From wearing sweats or a pair of black leggings with an oversized T-shirt for working out to being spoilt for choice by brands that invest time, money, and technology on gym wear, I think we cannot get more lucky. And, thanks to all these brands, preparing to sign up for the gym, yoga class or a body sculpting session has gotten twice as exciting. It all starts with comfortable and breathable clothing. Choosing the right bra, and dressing according to your body type and the form of workout you are interested in are vital too. I know it can be quite overwhelming, but we all need to start somewhere, and the good news is, you have come to the right place.
Let’s look at some of the best workout clothing brands first, and then understand how to choose gym wear according to your workout activity and, of course, your body type.
10 Best Workout Clothing Brands For Women
From yoga pants to jackets, hoodies, accessories, shoes, and just about anything you can think of, Nike is the answer. It caters to every kind of workout and body type for both men and women, plus it is constantly innovating its design technique for better comfort and style.
Adidas focuses on the aesthetics of your outfit while keeping the design quotient intact. It is budget-friendly and stylish, and caters to people with varied tastes and personalities. A one stop solution for all your athletic needs.
3. Under Armour
‘Under Armour’ is your go-to brand for any physical activity-related clothes. What started gaining popularity for undergarments etc., has branched out into apparel – and succeeded too! It then introduced lines like ‘Hot & Cold Gear’, which is one of its kind. Under Armour in two words – long-lasting and comfortable.
Not many people know that Reebok has been a subsidiary of Adidas for over a decade now and been in the active wear manufacturing business for 60 years. It is constantly upping its game to make workout clothes fancy, comfortable, and affordable all at the same time. Reebok is the official apparel partner for Cross Fit, Spartan Race, etc., so if you are a Cross Fit enthusiast, you know what to choose.
Fabletics proves that you don’t have to be boring just because you are working out. It offers attractive, funky, and comfortable workout clothing in designs you do not see everywhere. Fabletics is all about breathable and fashionable active wear.
If you are a football fan, you need no introduction to the third largest active wear brand in the world. It is the official sponsor of the biggest football clubs in the world, and there’s a reason for it. Its shorts, shoes, and sports jackets are some of the best sellers. From casual footwear to clothes for extreme sports, it offers everything.
7. Olympia Active wear
Kaili Lickle started this brand after graduating with a degree in design and visual merchandising. The idea was to find the missing piece in the athleisure sector and to make functional and straightforward clothing. With soft fabrics, soothing colors, refined styles, and pleasing silhouettes, it is a favorite brand of many. Who would have thought active wear could be elegant?
8. Outdoor Voices
‘Outdoor Voices’ is a brand that started with a bang. Its clothes are made of four different kinds of fabrics – textured compression, mossed jersey, stretch crepe, and rec poly – something we have practically not seen before. Be it a hike with friends, a walk with your dog, your daily HIIT workout or anything else that involves moving around, it has so much to offer, and all things exciting. If you are not sure where to begin, it offers you “kits”, you just have to walk into one of its stores or visit the website.
Lululemon is everywhere; I am just telling you in case you have been living under a rock or are new to the athleisure game. It is a technical athletic apparel brand that started off as a design studio that was also moonlighting as a yoga studio. Then, it started designing specifically for yoga. It aimed to share and build a community that helps and encourages healthy living and makes it a way of life. With excellent customer feedback and a growing customer base, it moved on to making clothes for running, cycling, and other forms of physical training. With stunning looking apparel and accessories, Lululemon is a must-try for any fitness enthusiast.
Asics is a Japanese corporation that primarily started off by making shoes for basketball, and then moved on to specializing in shoe-making. It started to get famous after officially distributing for Olympics. From there, it expanded its horizons into manufacturing sports equipment and apparel. You can shop according to your activity, sport, and functionality, the options are quite elaborate and specific.
Workout Clothing Tips
1. Gym – Cardio & Weight Training
Gym workout is all about cardio and weight training, which means you need comfortable outfits to run, stretch, and squat. Look for bottoms that are stretchable yet well fitted. Your top cannot be too deep for obvious reasons. You definitely will need a good supportive sports bra; so, make sure you invest in a good sports bra. You will also need good running shoes and gloves for your weight training.
2. Outdoors – Walking, Running, And Hiking
If you are running or walking in moderate weather conditions, then your regular tracks pants, leggings or tights (or even shorts if it is summer) are perfect. See if you can find pants that naturally regulate temperature and have a waistband that is taut. For hiking, everything depends on where you are going – if it is around your area, you can wear your regular workout wear, if it’s in a new place or city, check the weather and do a thorough research before you set out because it can make or break your experience.
3. Zumba/ HIIT
Zumba is a high intensity exercise, though some variants can be of medium intensity. It involves a lot of moving, running, and jumping around in your space, so you need to wear pants that are dry fit and keep you comfortable. So is the case with other forms of HIIT training, which goes on for a shorter period but takes everything you have in that little span. You need something that can handle sweat. A good supportive sports bra and shoes that protect your soles are must-haves too!
Wear tops that are well fitted or something that is a little longer than usual because it will involve a lot of sitting, twisting, and moving up and down – so you need something that fits well, and is not too revealing. It has to be stretchable, but not something that rides up. Look for pants that have a thicker waistband. For the upper body, wear tank tops or T-shirts that come with padded support. Another important thing that most of us tend to ignore is our underwear, wear something seamless; otherwise it can look awkward.
5. Swimming Or Water Workouts
Swimming and water workouts fall under low impact workout category, but then, you need a good swimsuit with padded support that gives you good coverage. Most importantly, carry a waterproof SPF lotion that protects you from the sun. Invest in a cap, because your hair will invariably get frizzy after a point otherwise, especially if this is your primary workout routine. Also, it might be a good idea to consider aqua shoes if you do aqua aerobics workout – they protect you from injuries and provide you a good grip on the pool’s surface. It is especially great if you are a non-swimmer.
To begin with, you do not need any shoes for kickboxing because you will be barefoot anyway. You will, however, need a nice pair of stretchable running tights, tracks or shorts. Wear a high impact sports bra and top it with a nicely fitted tank that is not too loose, because it will ride up a lot. So, wearing deep necks and regular bras is not a great idea. If you are comfortable with wearing just a padded bra that doubles up as a crop top, go ahead. And you need gloves, which is often provided for beginners.
Dressing up for a pilates session is very similar to going for a yoga class, except that you might sweat much more than you would in a yoga class. You need clothes that keep you comfortable on the mat, and there’s also pilates equipment you would be using as you advance into the workout. And, since pilates involves a lot of leg movements, it’s best to wear capris or shorts, tank tops, and cap or half sleeve tops without hoods, etc. Whatever you choose to wear for your pilates class, make sure that it is not slippery. Also, take off any body jewelry.
Workout Clothes According To Your Body Type
- For Pear Shaped Body Type
The idea is to steer attention away from the lower body and channelize it towards your upper body, making it look proportionate. So, wearing plain colors for the top with cap sleeves and a balloon cut, dark or flared (or both) at the bottom, is a smart way to work with your body.
Avoid – Wearing pants with side stripes that make your legs look bulkier; the idea is to even out the silhouette.
You want to work your way up to creating an illusion of a curvaceous body. The easiest way is to add definition with striped pants, padded racerback or halter tops, or something in those lines. Just break the silhouette with patterns, prints or colors.
Avoid – Wearing the same color from head to toe will make your body look straight.
Keep the top loose and be smart about it by opting for tops that either have a tie-able waist or a balloon-like design that is loose at the waist. It should be flowing, but not too loose or too tight. Knee-length spandex kind of pants are your best bet; plus loose at the top and tight at the bottom is a foolproof combination.
Avoid – Wearing both loose clothes for the top and the bottom. Stay away from anything flared or baggy. You can still pass off with loose T-shirts, but they also should not be oversized.
Since you are fuller on the lower part of your body when compared to the upper body, wear track pants with a relaxed and straight fit, not too loose, neither too tight. Pair it up with slimmer tops that complement your figure and the bottoms.
Avoid – Wearing flared or sweatpants that will bulk up your lower part even more.
V or scoop neck tank tops with padding, slimmer T-shirts with or without sleeves or just about anything goes well with your body. Just do not wear clothes that billow out for no reason. Shorts, basketball shorts or any printed fitted tracks look great on you.
Avoid – You only need to remember that you cannot wear anything that is too loose – it would make you look unnecessarily broad.
- Workout Clothes For Summer
Workout clothes for summer need to be breathable and minimal, depending on how hot it gets in your part of the world. Keep them airy and short, and go for racer backs and well-supporting bras. Full track pants can get quite hot after a point, especially if are going for a run. However, remember that there’s a thin line between dressing comfortably and being sleazy that people do not appreciate, so be wary of these things. Also, for what it’s worth, wear a good body spray or mist before you go for a workout; or it can be a real turn off.
- Workout Clothes For Winter
It’s hard to wake up and go for that run in winters, or even just hit the gym indoors. But how cold are we talking about? You are a better judge of where you live, and how cold it is. But, if it is really really cold, you can get your hands on one of those thermal tights or track pants. Also, you can opt for knee-length woolen socks, gloves, headband, and regular running shoes. You will need quite a few layers if you are going to workout outdoors, like a sports bra, a well-fitted full sleeves top, and a puffy jacket. If you are working indoors, there will be temperature control, and you can peel them off as you please.
Get out of your comfort zone of wearing loose, ill-fitted T-shirts for working out and start wearing clothes that you dream of fitting in someday. One – it does not matter what size you are, just be confident; two – it is great motivation. Trust me when I vouch for looking stylish while working out – there’s a high in looking at yourself in the mirror, looking fabulous – it makes you kick some ass, real hard. Be fab, be stylish, be fit, but mostly, just be you.