You're About to See Waffle Knit Athleisure Everywhere

From sports bras and leggings to hoodies and accessories, this cozy fabric is perfect for winter.
By Susan Brickell
January 07, 2021
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If you are anything like me and deep into the throes of post-holiday retail therapy, you've likely started to see soft, cozy fabrics popping up everywhere. Last winter it was all about sherpa; but for this year's hibernation season, it's waffle knit that's having a serious moment.

While you might associate waffle knit with classic henley tops and pajamas, brands are turning to the thermal fabric for everything from workout essentials (think: sports bras and leggings) to WFH uniforms (aka hoodies and joggers). It's official: Outdoor-inspired waffle knit is no longer reserved for camping. Instead, it's taking up residence in your favorite fitness studios — and even at the (IRL or virtual) office by way of a waffle knit dress. (Related: WFH-Approved Loungewear That Doesn't Make You Feel Like a Hot Mess)

Ahead, shop the best waffle knit athleisure for the season.

Out From Under Waffle Seamless Bra

Credit: URBANOUTFITTERS

This seamless, waffle knit sports bra is super soft and comfy, making it perfect for an easy yoga session, lounging at home, or layering beneath an oversized t-shirt. If you like a barely-there feel when it comes to undergarments, this was made for you — but it also has banded hemlines to offer a little extra support, without feeling constrictive.

Aerie No BS Waffle Henley Tank Top

Credit: AERIE

A cozy, no-fuss tank — what more could you want? With a racerback design and button-down front that mimics the timeless style of a henley, the textured, waffle knit top can be layered over your sports bras for at-home workouts as well as underneath flannels for camping or casual weekends.

Gap Waffle-Knit Joggers

Credit: GAP

Made of a soft cotton blend, these waffle knit joggers are the ultimate lounge pants yet are still cute enough to be your go-to travel bottoms, worn while running errands, or sported on your commute to the gym. (You'll be super thankful to have these babies to change into post-workout, rather than wearing your gross, sweaty athletic clothes home.)

Buy It: Gap Waffle-Knit Joggers, $49, was $55, gap.com

Alo Yoga Micro Waffle Comfort Bra Tank

Credit: ALO YOGA

Who says you can't rock a crop top in the dead of winter? This light-to-medium support sports bra features a fashion-forward mock neck, cropped silhouette, and waffle knit fabric to bring cozy vibes to your winter wardrobe. Bonus: A shelf liner offers extra support for all your activities, be it an early a.m. barre class or a night of Netflix. Pair it with the brand's coordinating High Waist Micro Waffle Lowkey Legging (Buy It, $108, aloyoga.com) for a cohesive look.

Everlane The Organic Cotton Waffle Henley

Credit: EVERLANE

Available in a range of versatile colors, including this beautiful cornflower blue, this classic henley thermal is made of certified organic waffle knit fabric sourced from Portugal. It has a three-button neckline, ribbed cuffs, and a boxier fit that is also quite on-trend at the moment. (Related: 10 Sustainable Activewear Brands Worth Breaking a Sweat In)

Year of Ours Thermal Veronica Legging

Credit: REVOLVE

Hand's down the cutest thermal leggings you'll ever own, these tan tights boast a warm waffle knit fabric, super flattering v-cut front, and comfortable, compressive waistband that won't fall down during squats or downward dog. Love a matching set? Splurge for the Thermal Lily Bra (Buy It, $68, revolve.com).

The Range Waffle Knit Turtleneck Mini Dress

Credit: INTERMIX

If you're looking for something that's professional enough for your work conference calls and Zoom meetings, but still casual enough for the couch, check out this turtleneck mini dress. Made of a cotton-spandex blend, this waffle knit dress is soft against the skin and also has a hint of stretch that delivers comfort all day long. It would also look pretty effortless for date night. (Also great? It's machine-washable, so you don't have to worry about a dry cleaning bill.)

IWOLLENCE Waffle Knit Casual Tunic

Credit: AMAZON

You don't have to break the bank to cash in on the waffle knit trend. This $20 top features an oversized fit (which can be easily tucked into denim or worn over leggings), a v-neckline, and comes in 23 solids and patterns to suit your style. Thanks to the affordable price tag, you could even do yourself a favor and purchase two, so you always have one ready to wear while the other's in the laundry. (Not to mention, it has also received over 500 five-star ratings from reviewers!)

Beyond Yoga Waffle Hoodie

Credit: REVOLVE

Coming from celeb-loved brand Beyond Yoga (even Jennifer Lopez counts herself as a fan!), this super cute tailored hoody makes the perfect layer, be it under a leather jacket or over a sports bra post-sweat sesh. It comes in a pretty cream heather or charcoal shade and can also be paired with the matching joggers (Buy It, $88, revolve.com).

Lulus Relax and Chill Charcoal Grey Waffle Knit Lounge Shorts

Credit: LULUS

Did you just find your next pajama short? I think so. These waffle knit babies have a comfy elastic waistband, pockets, and a flattering hemline that shows just enough skin. They're the ultimate stay-in-and-watch-Netflix bottoms. (Related: The Silk Pajama Sets You Need for a Luxurious Self-Care Sunday)

Olivewearco Waffle Knit Scrunchies

Credit: ETSY

Made from upcycled fabric, these waffle knit scrunchies are a trendier alternative to those boring, black elastic bands you're used to. They add a little flair to your activewear ensemble while keeping hair out of your face during your sweat session. What's more, they're far from tacky when sported on your wrist. (Up your scrunchie game by shopping more options here.)