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9 Plus-size fitness brands who make activewear that actually fits you

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

If fitness magazines are to be believed, then all women who work out are slim gazelles romping through a field of flowers while sweating only in socially acceptable places. (Have you ever seen a fitness model with crotch sweat? Me neither.) Yet, if you go to any gym, you'll see women of all shapes and sizes exercising — great news, as exercise has been called the "miracle drug" for healing both mind and body, no matter what you weigh.

There is a lot of frustration when it comes to finding clothing in larger sizes that is functional, cute and affordable, as evidenced by this genius Venn diagram from Tumblr blog wtf, plus size clothing manufacturers?. And that definitely extends beyond street clothes, with athletic companies being some of the last to recognize the needs of the plus-size market.

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

Every woman deserves to feel both cute and comfortable while she sweats and thankfully women of all shapes and sizes are finally getting more options. There is no shortage of options for straight-sized ladies, but sometimes plus-size fitness gear can be slim pickings (har, har).

1. Athleta

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

Size range: XXS-2X (00-20). This athletic giant has a wide variety of mid-priced tops, bottoms, outwear and swimsuits. Not only do they get rave reviews for quality and comfort, but also the review section allows women to rate individual features of each fit so you know exactly where something runs larger or smaller. (Pictured: Splatter Be Free knicker, $64)

2. Lands' End

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

Size range: XS-3X (0-26). Lands' End has always been a great place for affordable, yet durable, basic fitness apparel, and they've now added fitness clothing to the list. You can find high-quality tees, pants and jackets in a variety of colors. Our ladies raved about the fit. (Pictured: Half-zip pullover, $35)

3. JCPenney

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

Size range: XS-5X* (0-34). No boring black capris here! The Xersion and Made For Life house brands offer a wide range of affordable fitness clothing with the same fun patterns and styles in their plus sizes as they have in their regular sizes. While their site boasts up to a 5X in size, when I looked at their fitness gear, the largest I could find was a 3X (26W). (Pictured: Xersion half-zip jacket and side-inset capris, $28 each)

4. Old Navy

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

Size range: XS-4X (0-30). Your favorite store for fashion deals also has super affordable workout gear. While the tops, bottoms, sweats and swimsuits don't have all the technical bells and whistles, they're still well made, comfy and cute. Be sure to check the reviews on each item for more details on how it fits real women. (Pictured: Active GoDRY word-graphic tank, $15)

5. Lineage Wear

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

Size range: XS-3X. Uniquely patterned leggings are the hottest thing in yoga studios right now. Lineage Wear specializes in fun leggings that are durable enough for a Bikram session, but cute enough to wear anywhere. Each adorable pattern comes in three lengths: calf, ankle and mid-foot. (Pictured: Watercolor leggings, $58)

6. Lane Bryant Livi Active

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

Size range: 14-32. The famous plus-size retailer's new activewear line is not only comfortable and durable, but one of the few workout lines cute enough to wear on the street as well as in the gym. Fit and fabric were variable from piece to piece — so trying things on is a must. The site says sizes go up to 32, but every item we checked only went up to a 28. (Pictured: Sparkle wicking active tank, $45)

7. Under Armour

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

Size range: XS-XXL (0-18). Beloved by professional athletes for its high-performance, all-season gear, Under Armour offers basic tops, bottoms and jackets with plenty of high-end details for the serious exerciser. (Ripshot short, $35)

8. Via Privé Mamma

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

Size range: XS-XL. While this is technically a maternity line, many non-expecting plus-size women proclaimed their love for the high-quality workout gear, saying it fit and flattered their curves — no baby bump necessary. The stretchy tops, bottoms and jackets work especially well for women who carry their weight in their midsection. (Snapdragon tank, $56)

9. Miraclesuit

Adorable workout wear that's not just for size skinny

Size range: 6-24. When it comes to swimming laps or beach workouts, nothing compares to Miraclesuit for a flattering, comfortable fit. The company offers a large variety of one-piece suits, tops, bottoms and cover-ups. (Pictured: Touche colorblock swimsuit, $136)

Do you have a favorite to add to our list?

More plus-size fashion and style

New swimsuit line proves any woman can look amazing in a bikini
Why you should share Vogue's latest photo shoot like wildfire
The bogus reason Old Navy charges more for women's plus sizes

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