How to Choose Workout Clothes to Look and Feel Your Best

How to Choose Workout Clothes to Look and Feel Your Best

You are in the midst of a really invigorating Pilates class. You’re feeling stronger than you ever have on the Reformer and your leg circles are stretching longer. You’re totally in your element — until you realize the strap on your too snug workout top is out of place and the leggings you’re wearing are really itchy. You are totally knocked out of the zone. You try to regain your focus, but for the rest of the class, your mind keeps getting stuck on how uncomfortable what you're wearing is.

It may seem like a small, superficial detail, but the workout clothes you wear can not only impact how you feel when you look in the mirror, they can also make or break your workout.

According to a study by the Department of Health and Human Resources at Northern Illinois University, how you feel in your workout clothes can have real psychological implications, and impact your performance. It's kind of like dress for the job you want, except it’s dress for the workout you want.

So what is the secret to choosing the right workout clothes? It’s a balance between selecting clothes you won’t think about once you slip them on, and choosing items that make you feel confident, strong, and ready to take on the world. You don’t want to worry about your leggings slipping, and you also want them to make you feel like you can lean fully into every lunge.

Here are five tips to get you started on the workout wardrobe you’ll be excited to move in. 

Choose the Right Fabric for Your Workout

Not all fabrics are created equal, and, depending on your workout, you’ll want to choose the right fabric for the type of activity on your schedule. For example, if you plan on breaking a sweat, look for sweat-wicking fabrics, which are typically synthetic fabrics made with breathable properties that evaporate quickly. You can work up a sweat and, minutes later, your activewear will feel dry to the touch. 

However, if you plan on doing a lower intensity workout, lightweight cotton can be a soft, comfortable choice. Imagine doing a relaxing yoga class in cozy cotton. There’s nothing better.

Also think about the fit of the fabric. Snug, form fitting fabrics are perfect for a Frame Pilates Reformer class or a run, while looser fitting activewear is great for active walking.

Wear Vibrant Colors to Get a Major Dose of Energy

Power colors are a real thing! Wearing certain colors can boost your serotonin or make you feel more relaxed. A calming blue might be great for a yoga class, but it’s not going to get you moving during your 6 AM workout class where you need a pick me up.

According to Shape, you should choose colors that align with the mood you want to channel during your workout. Yellow will help you feel bright and awake, while red can give you a jolt of power and energy to get you through your cardio burst.

Consider How You Prefer to Take Care of Your Clothes

For those who like to throw everything in the dryer, we have some bad news. Workout clothes, especially those in moisture wicking fabrics or with spandex/stretch, last longer when they are hung to dry rather than tossed in the dryer. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this — but, if you know you’ll be tempted by the dryer every time, consider skipping the splurge-worthy activewear and opt instead for items you can replace when they wear out.

Think About Your Climate

The climate where you live — as well as the temperatures you’re planning to workout in – are important to consider when you’re shopping for workout clothes. Do you need lightweight layers that can keep you warm in chilly temps, while still allowing you to breathe and sweat? Are you in a tropical climate where UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) fabrics and breathability are critical? Do rainy days require weather resistant materials? Do you love a heated or hot yoga class? Make sure you’re outfitted to take on your workout and the environment.

Find the Brands that Work for Your Body

With so much shopping online and so many direct-to-consumer fitness brands out there, you’re probably going to do much of your activewear shopping online. That’s why finding the brands that fit your body best helps make it a more seamless process, where you can go straight to the websites that work for you and choose items that you know you’ll look and feel good in. You’ll know the styles, fits, and fabrics to order, and feel confident knowing you’ll be ready to hit the ground running (literally!). 

What other tips do you have for choosing workout clothes that make you look and feel your best? We’d love to hear them in the comments below. 
Back to blog

Leave a comment