Modest athleisure: 6 of the best modest activewear brands for fitness and leisure – Stylist Magazine

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If you’re after activewear that performs well, feels good and offers high coverage, take a look at writer Sue Omar’s six picks of the best modest options out there. 
When it comes to shopping for workout clothes, there are many factors to consider before buying an outfit that’s fit for purpose. But for those Muslim women who choose to cover for religious reasons, modesty is at the top of the list. Inspired by female Muslim athletes, Nike released the Pro Hijab in 2018, making the retailer the first mainstream brand to introduce modest activewear on a global scale. 
Since then, other well-known brands including Sweaty Betty, Under Armour and Adidas have all followed suit by adding sports hijabs – in a multitude of styles – and high-coverage clothing to their women’s sportswear collections. Elsewhere, Muslim-owned modest activewear brands such as Aab Collection and Imaan Active continue to set the standard for what modest fitness apparel should look and feel like. 
While the recent rise of modest activewear is long overdue, it demonstrates the growing demand for diverse clothing options for women in sport who challenge the status quo. “Modest activewear is important in today’s society to encourage people from cultural backgrounds to participate in fitness and sports,” says British-Bangladeshi fitness trainer and influencer Nazia Khatun
She tells Stylist: “The fitness industry needs to be more inclusive and cater to women from all backgrounds so that they feel comfortable and confident enough to exercise in environments that are predominantly male-oriented.”
With that in mind, here’s our edit of the best modest activewear to buy and try now.
Following the success of the Nike Pro Hijab, the global sportswear retailer delved deeper into the modest activewear market with the release of its Victory Swim Collection in 2019. Currently, Nike’s modest clothing collection features full-coverage items for running, exercise, sports and swimming, including hijabs, long-line tops and leggings. The Pro Hijab has also been upgraded since its debut with a wide selection of fun prints and colours available on a seasonal basis. 
In 2007, Nazmin Alim founded and launched modest fashion brand Aab Collection in London to cater to the needs of British-Muslim women who, like herself, wanted to dress modestly without comprising on style. 
Fast forward to 2017 and Aab Collection had established itself as a leading modest fashion brand in the UK – expanding its reach by partnering with Debenhams as its official stockist. Today, Aab has over 300,000 followers on Instagram and is the global go-to brand for premium modest fashion and activewear. 
From long-line sports shirts to loose-fit joggers and sleek sports hijabs, Aab Collection’s modest activewear is made with high-quality cotton fabrics and is available in timeless black, grey and nude tones. 
Made from eco-friendly fabrics, Sukoon Active is a sustainable modest activewear brand that has been designed for flexibility and maximum performance when working out. The brand boasts sports hijabs and headwraps that have been made with cooling technology for breathability and comfort as well a super-useful added feature: an invisible pocket for compact storage. 
Meanwhile, Sukoon Active’s sportswear styles include lightweight long-sleeve T-shirts in pretty pastel shades with drawstring detailing at the waist for a flattering fit for all shapes and sizes. 
Founded in 2018 by Manchester-based student Misbah Mogradia, Imaan Active is a trendy modest activewear brand that has been designed to suit all levels of activity.
The range features a wide selection of sportswear pieces for women – including both slim and relaxed fits in the form of long-sleeve tops, high-performance leggings and oversized jumpers – as well unisex designs that are gender-neutral. Plus, the range includes special sports turbans that are easy to wear and very stylish.
Turkey has long been at the helm of modest fashion and is currently still one of the largest innovators and importers of Islamic clothing worldwide. With customers in over 140 countries, is the ultimate style destination for the modest dresser, stocking 650 brands and counting, including 38 modest activewear brands and over sports 2,700 products. 
Whether you’re going to the gym, for a run or swim, you’re bound to find the perfect modest activewear outfit on, along with accessories and a sports hijab to match. 
Lyra Swim is a premium brand that reimagines women’s swimwear through the lens of modest fashion. Founded by London-based designer Ikram Zein, it was founded out of the need for full-coverage swimwear for Muslim women to wear on the beach or pool-side. 
The stylish swimwear range features two-piece sets (made up of a mini-dress paired with full-length leggings) as well as kaftans and swim-friendly hijabs in beautifully bold prints or monochromatic colours. What’s more, Lyra Swim stocks sarongs and slinky beach accessories that can be easily be layered and adapted to suit all levels of modesty.   
For more athleisure recommendations, follow Strong Women on Instagram (@StrongWomenUK)
Images: retailers’ own
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