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The Strategist Guide to Shopping at Outdoor Voices

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Anyone who has shopped at a retailer with few physical storefronts to browse from knows it can be hard to figure out where to start. There are dozens upon dozens of options that seem as worthy as the next, but the reality is products from any given brand are not all created equal. When you shop as regularly as we do, you learn that many brands just do some things better than they do other things. Outdoor Voices is one of those brands. Its inventory of elevated athleisure needs to be carefully sorted through to find gems like the best workout leggings, comfiest sweatpants, and most tactile sneakers. To help make things easier, we’ve rounded up all the Outdoor Voices stuff our writers and editors — as well as fitness editors, cookware CEOs, and even the company’s founder — have recommended on the Strategist.

For everyone

These Outdoor Voices sweatpants have been recommended by Great Jones founder (and former Grub Street senior editor) Sierra Tishgart, skin-care founder Linda Rodin, and several members of our own staff. The “sleek and tailored and not bulky” sweats are so comfortable that Tishgart broke her “no lounge pants during work hours” policy. “They’re the kind of pants you feel so good in that you want to actually go outside into the real world, just so you can strut,” she says. Three years after her initial review, Tishgart told us that the pants have “remained as soft as the day I purchased them.” Strategist editor and Outdoor Voices aficionado Maxine Builder is another superfan of the All Day line, calling these pants her “favorite loungewear” to wear “for any activity, indoors or out.” They also make for an excellent gift: Former senior editor Anthony Rotunno bought the sweats in navy for his mom, who asked Santa for athleisure one year.

Outdoor Voices also makes tops out of the same supersoft material as the All Day sweatpants, in case you, like Builder, are a “sucker for a matching set.”

Builder will swap out the All Day hoodie for the long-sleeved shirt “depending on the weather.” It’s also a favorite long-sleeve of MichaelAnn Cohlmia, co-founder of CBD brand WeedSport. “I always grab it no matter what I am doing: traveling, hiking, or playing tennis on a winter day in L.A.” And just like the sweatpants, this supersoft shirt can go through the wringer. Cohlmia has “washed it many times, and it always comes out perfect — no shrinking or warping, and it’s forever soft.” The tee’s looser cut is flattering (if a bit clingy at times), and she loves “the thumb holes that are like hammocks for your thumbs,” keeping the sleeves secure.

If you want to stock up on the full set, Outdoor Voices also makes a short-sleeved version of the tee above, which cookbook author and food writer Priya Krishna calls a “worthwhile wardrobe splurge.” Like Cohlmia, Krishna likes that the tee is versatile enough to take you from the gym to the office. She describes the fit as “loose yet flattering, and exceedingly comfortable but also cute with a long skirt at a holiday party.”

For women

Builder liked these Warmup leggings, so much she bought them twice in one month. “To be honest, I’ve found them a little hot for hot yoga, but they’re excellent to wear when I’m doing other things,” she says.

One hack Strategist writer Jenna Milliner-Waddell discovered during quarantine is to start the day dressed in workout attire; that way, “there’s no excuse not to work out after work.” And one of her favorite pieces for working (and working out) from home is the Move Free Crop Top. This is made of a lighter-weight TechSweat material, which Milliner-Waddell says “has a second-skin feel, so it’s like I got dressed without any of the restrictions.”

Milliner-Waddell pairs her Move Free Crop Top with these high-waisted leggings, and unlike the Warmup leggings, they’re actually lightweight enough for hardcore workouts. Hannah Jean Hildreth, an instructor at 305 Fitness, wears the ultrastretchy, sweat-wicking leggings to yoga and says they let her “move freely and look svelte as heck.” (She also likes that the leggings’ waistline “reminds me to engage my core, but they’re not so tight that they’re uncomfortable.”)

Outdoor Voices also makes some pretty great less-tight pants. In our roundup of the best (wrinkle-free) travel clothing for her, Journy co-founder Leiti Hsu told us that her RecTrek pants “stay crisp from laundry cycle to laundry cycle” and “look way more pulled together than yoga pants,” even though they’re still “the ultimate in comfort.”

Senior writer and seasoned marathon runner Karen Iorio Adelson likes running in the Hudson shorts because they provide good core support even on days when she feels a bit bloated. “The flat, wide waistband keeps everything sucked in while still letting my legs move freely,” she says. Adelson also likes that the color-block silhouette “echoes Outdoor Voices’ popular leggings style, so they’re a hint trendier than the standard short.”

Another pair of running shorts Adelson swears by are the brand’s high-impact, sweat-wicking Zoom shorts. “They have basically everything I want in a running short,” she writes. “A just-right length that won’t creep up; deep pockets to fit my phone, keys, and energy gels; and a fun pattern that makes me happy.”

A one-piece bottom that prevents thigh chafe even in sweltering weather, contributing writer Alexandra Ilyashov calls this skort a “true savior.” It’s crafted from the brand’s signature breathable LightSpeed fabric, which she says “performs well in workouts or on ultrahumid days and stylishly and stealthily quells thigh chafe.” Plus it has a pocket for your phone.

When we asked her to select her favorite style from the entire Outdoor Voices collection, the brand’s founder, Ty Haney, told us she can’t live without its top-selling exercise dress, which is the first design she sketched when she started the company. “I wanted to create a strong, feminine style you could do anything in and provide an alternative to leggings,” she told us. (An employee favorite, Haney told us that she also sees “at least ten a day at HQ.”) Builder is another fan of the “surprisingly excellent” athleisure staple, which she has even worn to play tennis. For everyday wear, she appreciates that the dress is “very hard to stain with coffee or wine and that it remains supportive and comfortable, not constricting, all day long.” And Haney told us that the latest style of the dress also features a handy upgrade: an added shorts liner that also has a phone (or credit-card) pocket.

For men

These sweatpants were recommended by meditation-studio founder Lodro Rinzler even though he’s typically “not a sweatpants person, period.” This pair made it into his closet because it’s “stylish enough that I feel zero embarrassment leaving home in them right alongside the fact that they are comfortable enough that I can move freely in them for yoga, running — anything really.”

When we spoke to stylish men about their favorite gym shorts, copywriter Jon Roth told us he’s a fan of OV’s five-inch High Stride model. “Since I mostly hate exercise, finding cool workout clothes has been a good motivator,” he told us. “These are cut high enough to show some thigh but also lined so nothing else shows.” Note that Outdoor Voices has updated these shorts since Roth purchased them, but these are very similar to his pair and have the same inseam length.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

The Strategist Guide to Shopping at Outdoor Voices