Plus-Size Women Now Have More Sportswear Options

By Jonathan Lee

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For some women, dressing for the gym is easy — simply throw on a sports bra, a tank top and a pair of shorts or leggings, and you’re ready to go.

But other women have a much harder time shopping for sportswear. In fact, surveyors have found that many plus-size women have to turn to the men’s department to find workout clothes that fit.

“Consumer reports show that over 65% of women in the US wear plus-size clothing, which is defined as apparel over a US size 14,” according to a study from Washington State University. Yet most popular sportswear brands only go up to size 12.

Thankfully, Nike has finally offered a solution to this dilemma. While the iconic athletics brand has offered plus sizes for a while, it recently expanded its range of clothing available for women sizes 1X through 3X to more than 85 specific products this holiday season. By spring 2017, plus-size offerings will double for more than 200 products.

“Nike recognizes that women are stronger, bolder, and more outspoken than ever,” the brand said in a statement to Refinery29. “In today’s world, sport is no longer something that she does, it’s who she is. The days where we have to add ‘female’ before ‘athlete’ are over. She is an athlete, period. And having helped fuel this cultural shift, we celebrate these athletes’ diversity, from ethnicity to body shape.”

The pieces are designed not only for sizing, but also for athletic performance. Each product must pass six core movement tests: lunging, squatting, bending, rotating, pushing and pulling.

Best of all, they don’t sacrifice style for size. The range includes zip-up hoodies, graphic long-sleeve T-shirts and cool leggings that you’ll want to wear even outside of the gym.

Here are a few pieces from Nike’s plus-size range to help you keep your New Year’s resolution to hit the gym more:

Nike Dry Training Tank

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Nike Dry Training Tank, $40, nike.com

Nike Pro Hyperwarm Printed Training Tights

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Nike Pro Hyperwarm Printed Training Tights, $52.50, nike.com

Nike Sportswear Modern Cardigan

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Nike Sportswear Modern Cardigan, $75, nike.com

Nike Pro Hyperwarm Long Sleeve Training Top

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Nike Pro Hyperwarm Long Sleeve Training Top, $52.50, nike.com

It’s hard to understand why the fashion industry has taken so long to embrace the plus-size consumer, but hopefully, more athletic brands will follow Nike’s example and “Just Do It.”

Jonathan Lee

Web Fashion Editor