9 Activewear Essentials to Enhance Your Pilates Practice

From grippy socks to warm-up layers.

Pilates Essentials

Design by Cristina Cianci

The relationship status between Pilates fanatics and reformers has been a turbulent one this past year. You've likely become far more intimate with your mat and all the at-home exercises you can pull off with sliders, slippy socks, and resistance bands. But we're hopeful that 2021 will allow you to return to your go-to studio, instructors, and those beloved body-quivering machines. And you'll want to ensure your look is on point when getting back out there, which means freshening up your activewear assortment. 

Ahead, we’ve rounded up a checklist of the nine essentials every Pilates lover should own—from grippy socks to warm-up layers to matching sets. Spoiler: onesies also made the list. Keep scrolling to discover all of our Pilates-ready picks.

Grippy Socks 

Design by Cristina Cianci

Design by Cristina Cianci

Few pieces are as specific to Pilates as grippy socks, but they're a must to prevent slippage on various machines. Some can be a bit unsightly; namely, those generic styles offered to unprepared studio patrons. But there are tons of suitable versions abound, whether you're drawn to a ballet-slipper-inspired design or sportier look. 

Pulse Barre Sock
Alo Pulse Barre Sock $18
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Emma Grip Socks
Tavi Noir Emma Grip Socks $18
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The Boyfriend Sock
Lucky Honey The Boyfriend Sock $16
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Tale To Tell Quarter Sock 2-Pack
Lululemon Tale To Tell Quarter Sock 2-Pack $28
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Fitted Top 

Design by Cristina Cianci

Design by Cristina Cianci

Whether you prefer a tank or tee, a fitted top is key for monitoring your form. While you likely don't break too much of a sweat during planks, lunges, and bird dog crunches, opting for moisture-wicking materials will ensure maximum breathability and comfort during your workout.

Move Free Tank
Outdoor Voices Move Free Tank $58
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Sport Tie-Dye Tissue-Weight Rib Long-Sleeve T-Shirt
Tory Burch Sport Tie-Dye Tissue-Weight Rib Long-Sleeve T-Shirt $138
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Atticus Ribbed Tank
Nylora Atticus Ribbed Tank $120
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Vital Seamless 2.0 T-Shirt
Gymshark Vital Seamless 2.0 T-Shirt $30
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Sports Bra 

Design by Cristina Cianci

Design by Cristina Cianci

Pilates may be low impact, but you still have to support your chest, regardless of cup size. The classic styles like V-neck, racerback, and triangle bras never fail. But if you're looking for a trendier design, it's all about bustier, crossover, square, and high-cut silhouettes of late. 

Seamless Bra
Mango Seamless Bra $40
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Corso Crossover Bra
Le Ore Corso Crossover Bra $68
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Superhold Sports Bra
Superfithero Superhold Sports Bra $65
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Devon Windsor
Devon Windsor Irie Bra $95
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High-Waist Legging 

Design by Cristina Cianci

All hail the high-rise legging. Not only does the beloved silhouette emphasize your waist and elongate your legs, but when made from four-way stretch or sculpting fabrics, the flexible bottom provides plenty of support through your midsection. Plus, the right pair might just help keep your transverse abdominals engaged a bit longer. 

Extra High-Waisted Powersoft Light Compression Hidden-Pocket Leggings
Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Powersoft Light Compression Hidden-Pocket Leggings $40
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Yoga Luxe Infinalon High-Rise 7/8 Leggings
Nike Yoga Luxe Infinalon High-Rise 7/8 Leggings $90
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Earth High-Rise Pocket Legging
Girlfriend Earth High-Rise Pocket Legging $78
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Active Essential Ribbed Legging
Good American Active Essential Ribbed Legging $79
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Matching Set 

Design by Cristina Cianci

Design by Cristina Cianci

What's more motivating than a cute set to get you in the mood for a muscle-quivering workout? Brands have upgraded their set offerings over the past year, including sleek and minimal cuts, earthy colors, metallic fabrics, and seamless designs. If there's any place you won't feel extra rocking a coordinating bra-and-legging look, it's undoubtedly the Pilates studio.  

Ivy Ecostretch Cropped Tank
Reformation Ivy Ecostretch Cropped Tank $48
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Ecostretch High Rise Legging
Reformation Ecostretch High Rise Legging $88
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High Support Bonded Bra
All in Motion High Support Bonded Bra $30
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Contour Flex High-Waisted Ribbed 7/8 Leggings
All in Motion Contour Flex High-Waisted Ribbed 7/8 Leggings $35
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Crop Top 

Crop tops

Design by Cristina Cianci

A crop top is a versatile piece in any activewear collection. For more of a modest look, pair your favorite style with high-rise bottoms for a teensy sliver of skin.

Conscious Crop D-DD+
Athleta Conscious Crop D-DD+ $59
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Soulwear Faith Top
Inhala Soulwear Faith Top $58
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Malaika Ribbed Seamless Long Sleeve Crop Top
Zoezi Sport Malaika Ribbed Seamless Long Sleeve Crop Top $45
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Lola Tank Top
Gigi C Lola Tank Top $75
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Biker Shorts

Design by Cristina Cianci

Design by Cristina Cianci

When biker shorts came back on the scene, who could have predicted their extended staying power? These comfortable cotton shorts are a modern wardrobe staple, particularly when worn with oversized hoodies, cozy socks, and sneakers. But when you’re on the reformer, it's all about wearing compression styles made from performance fabrics in the length that makes you feel your most confident.

Offline Goals Bike Short
Aerie Offline Goals Bike Short $35
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Front Arrow Biker Short
Port De Bras Front Arrow Biker Short $175
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Flow Seamless Short
Alala Flow Seamless Short $55
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Wild Nova Biker Short
Aura7 Activewear Wild Nova Biker Short $84
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Warm-Up Layers

Design by Cristina Cianci

Design by Cristina Cianci

As with ballet or yoga, Pilates can start slow, making a third-piece helpful during your warm-up. Wrap tops and lightweight sweaters are great for channeling ballerina vibes, while cropped sweatshirts and long-sleeve tees are bound to suit every taste.  

Live The Process Open Back Knit
Live The Process Crop Open Back Knit $188
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Cropped Wrap Top
& Other Stories Cropped Wrap Top $49
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Johnson Top
Halfdays Johnson Top $95
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Back Cut-Out Sweatshirt
Lanston Back Cut-Out Sweatshirt $150
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Onesies

Design by Cristina Cianci

Design by Cristina Cianci

We can trust most Pilates enthusiasts to hop on board with the latest activewear trends, and lately, it's all about onesies. This look has slowly worked its way to the forefront, and this year, the workout jumpsuit appears in many new arrivals sections in the full-length and biker-short form. Not sure it's for you? Think of it this way: you won't have to worry about slipping waistbands or bunching inseams in an all-in-one.

Next–to–Naked Bodysuit
Universal Standard Next–to–Naked Bodysuit $95
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Movement Good Karma Long-Sleeve Onesie
Free People Movement Good Karma Long-Sleeve Onesie $113
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Nzinga Shine Bodysuit
Solely Fit Nzinga Shine Bodysuit $110
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The Perform Unitard
Everlane The Perform Unitard $88
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