality, comfortable and supportive activewear and casual fashion, Dharma Bums is a total lifestyle brand that also provides personal care and sports accessories.
Committed to sustainability, Dharma Bums is one of the best local brands you can support if you’re into fitness and eco-friendly living. Shop for gym tops, bottoms, sports bras, tees and sweatshirts at Dharma Bums to support the sustainability cause whilst keeping fit.
Active Truth was created to provide support to new mums adjusting to their new bodies and focused on getting fit. The brand boasts an extensive range of high-quality leggings designed to fit women of all sizes and shapes, including pregnant women. Aside from making squat-proof leggings with high-rise waistbands made from moisture-wicking, 8-way stretch fabric, Active Truth also features crop tops, bike shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, lounge attire and swimwear.
A Swedish original, aim’n creates ‘happy pants’ and activewear inspired by everything that makes women confident and motivated to stay healthy and fit. aim’n activewear fashion is playful, feminine, timeless, bold and beautiful.
aim’n products are crafted for all figures and sizes (they have XXXL items), including their tights, shorts, sports bras, tops, long-sleeved and crop tops, casual and streetwear, hoodies, jackets, sneakers, swimwear, underwear and socks.
International Plus-Size Brands With Shipping to AUS Available
Outside of Australia, you also have your choice of plus-size gym wear brands that ship orders into the country.
DAY/WON is the first-ever U.S.-based fully size-inclusive activewear brand, with all products available in sizes 0 through 32. DAY/WON sports apparel and leisurewear are made from top-quality recycled performance fabrics that are marathon-tested, sweat-wicking, compressive and antimicrobial.
Girlfriend Collective is an American-owned brand founded by husband-and-wife tandem Ellie and Quang Dinh. The company produces luxurious, responsibly produced activewear made from recycled water bottles, fishing nets and other plastic waste. Their product range includes high-performance leggings, tops and sports bras.
Another U.S.-based brand, Fabletics was founded by Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler along with Kate Hudson with a goal to provide high-quality, stylish activewear at affordable prices. Fabletics offers everything – from 1980s-style bike shorts to comfortable leggings and athleisure wear.
Asos 4505 is a UK-based activewear brand that caters to men and women, with a dedicated curve and plus-size line for full-figured women. This special product category includes not only performance wear but also casual dresses, lingerie, formal attire and so on.
Plus-Size Activewear Sizing Chart Explained
Are you unsure about your activewear size?
Check out the sizing chart below after getting the circumferences of the following measured.
- Bust point: the largest point above the under-bust circumference
- Natural waist: the smallest point between the hip and under-bust
- Hips: the biggest point below the waist
- Inside leg: the highest point on the inside leg to the ankle
After getting your measurements, you can use those as a basis for selecting the right size activewear for you with greater precision.
What Actually Is Plus Size and How Is It Different?
Although we use the term ‘plus size’ casually here, it’s actually a loaded word.
The average woman usually falls within the size 14 to 16 range, while plus size for designers and retailers encompasses measurements above size 8. This makes the term rather imprecise and unrepresentative of the majority of women.
This is probably why a lot of retailers and even designers are now including ‘normal-sized’ women in their advertising campaigns – with positive results. Perhaps it’s time to move away from categorising women as plus-sized or not and just let them be women of their own size.
Anyway, whatever your size, you deserve to be happy in your own skin and enjoy your workouts by wearing the appropriate sports apparel offered at activewearX.