What to Wear on a Wellness Retreat: Athleisure to the Rescue

Last updated February 26, 2024

What to wear on a wellness retreat is no longer a question. If it is, the answer is athleisure.

Do you really need to make a fashion statement on a wellness retreat? No. You want to dress versatile (and comfy).

Athleisure to the Rescue

In recent years, athleisure has taken the world by storm. Athleisure has come to our rescue by supplying us with practical, active, lifestyle-wear that is… well, chic.

With a combination of athletic and loungewear trends, athleisure wear is easy to adapt and style, whatever your personal taste might be. 

Whether you’re headed for a meditation retreat in a mountain resort or a yoga and surfing retreat by the sea, what to wear on a wellness retreat is no longer a question. Athleisure is something you’ll no doubt be packing. These clothes will allow you to effortlessly flow in morning yoga while also being able to feel put together for an evening out with new friends. 

What Is Athleisure Wear?

Athleisure is a hybrid of workout clothes and loungewear that doubles as leisure street style. It is normally made from workout clothing materials that’s designed in such a way that items can be worn for workouts as well as everyday life. 

This type of textile is functional and allows us to carry out a wide range of daily activities without having to think about changing or packing plenty of outfits.

You could essentially go from yoga class, to running errands to coffee with friends to the gym in just one outfit.

Athleisure is a hybrid of workout clothes and loungewear that doubles as leisure street style.

What to wear on a wellness retreat is a no-brainer. Athleisure wear is pretty much all I pack for a wellness vacation.

It allows me to be flexible in my outfits, to look and feel my best while also allowing me to be comfortable and to move or join activities whenever I need to. 

If you’re heading on a wellness retreat you’re going to want to pack athleisure wear to make sure you get the most out of your trip—and not compromise on comfort and style. 

Here are my eight top essentials to wear on a wellness retreat. 

What to Wear on a Wellness Retreat: Your Essential List

1. Sports Bra

For women, a good sports bra supports whatever type of wellness vacation you’ve opted for, especially for a wellness vacation that includes movement of any kind.

If your wellness retreat includes yoga or light movement you can opt for a bra with less support versus a running retreat where you’ll need a good high impact bra.  

Athleisure brands today make some pretty stylish sports bras while not compromising on support. 

2. Leggings 

A closet staple for any active woman, you probably have quite a few pairs of yoga pants that you swear by. 

Perfect for any activity on a wellness retreat, yoga pants allow ease of movement and comfort at the same time. 

Something to consider depending on your destination’s climate—the thickness of the fabric. A wellness retreat in Mexico warrants a much lighter fabric than a running retreat in the mountains of Colorado.

And speaking of climate, you’ll want to pack yoga shorts or capris to maximize comfort in tropical and desert climates. 

3. Shawl/Jacket

Wherever you are in the world, there’s always a chance of the weather being a little chilly in the early mornings and later in the evenings. 

As wellness retreats tend to start the day early with sunrise meditations, for example, it’s a good idea to pack a light cover-up—because let’s face it, nobody likes to be cold. 

4. Swimsuit 

A swimsuit is something I never go without. Think about packing several in case you’re heading to a beach-based or water sports retreat. 

A swimsuit also comes in handy for waterfall dips on hikes, spa pools and hot tubs. Plus it doesn’t take up much space in your suitcase. 

5. Sneakers 

Footwear might just be the most important part of any active lifestyle. A wellness retreat involving running, walking, hiking or sightseeing will need adequate footwear because we all know that exploring with blisters just ain’t nice. 

You’ll want to pack footwear that’s lightweight yet supportive and suitable for your activity. For hiking retreats, pack hiking boots sturdy enough for the trails. Don’t even try to hike difficult terrain in gym sneakers. 

It’s also important to make sure your footwear is worn-in and comfortable—make sure to order them months before your vacation so you have time to break them in.

Trying out a brand new pair of hiking boots on a 15-mile hike is just not a good idea. 

6. Sandals

Sandals are an athleisure essential for those beach and tropical retreats. I recommend sandals or flip flops without any extra straps or buckles so they are easy to take off and put on when entering a yoga shala and or strolling along a beach.

7. Fast-Drying Tees & Tanks 

You’ll no doubt be doing some kind of sweat-filled activity on a wellness retreat whether it’s hot yoga or just a walk through the humid jungle.

One of the best things you can pack are a few tanks or tees made from fast-drying fabrics. You’ll want to avoid fabrics like cotton that take ages to dry and can feel heavy and sticky on the body.

8. Rain Jacket/Windbreaker 

Heading on a tropical wellness retreat in the rainy season? You’ll definitely need a good rain jacket for exploring during all those afternoon showers. 

Sadly not all rain jackets are created equal. I highly recommend investing in a good one if you know you’re going to be outdoors on rain-filled adventures. 

While high-performance rainwear from traditional hiking brands may not be as chic as you’d hoped, there are many great athleisure brands such as Lululemon and AloYoga that are now making a few key pieces for the outdoor elements. 

What to Look for When Buying Athleisure Wear?

When it comes to what to wear on a wellness retreat, athleisure wear is all about style and comfort. You’ll want to think about both of these factors when investing in athleisure wear for your wellness retreat. 

Before buying, I usually ask myself a few questions. One: Do I look good in this? Two: Will I wear it and if yes, is it appropriate for my lifestyle? Three: Can I afford it? 

And if the answer is yes to all three, I’ll invest in these quality pieces that  I know I’ll love for years to come. 

When shopping for athleisure wear there are a few other factors to take into consideration such as sustainability and where the materials come from, brand transparency and its impact on the environment as well as the quality of the product. 

It’s smarter to invest in fewer, higher quality products that are within your budget and that you can use for years instead of cheap athleisure wear that will end up in landfill in just a few months. 

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