Confession: I don’t usually sport activewear beyond the gym. I’m that guy who changes clothes about three times a day—a carefully curated ‘fit for the office, an all-black workout uniform for an EOD sweat sesh, and a loungewear ensemble at home. Then 2020 happened and I wore the same pair of running shorts for a month (er, six…)!
I promised myself to step up my WFH style this fall, but I’m still spending a lot of time at home, and something about the “socially-distant outdoor gathering” doesn’t lend itself to breaking out your Sunday best. So as soon as I heard that one of my favorite brands, COS, was launching an activewear line, the hype was real.
The COS Active collection is your ticket to dressing well this season. It is, first and foremost, serious performance gear. Yet it is also cool, casual and sophisticated enough to wear anywhere. The pieces work just as well when integrated with your casual day-to-day duds as they do when paired together for sport. Take the half-zip short-sleeved pullover jacket, for instance. It pairs with any of the bottoms from the collection, but the oversized fit and boxy sleeves make it a perfect top layer over a long-sleeve tee or rugby shirt with chinos. This collection is ideal for every occasion this fall, whether you’re working from home, working out, at a casual meet up with your friends, or trekking through the great outdoors.
That level of aesthetic refinement is a rare find in activewear, but fear not, comfort and performance are not compromised. In fact, the most satisfying part about this drop is that the most visually striking pieces are also the ones that are also chock-full of surprising performance elements. The technical scuba vest—our favorite from the set—is made of quick-dry, moisture-absorbent and water-repelling organic cotton, complete with a front kangaroo pocket and darting that gives it a supportive fit. The running trouser has flexible zips along the calves and the matching jacket has mesh panels on the arms and back for ventilation. The just-right length running shorts (5” inseam) has three zip pockets and is finished with reflective piping details.
What’s more, every single piece in the collection is sustainable, using fabrics like recycled polyester (made from pre- and post-consumer waste), recycled nylon, and organic cotton. Christophe Copin, Head of Menswear Design at COS, says that sustainability was a critical part of the design process. “We have wanted to create an active wear collection for a long time, but from the beginning we wanted it to be suitable for working out in and made from sustainable fabrics. It took us a lot of time to develop the fabrics and trims, and then the construction of the garments so that they worked with the body’s movement.”
The 10-piece collection ranges from $35 to $135 and comes in a crisp and neutral palette of olive, gray, navy, and pistachio-green.
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