How to Start a Fitness Clothing Line

Alex Galindo

8 mins read

Got your own gym or any fitness-related business? Been creating online content on health, nutrition, and wellness? Then you’re just a few steps away from creating your own fitness clothing line.

Whether you’re really into fashion or simply want to make the most out of your current business, creating a fitness clothing line is a great way to diversify your offerings and maximize profits. With the global market for sports and fitness clothing being projected to hit $221.3 billion in 4 years, now’s the perfect time to establish your footing in the industry and take advantage of this lucrative niche.

And in this blog, we’ll explore exactly how you can create your own custom fitness clothing line without breaking the bank.

Choosing the Right Name and Brand Identity

Of course, it all starts with coming up with a name. Pick something that encompasses your values, brand identity, and aesthetics. The key here is to have a vision for the entire brand and everything should revolve around it. If you have an existing business or online presence that’s related to the niche such as a podcast channel on nutrition or a health-focused blog, then using the same name or brand across all platforms is a great way to create synergy and consistency.

If you’re starting from scratch and you’re quite clueless about branding, then you can use a business name generator. You can also check out this Awkward Styles guide on how to come up with the right name for your business. Keep in mind that whatever name you end up choosing, you should check first if it’s available and not yet trademarked by someone else.

Refining Your Brand

Once you’ve chosen the right name, it’s time to refine your brand identity. What colors or style do you want your clothing line to follow? What message do you want to send out? How should your audience feel when they wear the clothes you create? All of these should be incorporated into your brand design.

Your brand identity should be consistent across all platforms, including your website, logo design, and your future collections. Thus, you should also create a style guide that outlines how you want your brand to be presented and followed. This includes the font type, colors, imagery, and overall aesthetic. For inspos, you can check out some of today’s most popular activewear brands.

To Niche Down or Not To Niche Down?

Now, here’s the big question: should you go for a niche-specific fitness clothing line or create something that caters to all kinds of demographic? Well, it really depends on who your target market is and your current business model.

For instance, if you own a gym and the majority of your customers are women, then it would be wise to focus on designing workout clothes for women. You can even go the extra mile and focus on specific age groups such as millennials, working adults, or stay-at-home moms. This will give you the opportunity to create clothes that are more tailored, stylish, and functional for your target market. Plus, you can tailor your marketing messages to resonate better with them.

On the other hand, if you have a wellness-focused online platform that caters to all kinds of demographics, then creating a more general line of fitness clothing might be the way to go. While it may be difficult at first to filter out the styles that appeal to all age groups, this can be a great way to reach out and make more people aware of your brand. Plus, if you already have an established following, using your current logo and branding on your pieces can already give your fitness clothing line a head start.

Choose a Production Direction

how to produce a fitness clothing line, custom manufacturing vs print on demand

Now, onto the more technical aspects of production. Are you planning to hire a team, outsource materials and labor, or do it all yourself? This can be a tricky question as it will depend largely on your budget, resources, and time. Here are two of the most cost-efficient and practical approaches to consider:

Custom Manufacturing

With this option, you can design unique pieces from concept to delivery with the help of experts. Awkward Styles has low custom manufacturing minimums, and competitive pricing. We can work with you from start to finish to create your ideal fitness clothing line. Learn more about it here.

This method is perfect for brands that feel like print on demand isn’t quite a fit. It gives you the freedom to improve upon products that are already on the market, and to stand out. However, keep in mind that it does require upfront investments as opposed to the print on demand business model.

Print on Demand

If you don’t have the resources to commit to a full manufacturing production line yet, then print-on-demand is definitely the way to go. This method takes care of all the work for you from keeping inventory, and printing to packaging and shipping the items. All you have to do is choose a print-on-demand service provider, upload your designs, select the materials, and then wait for the finished products.

The great thing about this method is that you only have to pay when someone orders your clothes. This ensures that you don’t end up with too many unsold items and at the same time and it allows you to test out different designs without any initial investment. You can also use your print-on-demand partner’s mockup generator to start marketing your products and making product listings without having to wait for the finished products.

Choosing Your Products

After picking the production direction that works best for your business, it’s time to finally get down to the nitty-gritty of designing and creating your fitness apparel. Of course, it all starts by choosing your canvas, which in this situation refers to the actual pieces that you want to design and sell. Here are some of the most popular items that you can add to your fitness clothing line:

Athleisure or Performance Wear?

athleisure vs performance wear, fitness clothing line ideas

While many people use these terms interchangeably, there is actually a big difference between the two. Athleisure clothing focuses more on comfort and style, while performance wear is specifically designed with the intention of being used while exercising or working out.

The good thing about athleisure wear is that it crosses over to many different lifestyles and trends. Whether it’s an outdoor yoga session, a hike in the woods, or even lounging around at home, there are many designs and styles that you can explore. On the other hand, performance wear is specifically made to help athletes and fitness enthusiasts achieve maximum performance while they train or work out at the gym.

Choosing between these two styles right from the start will help you decide on the type of fabrics, colors, and designs that you want to include in your line. Nonetheless, there are pieces that can still work for both categories, so you can also opt to create a mix of styles if you want.


Hoodies and sweatshirts are a staple in any wardrobe. Whether it’s for keeping warm, making a fashion statement, or just simply lounging around, these garments offer unparalleled comfort and style. When it comes to fitness apparel, you can play with various fabrics and colors to create pieces that not only reflect your brand’s identity but also provide comfort and functionality to the wearer.

For the design, you can either go for a minimalist, classic look by simply putting your brand’s logo and making subtle variations on the design or you can go for a bolder approach to really stand out from the crowd. For instance, you can add interesting details such as asymmetrical closures, drawstrings, and designs on the hood or on the sleeves.

Tank Tops/Racerbacks

Cool and comfy tank tops or racerbacks are also a popular choice for fitness apparel. Thanks to their sleek and lightweight design, these pieces can be worn for a variety of activities such as running, yoga, or even just for a casual hangout session.

When it comes to creating designs, you can play with bold colors and unique prints or go for a more minimalist style by sticking to basic colors and adding a small logo or slogan. You can also personalize these pieces by letting your customers choose the color options and add their own name or text to the design.


Finally, accessories are also a great way to round out your fitness apparel collection. By adding small, lightweight pieces such as headbands, hats, and gym or tote bags, you can create a more complete look and offer your customers the convenience of having everything they need in a single place.

These items are also a great way to showcase your brand and increase visibility since most people who wear headbands or hats out in public will be seen by many. The good thing about accessories is that no matter the style you decide to go for, there are many unique and creative designs that you can incorporate.

Design Tips

Got your product list ready? Here are some design tips to help you create a unique and appealing collection of fitness apparel:


Color palettes for fitness clothing line

When it comes to choosing colors for your designs, you can always use your brand’s color palettes to set the tone. However, to create impactful pieces that stand out from the crowd, you can also explore bold and vibrant color combinations.

The key is to make sure your chosen color combinations match the color of the actual pieces you’ll be printing on. For instance, if your design will be printed on a black t-shirt, then you can play with lighter or even neon colors to create a bold and eye-catching look.

To know more about color-matching techniques, you can check out this guide by the Awkward Styles team.


Fonts for fitness clothing lines, different font types

Because you may be working with limited space for your designs, make sure to choose fonts that are easy to read. Sans serif fonts work great in this case since they don’t have the small details of serif fonts and can help you convey your message quickly. Plus, they give a powerful vibe which makes them ideal for fitness apparel.

But since different art styles are now becoming increasingly popular, you can also try using script fonts for a more feminine look or experiment with bolder typefaces to create an edgier vibe. Feel free to experiment with different fonts and styles to see what works best for your brand and the pieces you’re creating.

Size and Placement

The size and placement of your designs should depend on the purpose and message you are trying to convey. For instance, you can have a larger design on the chest or back for maximum impact and visibility or small logos placed on the chest and/or back of the pieces for a more subtle look.

Also, play with the size and placement of your design elements to make sure they look right on the actual pieces you’ll be printing. If you’re printing t-shirts, try to make sure that your designs fit in the areas between the shoulder seams.

Marketing Tips

Brand storytelling tips

Ready to start designing your fitness clothing pieces? Well, to make sure that your collection is successful, here are some marketing tips you can use:

Create a Brand Story

Creating a compelling brand story that resonates with your audience is key to developing a successful fitness apparel collection. By crafting an interesting story, you can give potential customers more insight into your brand and why they should choose your product.

For instance, you can talk about your inspiration for starting the business such as your personal fitness journey or the struggles you faced when getting started. This allows potential customers to connect with your narrative and become emotionally invested in your brand, making them more likely to make a purchase.

Know Your Target Market on a Deeper Level

Apart from doing the usual market research, you should also take time to learn more about your target market. This is important because knowing their needs, wants, and preferences will help you come up with designs and marketing strategies that are tailored to their specific tastes. See what and who they follow on social media and take note of their style and design preferences. You can also create a community for them by utilizing your pages or making groups and interacting with them regularly.

Make Sure Your Products are Visible

This one’s a no-brainer. Using social media and other online platforms is now a must if you want to increase visibility and reach more potential customers. Make sure to post regularly, engaging content that resonates with your audience and will draw them in. You can also create videos and other interactive content to make your products stand out from the competition.

Tap Into the Power of Influencers

Looking for influencers in your niche is an easy way to get word-of-mouth referrals and attract new customers. However, don’t just pick any influencer that has a large following; make sure that their content is in line with your brand’s message and style. You can also create partnerships with influencers or offer discounts for their followers to increase brand visibility and promote your products.

Create a Buzz with Pre-orders

Finally, before your big launch, you can create hype by offering pre-orders for your collection. This is a great way to gauge demand and interest in your product before it hits the shelves. You can also use this as a way to test out new designs and ideas and get feedback from your customers before you officially launch the collection.

That’s a Wrap!

We hope this guide has given you both the inspiration and information you need to create your very own fitness apparel collection. With these tips, you can create a successful and profitable clothing line that resonates with your target market and helps you stand out from the competition.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start designing!

Ready to start your own fitness clothing line? Create a free Awkward Styles account and browse over 150 customizable print on demand products.

Affiliate Disclosure:

This blog contains some affiliate links. We may earn a commission if you use these links to buy something (at no added cost to you).

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