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The Athleisure Store Guide for New York City's Fit-Yet-Lazy Shoppers

Eight blocks. Ten stores. Miles of spandex.

The internet has brought us many joys —€” Making a Murderer! Maple! These Lady Gaga/Leonardo DiCaprio shenanigans! —€” but shopping for workout clothes online is not one of ‘em. The process of waiting a week for leggings, realizing they're too big, and having to start from scratch is not the kind of efficiency we as New Yorkers are craving. Luckily, Fifth Avenue is no longer just the street on which you strolled to Central Park on your first visit to the Big Apple —€” it's a bonafide fitness frenzy, with every activewear shop you couple possibly imagine.

Welcome to Flatiron Fitness Row.

Within just an eight-block walk, you can get every bit of workout gear you need, with enough time left over to make it to one of the neighborhood's several studios. You put so much gusto into your burn, so save the energy for your rowing class, will ya? Here's how to shop for athletic clothes like a lazy person.

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Sweaty Betty

The woman-owned British retailer has made a name for itself with wildly performance-ready and multi-faceted apparel. With garment specialties in skiing, spinning, swimming, yoga, and even dancing (!), there's some serious science wizardry that goes into making crazy-cute sweat-wicking tops that work for all workouts. Often thought of as London's answer to Lululemon, Sweaty Betty merch comes with one added perk: it's still fairly new here, so odds of accidentally twinning in their bold designs or breezy dance tops in class are surprisingly minimal.
168 Fifth Avenue


Following a successful run around the corner on Broadway, Bandier recently flung open the doors to this three-story mecca of movement wares. The retail portion of the store — featuring their mix of streetwear and sweat gear that practically defined athleisure origin —€” is currently open, and goodies like a Beats By Dre listening station, a lounge to kick back in, and a shiny 3,000-square foot studio with a rotating crop of celebrity trainers will be up and running by February, meaning you can buy your too-cool sneakers and break them in at the same place.
164 Fifth Avenue


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Nike Running Flatiron

Whether you're a treadmill-pounder€” or your fitness level is more crossing-the-street than Crossfit, there's something for you at this all-inclusive location. The selection of brilliantly designed sneakers and the brand's latest swoosh-laden clothing is geared toward running, as the name suggests, especially if you're a track-shorts-over-leggings type of gal. With iPad analysis of your running technique, too, you can take the guesswork out of buying a fresh pair of kicks for that 5K you forgot you signed up for.
156 Fifth Avenue

New Balance


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The ages-old brand's concept store can not only customize 880's in front of your eyes, but also get guests ready to run with walls of sneaker options and a miniature indoor track to test them out on. It's not the best spot for apparel, and the shoe selection can at times be limited, but if you're looking for gym shoes that are more stylish than sporty — or, actually, vice-versa —€” then this is your spot.
150 Fifth Avenue

American Apparel

Bikram-ing on a budget? You can't do much better than American Apparel. Just because it's been in the game for a while doesn't mean its leggings and stretchy crop tops should stay under-the-radar. Sure, they're marketed (ahem) differently from those indie yoga brands, but where else can you stock up on wild printed leggings for $32 a pop?
142 Fifth Avenue


While many retailers are hopping on the fitness fashion bandwagon with varying degrees of success, Express is kind of doing an incredible job at it. Between printed compression leggings, layers ideal for wearing between class and your winter coat, and phrase tanks coming in at under $17 (!!), you can nail the "please, I go to barre all the time" look with enough left over to actually fund your studio habit.
130 Fifth Avenue

Victoria's Secret

This location doesn't carry the full range of VSX fitness clothes, but they're a worthy stop for one thing in particular: sports bras. With cute, colorful options and maximum support for up to a DDD cup size, there's no need to double up or sacrifice style to fit your bust perfectly.
115 Fifth Avenue


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As a front-runner in the all-exercise-everything retail game, Athleta prides itself on versatile head-to-toe looks that will stand up to your toughest workouts — and cater to even the most indecisive shopper. With the brand's "give it a workout guarantee," if your leggings don't look as good in that Megaformer class's mirrors as you thought they did in thre dressing room, you can bring them back. (Though, with tons of options at reasonable prices, odds are you won't need to.)
126 Fifth Avenue



Courtesy of Lululemon

Welcome to the land that wunder unders built. The 11,500-square foot palace has everything you could possibly wear while working out. Downstairs is an ideal shopping fatigue-prevention pit stop: There's flex space with free Wifi for communal working, a fitness studio (with showers!) for pop-up classes, and a concierge service for class bookings or dinner reservations. The digital corkboard can help you find places to exercise nearby — or practically anything else — when you're done shopping.
114 Fifth Avenue

Pure Barre

Whether or not you're interested in tucking and squeezing for your daily burn is irrelevant, because Pure Barre's Fifth Avenue location is a secret shopping highlight. They've squirreled away a significant portion of the space to operate as a boutique, featuring, yes, some printed namesake gear, but also a solid selection of leggings and matching tanks as well. If you didn't find what you were looking for north of 14th Street, you might score big here.
78 Fifth Avenue


Alex Ulreich