The Matching Athleisure Set Has Become The Hero Outfit Of Lockdown

Stay-at-home orders have changed a lot of things — including our priorities when it comes to personal style.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.

Our clothing choices are a lens into life under stay-at-home orders. At first, in those early, naive days, we “got dressed” to work at home. We quickly gave up on that and prioritized extreme comfort, ending up in full-on matching sweatsuits. Now, we’re somewhere in the middle ― the matching set. They come in different forms ― sweatsuits, sports bras and matching leggings ― but as long as they’re matching, they reign supreme. It’s the ultimate way to get dressed without getting dressed.

It’s not that the lockdown prompted an uptick in holy match-rimony ― the term “athleisure” has been part of the zeitgeist for years, for better or for worse. But scrolling through Instagram, it’s nearly impossible not to see a workout set on an influencer ― take Lindsay Silberman, for example.

Silberman, whose legion of loyal followers look to her for recommendations on just about everything (and with good reason ― Silberman’s no-B.S. approach flaunts an authenticity that’s rare among other influencers), noticed a pattern among her followers.

“I am really data-driven, I really obsess over analytics and sales and I can see exactly what people are buying,” she told HuffPost on the phone. “It’s been so interesting to see the shift from what people were purchasing pre-quarantine to now ― a lot of skin care, a lot of loungewear. I did a few articles and posts about sports bras that ended up being the runaway hit.”

Arguments for “dressing up” in the early shelter-in-place days were scrutinized and laughed at on social media, but the matching workout or loungewear set seemed to fulfill a happy medium.

Toyin Omisore, owner of athleisure and activewear brand Roam Load, said she has noticed their customer’s priorities have also shifted away from being just workout-focused.

“Before COVID, our big sellers were a lot of the basic tops and bottoms,” she said. “Probably just things you would wear to the gym. Now it’s more the seamless sets, things you can be comfortable sitting in for long periods of time in front of the computer and in general. We keep selling out and restocking, it’s been beautiful.”

Beyond sheer comfort, pivoting away from our usual wardrobes has also provided an opportunity to reflect on our consumption ― what it is we really do and do not need.

“It’s made me think a lot harder about what in my wardrobe is just sitting there collecting dust,” Silberman said. “I used this time to donate, get rid of things. It’s shown me there is a lot of excess in my life and home. Realizing the comfortable workout set I wear a couple of times a week is bringing me more joy than some of the blouses and sweaters ― it’s all helping to be a bit more minimalist.”

It’s hard to think of a brand leaning into both minimalism and coordinating better than Girlfriend Collective, the ethically made activewear brand that sells (and very quickly sells out of) solid-color matching tops and bottoms. This was the case before lockdown, but as Claire Weldon Smith, the brand’s head of product design, told HuffPost, business has boomed over the past three months.

“What I love about our designs is that they don’t scream activewear,” Smith said. “You can leave it on for a whole day. Lockdown has changed my mindset ― I’ll wear leggings with an oversized button-front shirt. It’s really opened my mind and given me a new horizon for styling a legging or a bike short.”

The brand has launched new products this year, like a bike short and a legging with pockets to increase functionality and satisfy needs from customers. “I feel like the appetite is just biting now,” she said. “We are hopefully fulfilling that appetite more and more, as our customers’ excitement for each launch has amplified.”

For Silberman, her hero outfits come from brands like Tommy John, Naadam, Aerie and, as she was wearing during our chat, Asos. “They have great, fun pieces at a great price point,” she said. “Right now I’m wearing a hot orange tank top and matching hot orange leggings, probably not something I would have bought prior to this happening but it feels put together and is brightening the mundane every day.”

Some of our other favorites include Beyond Yoga, Universal Standard, Day Won ― the list goes on. It seems no matter where you online (or, er, curbside) shop these days, there’s a matching set option. If this easy way to look put together is the future of fashion beyond the pandemic, sign us up.

Check out some of Silberman’s must-have sets on her site, head to Roam Loud and Girlfriend to get your hands on their matching offerings, and check out a few more of our favorites below.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.

1
Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Bike Short
Girlfriend Collective
These shorts come in sizes XXS to 6XL. Find them for $48 at Girlfriend Collective.
2
Everlane Luxe Cotton Jumpsuit
Everlane
This jumpsuit comes in sizes XXS to XL. Find it for $68 at Everlane.
3
Calvin Klein Ultra-Soft Modal Pajama Shorts
Macy's
These shorts come in sizes S to L. Find them for $40 at Macy's.
4
Lou & Grey Signaturesoft Plush Drawstring Shorts
Lou & Grey
These shorts come in sizes XXS to XXL. Find them for $50 at Lou & Grey.
5
Madewell Pull-On Shorts
Madewell
These shorts come in sizes XXS to XXL. Find them for $33 at Madewell.
6
Universal Standard Natalie Jersey Sleep Set
Universal Standard
This set comes in sizes 4XS to 4XL. Find it for $75 at Universal Standard.
7
Old Navy Twill Jogger Shorts for Men
Old Navy
These shorts come in sizes XS to XL. Find them for $15 at Old Navy.
8
PJ Salvage Lounge Jumpsuit
Nordstrom
This jumpsuit comes in sizes XS to XL. Find it for $64 at Nordstrom.
9
Nike Sportswear Polo
Nike
This top comes in sizes XS to 2XL. Find it for $45 at Nike.
10
Athleta Unbound Jumpsuit
Athleta
This jumpsuit comes in sizes XXS to XL (plus tall and petite sizing). Find it for $45 at Athleta.
11
Nike Spotlight Short-Sleeve Basketball Hoodie
Nike
This hoodie comes in sizes S to XL. Find it for $32 at Nike.
12
Everlane Luxe Cotton Side-Slit Tee Dress
Everlane
This dress comes in sizes XXS to XL. Find it for $50 at Everlane.
13
Nike Sportswear Gym Vintage Shorts
Nike
These shorts come in sizes XS to 2XL. Find them for $35 at Nike.
14
Intimately Kim Hemp Lounge Set
Free People
This set comes in sizes XS to XL. Find it for $98 at Free People.
15
Eileen Fisher Slouchy Crop Pants
Nordstrom Rack
These pants come in sizes 2XS to XL. Find them for $59 at Nordstrom Rack.
16
Everlane Weekend Tee Dress
Everlane
This dress comes in sizes XXS to XL. Find it for $30 at Everlane.
17
Lululemon City Sweat Short French Terry
Lululemon
These shorts come in sizes XS to XXL. Find them for $68 at Lululemon.
18
Zella Getaway Flowy Crop Wide Leg Pants
Nordstrom
These pants come in sizes XS to M. Find them for $59 at Nordstrom. The pants come in plus sizes, 1X to 3X, too.
19
Intimately Cozy Cool Girl Sleep Tee
Free People
This tee comes in sizes XS to XL. Find it for $60 at Free People.
20
Adidas Allover Print Tee Dress
Adidas
This dress comes in sizes 2XS to XL. Find it for $40 at Adidas.
21
Saturday/Sunday Kathie Flounced Mini Dress
Anthropologie
This dress comes in sizes XXS to XL. Find it for $88 at Anthropologie.
22
Madewell Henley Tee Dress
Madewell
This dress comes in sizes XXS to 3X. Find it for $35 at Madewell.
23
Don't-Sweat-It Floral Polo
Banana Republic
This top comes in sizes XXS to XXL. Find it for $24 at Banana Republic.
24
Everlane Easy Chino Long Short
Everlane
These shorts come in sizes 00 to 16. Find them for $48 at Everlane.