Workout Clothing: Choose the Right Gear for Your Goals

Key Points

  • The right workout clothing for you depends on the exercises you're planning.

  • Moisture-wicking and comfort are essential qualities in any workout clothing.

  • Research the options and read reviews to choose the right women's workout clothing.

It's the age-old question, even when it comes to working out: What to wear? Do you know how to choose the right women's workout clothing? Part of it depends on the exercises you enjoy. Another part is your budget. Sometimes, it's a basic trial-and-error method that works the best.

Bazaar Digital Beauty Director Bridget March says, "When it comes to clothes to work out in, do you prioritize fashion or comfort? Many of us fall somewhere in the middle. We may splurge on a pair of compression leggings designed to wick sweat and aid recovery, but on top, we're wearing an old, oversized cotton T-shirt.

"So, does it really matter what you wear in the gym? Well, research says it does, revealing a direct correlation between what we wear and how we perform, as well as our motivation levels and even likelihood of injury."

Here are a few tips on how to choose the right women's workout clothes to suit your style, budget, and fitness functions.

Consider the Type of Exercise

It's common sense that the type of exercise you decide upon helps to determine what you need to wear. For example, runners want breathable bottoms and high-impact tops, while yogis opt for flexible leggings and form-fitting tops.

When choosing workout attire, you need to consider the type of exercise and what you're comfortable wearing. For high-impact exercises, you need a sports bra to maintain comfort. For stretching or low-impact workouts, like yoga, you don't. Some women run hotter than others and sweat faster. You might want a racerback tank and short shorts for comfortable workout attire, while someone else is comfortable in sweatpants and long sleeves, even for the same workout.

Women's workout outfit

Look for Breathable and Moisture-Wicking Materials

As you look at options, watch for moisture-wicking activewear to keep your comfort intact through any workout. Moisture-wicking properties keep you dry and comfortable, even if you sweat during your workout. Your skin remains dry and you don't get a chill once you complete your exercises.

The best workout gear often includes moisture-wicking properties, so ditch cotton if you're looking to get your sweat on. Sports bras, shirts, tank tops, yoga pants, shorts, shoes, and even underwear come in moisture-wicking materials. When in doubt, go with a product that is moisture-wicking. If top-rated brands like Under Armour aren't in your budget, don't sweat it. There are plenty of affordable alternatives.

Choose the Right Fit

Quality workout apparel needs to fit correctly. If you have a man in your life, they may be able to buy a certain size without trying it on. They know it'll fit well. However, it's different for women. You want to try on your workout clothing essentials to ensure they fit well. You need enough room to move, but you don't want the items to be too loose or too tight.

Woman pulling weighted rope

Fit matters in performance. If you wear a too-tight shirt, you may feel like moving around correctly isn't possible when you do yoga. On the other hand, if your sports bra is too loose, you're in pain when you run. The fit of your stylish gym clothes directly relates to how you perform each workout.

Prioritize Comfort

When choosing clothes for work, a wedding, or another stylish activity or event, appearance matters. One of the best exercise clothing tips is to prioritize comfort. You need to move freely in items that don't irritate your skin, bother you, or cause other discomfort.

Consider what's comfortable for you. Comfortable fitness clothes for you may be different than options for other women — and that's okay. So be it if you are comfortable in sweatpants and an old T-shirt. Some people like wearing a sports bra and running shorts, while others want extra coverage. Concentrate on your workout and not your discomfort when choosing workout attire.

Woman in workout outfit

Opt for High-Quality Materials

When choosing workout attire, look for high-quality materials, not just the cheapest. Any clothing purchase is an investment, and you are better off finding women's workout clothes that last so you don't have to repurchase those items any time soon. Once you find something that makes you comfortable, you want it to maintain durability.

Check the material listings on any workout apparel you consider. Quality workout apparel brands have high reviews because they're made to last. Take advice from workout experts to find items that function well for you.

Consider Style and Fashion

Stylish gym clothes are important, even if the style is second to functionality. It's best to feel confident when you work out in the gym, go on a run in your neighborhood, or even lounge around home. Choose comfortable fitness clothes that have a fashionable style.

Stretching before a run

Every woman has her own sense of style. What's yours? You may like a particular color, a lively pattern, or something fitted. It takes time to figure out your workout style, but trying a few items helps determine the best look — and feel — for you.

There are a variety of workout clothing essentials that go along with the basics. Accessories like headbands, socks, and sneakers impact your overall exercise experience. You want items that are functional, comfortable, and fit within your budget range.

If you have long hair or hair that hangs around your face, the best workout gear includes a slip-proof headband. Anyone exercising needs a good pair of shoes; some options suit hiking, running, gym workouts, and everything in between. Socks are another item you want to have moisture-wicking properties and proper foot support.

The basics take you a long way in putting forth high effort in your workout, but blisters form if your feet get hot and sweaty because of bad socks. If your hair is in your face, you have to pause what you're doing to brush it away, taking away from the intensity of your workout. The fitness accessories you choose make a massive difference in the overall performance of your exercises.

Woman with sports bra and jump rope

Read Reviews and Do Research

Researching the options before you make a purchase gives you confidence when you finally decide to buy something. If you want something specific, look for workout clothes buying guide options. It's a great way to read through the many choices available and narrow in on what suits your needs.

Reviewers are often brutally honest, and if you see a specific workout clothes buying guide with many positive reviews, that product will likely do an excellent job for you as well. On the other hand, if buyers have issues with something you're considering buying, you are more likely going to have that problem, and it's better to look elsewhere.

Where To Find Workout Gear

There are various places to find and buy workout gear for your exercise needs. If you like to try clothing items on first, go to the fitness stores or other area clothing stores that carry activewear attire. Try an assortment of options to get an idea of what works for you. Then, make your purchases and know better what you want to order from online stores.

Women in white outfit doing sit ups

Shopping online gives you endless options for quality workout gear to research thoroughly. Whenever you purchase something online, ensure there are good return policies in case the item doesn't fit right or work for your needs once it arrives.

Remember that the right workout gear is only going to enhance your favorite exercises. Your workouts hit another level once you find high-quality apparel that fits well and looks great, no matter your activity.

Looking for more tips on staying fit and working out? Subscribe to Fit&Fab for tons of articles on running, working out, and thriving.

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