Score Style Points: Trendy Sportswear Brands Based in North Carolina




It’s always nice to buy local and support the brands that hail from the region where you live, no matter if it’s a mom-and-pop shop on Main Street or a chain brand that made it big—like how the people of Seattle and Massachusetts, respectively, are always ready to go to war in defense of their beloved Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.

When it comes to athletic wear, local brands often outpace the big spenders like Nike, which prioritize mass production and style over functional use.

The great state of North Carolina is blessed to enjoy a handful of solid sportswear brands. With a full range of outdoor activities to enjoy, from the beaches in the east to the rolling Appalachian Mountains in the west, it’s critical to dress for the occasion when you’re exercising in the Tar Heel State… and here’s everything you need to know about supporting North Carolina companies when doing so.

Carolina Apparel

If you’re placing bets in North Carolina and love to root for the underdogs, it’s hard to find a better athletic apparel brand to choose from than Carolina Apparel. A family-owned business now in its third generation of operation, Carolina Apparel is conveniently located in Selma, just outside Raleigh in Johnston County.

While they don’t make the clothing themselves—instead selling offerings from major brands like Carhartt, Salt Life, and Browning, you’ll get your pick of the litter whether you’re plan on basking in the sun, catching some waves, or heading up into the mountains.

True to its mom-and-pop identity, Carolina Apparel operates with the customer’s best interest in mind, boasting the type of perks that you simply can’t get from a mainstream wholesaler.

As someone who always likes to plan things last minute, you can’t beat Carolina Apparel’s same-day delivery offering. As long as you order by 3 p.m., you’re guaranteed to receive items that they have in stock by the end of that day.

I was worried you’d forgotten something or felt underprepared for your activity. That type of perk ensures you make it to your destination in style with everything you need.

Another great feature of Carolina Apparel is its location: based just off of I-95, it’s straightforward to get to their store, get what you need, and get right back on the road, preserving your time to spend at your final destination.

Sylvan Sport

This one manages to grab my attention based on branding alone. Founded way up in the mountains in tiny Brevard, North Carolina, in 2004, the ‘sylvan’ moniker conjures up images of beautiful, sun-dappled meadows and forest glades… which is precisely what I like to think about when I’m planning my next outdoor escapade.

Sylvan Sport started with heavy-duty equipment you need to travel in style, whether the campers and trailers that get you to your destination or the outdoor equipment you need to live a life of luxury in even the most remote camping locations.

With camping mattresses, double-wide sleeping bags, camp kitchens, and privacy tents—which, if you’ve ever spent any time on overnight backpacking trips, you’ll know is an absolute must—you won’t be able to tell if you’re staying at the Ritz Carlton or in the middle of the mountains.

Like any enterprising business, Sylvan Sport has continued to ramp up its offerings as it enjoys success, offering t-shirts, water bottles, holiday ornaments, and dog toys so that you’ll have the opportunity to represent your favorite outdoorsy brand no matter what you’re up to.

Blyss Running Apparel

While it may be designed with running in mind, Blyss Running Apparel works well no matter what sporting activity you’re participating in… and they tackle clothing industry issues.

The world of sports is one all too often defined by the gender gap, with athletic competitions and equipment catered with men in mind, and women’s sports often unfairly forced to the back burner.

That isn’t the case with Blyss, who markets their apparel as designed by women, for women, ensuring practicality and function when they create their stylish clothes.

Even better, clothes from Blyss have the magic word for any woman who’s ever bought a pair of women’s clothes… pockets!

The company offers various clothing types for different body shapes and sizes, so you know you’ll be comfortable and fashionable no matter what kind of apparel you need.

Located in Asheville, Blyss may operate with women in mind, but they don’t discriminate. There are plenty of men’s clothing opportunities, all with the same comfort and style promises.


North Carolina’s sports scene is buzzing thanks to local gems like Carolina Apparel, Sylvan Sport, and Blyss. They’re not just brands but part of our outdoor adventures from the mountains to the coast, ensuring we look good and feel great.

Supporting these homegrown heroes isn’t just about buying gear and celebrating our state’s spirit and the diverse ways we love to move. Let’s hear it for keeping it local and living it up North Carolina style!

Claire S. Allen
Claire S. Allen
Hi there! I'm Claire S. Allen, a vibrant Gemini who's as bold as my favorite color, red. I'm a fan of two cool things: strolling the streets in a red jacket and crafting articles that connect with readers. With my warm and friendly personality, Claire is sure to brighten up your day!
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