clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Driely S.

Filed under:

What to Wear to New York’s Best Fitness Studios

And where to shop it on your lunch break.

It’s great that we’re no longer sporting decades-old leggings in yoga class, but let’s just get it out in the open: the athleisure boom? It’s stressful! Between endless new merchandise at exercise mainstays, up-and-coming brands to keep track of, and fashion lines launching activewear collections, it can be hard to keep up with what to wear — and what to wear where.

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

So we pulled some of the season's absolute best gear to save you from the small hell that is figuring out what to wear to the most popular boutique fitness spots in New York City these days. Best part is, you can find all of it on your way to class, when you're headed to the office or — let's get real — when you're taking that conference call on your cell, because you need a damn distraction.

So don't fret about what to pair with those kaleidoscope leggings or if you'll be bold enough to go solo with a sports bra top. Whether you're jabbing hard, finishing a dance sprint, or pulling into the catch, we've set you up with a week's worth of one-and-done outfits full of our favorite finds that'll make you look and feel great through the last minutes of class — and can conveniently be sourced before the studio doors lock, too.


Cardio Dance Mania at ((305)) Fitness

Greenwich Village's toughest class will leave you dripping with beads of sweat and boatloads of swagger, thanks to live DJs who always pump the best tunes. Dressing for confidence is necessary at this all-day dance party, so show off your boldest leggings and of course, your brightest crop top — this one is often spotted on ((305)) founder Sadie Kurzban, so you know it's good! Add a sassy hat and an eye-catching bag, and you'll ensure everyone sees you coming and going (in case your fly moves in class somehow go unnoticed).

((305)) Fitness, 18 West 8th Street. Clockwise from upper left: Cotton Spandex Sleeveless Crop Top, $26 at American Apparel (704 Broadway). Zara Terez Purple Crushed Makeup Long Leggings, $78, similar styles at Peloton (140 W 23rd St). Reebok Spartan Baseball Cap, $16 at Reebok (1 Union Sq W). LUNA Q Pix Bag, $195 at Bandier (915 Broadway).


Rhythm-Fueled Spinning at The Monster Cycle

Simply put, the idea of a health goth couldn't exist without this Soho spin sanctuary. All black everything reigns supreme in their slick basement studio, which is steadfastly original in its approach to decor, format, and soundtracks provided by in-studio music videos. Don some of the best high-performance gear, like Sweaty Betty's revolutionary ultra-light leggings and tops with an unusual asymmetrical touch, for a look that's as in-its-own-class as the workout itself.

Monster Cycle, 182 Lafayette St. Clockwise from upper left: Asymmetrical Sports Bra, $14 at Forever 21 (568 Broadway). Zero Gravity Tights, $140 at Sweaty Betty (77 Mercer St). Livingston Windbreaker, $298 at Rebecca Minkoff (96 Greene St). Nike Track and Field Racerback, $40 at Nike Running Flatiron (156 Fifth Ave).


Hot Hip Hop Yoga at Y7 Studios

When you combine ideal playlists, low lighting, and branding that's truly on point, Y7 is one of those sexy studios that's as much about the workout as it is about looking fly (yes, even in the dark). No matter if you're doing down dogs to Drake or chilling in child's pose, be sure to wear something that's worth Instagramming over the Flatiron location's now-iconic staircase. The heated studio is temperate enough to make it a sports-bra-only safe space, so forgo the shirt and show off your favorite throwback lyrics  — can you tell "Private Party" was practically made for this place? — when you're kickin' it after class.

Y7 Studios, 25 W 23rd St, 4th floor. Clockwise from upper left: Onzie Cage Sports Bra, $44 at Bloomingdale's (1000 Third Ave). Nike Legendary Engineered Waterfall Tights, $149 at Lady Foot Locker Soho (523 Broadway). Private Party Crazy Sexy Cool Hoodie, $108 at Bandier (915 Broadway). Braided headband, $6 at Old Navy (610 Avenue of the Americas).


Full-Body Intensity at Cityrow

Though Cityrow is known for its mix of cardio, strength, and stretch, there's no need to dress like you're dropping to do a dozen burpees — even if the teachers here will sometimes still surprise you with ‘em. The sun-filled studio and woosh! of the WaterRowers will leave you craving summer vibes regardless of the outside temperature, so don something that's as light and airy to get you through this challenging multi-part workout. Despite its HIIT basis, the results-driven workout is surprisingly low-impact, so you can get away with wearing a gorgeous bra regardless of cup size. A mesh-backed tank and movement tights are go-tos as well, but don't forget a water bottle that will shine like the medal you deserve for hitting those champion-level strides.

Cityrow, 80 Fifth Ave, #1501. Clockwise from upper left: Mesh-back racer tank, $34 at GapFit (122 Fifth Ave). Printed Cross-Back Cami Bra, $65 at Tory Sport Pop-Up (257 Elizabeth St). Onzie Starburst Capri Pant, $54 at Clara's Boutique at Alycea Ungaro's Real Pilates (177 Duane St). Swell Bottle, $45 at Athleta (126 Fifth Ave).


Throw Some Punches at Shadowbox

There are plenty of challenging boxing classes around town, but frankly, none of them look as fierce as Shadowbox. Overthrow has its underground vibe and Gotham Gym is a living legend, but this spot remains as sleek as can be, even when you're giving those numbered leather bags a beating of a lifetime. It's hard to not want to dress up for the occasion, so put on your game face by way of Tory Sport's deliriously soft new leggings, sweatbands to towel off mid-hook, and a matching head-to-toe look that'll show you're tough in the ring, without ever having to step inside it.

Shadowbox, 28 W 20th St. Clockwise from upper left: Chevron Legging, $125 at Tory Sport Pop-Up (257 Elizabeth St). Fluffin Awesome Vest, $168 at Lululemon (15 Union Sq W). Unisex Flex Terry Wristband, $4 at American Apparel (142 Fifth Ave). Gel Supercharged Tank, $64 at Athleta (126 Fifth Ave).