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How to Choose the Right Workout Clothes

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If you spend time working out, you need great workout clothes! Skip the painful clothing experience and check out these tips on choosing workout clothes

If you spend time working out, you need great workout clothes! Skip the painful clothing experience and check out these tips on choosing workout clothes

You know that old adage “No Pain, No Gain”?  It’s actually one of my least favorite sayings, especially when it comes to fitness clothing. Who needs painful clothing experiences? I think it’s an understatement to say that proper workout clothing can make or break your workout.

I have made some poor clothing choices in the past and I found myself constantly tugging on my shorts or readjusting my sports bra so much that I missed the best parts of my workout. The right clothing can make a difference!

If you’re starting to get more serious about your fitness and need to invest a little more into your workout attire, then listen up: there are some things to pay attention to when looking at new workout clothes. Here are some tips for getting the right workout clothing so you can perform your best:

Check the seams

Seams that are going to sit right against your skin should be flat, covered, or smooth. Even better, find clothing with minimal seams to reduce friction and rubbing. This might not be a big consideration when you’re doing shorter workouts, but when you are committing to an endurance event like a marathon, make sure you really check the seams or you can chafe badly. This goes for socks, too, and underwear

Train and compete in the same clothes

If you’re planning an endurance event, train in the clothing and shoes you plan on using during your event. Make sure you plan ahead and decide which pieces of clothing you will use during your event so you can log some training hours in them to make sure they will work for your event.

If you spend time working out, you need great workout clothes! Skip the painful clothing experience and check out these tips on choosing workout clothes

Fitness clothing should move with you without riding, bunching, or falling down


Way back when, I used to think that getting clothing made for exercise was silly. A baggy t-shirt and a pair of random shorts was good enough, right? But after becoming a fitness professional and working out a lot more, I discovered that the concept of actually investing in good fitness clothing and shoes wasn’t such a far-fetched idea.

If it’s important to you, take some time to find good clothing that lasts and performs well. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it does need to fit what you are doing and how often you are working out!

Be fabric smart

There are lots of fabrics out there, but when it comes to activities where you will be sweating heavily or getting wet (like an obstacle race), you should choose quick drying synthetic fabrics. Cotton is nice for everyday, but when you’re doing a marathon or obstacle race, it’s not such a great idea. I learned that the hard way during my first mud run: baggy cotton tees get super heavy when you hit the water!

Layer up

If you’re working out in chilly weather or in areas where the weather changes rapidly (like the mountains), choose light items that you can layer. Ultra-light layers will keep you warm to start and you can shed the layers as you need.

Get specific

Sometimes fitness clothing has a very specific purpose for what it’s made for. Like running shorts may not work great for yoga, and low impact yoga bras won’t provide enough support for high impact running.

There are lots of great companies that make multi-purpose fitness clothing and you can find plenty of workout clothing items that are multipurpose. But sometimes it pays to invest in sports-specific gear.

Another great example is cycling clothing. If you’re doing occasional recreational riding, you don’t need to worry about anything made specifically for cycling. But if you are spending a lot of time on a bike, you’ll want padded bike shorts, long bike shirts, and good bike shoes.

Blog post image photo by Form on Unsplash

24 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right Workout Clothes”

  1. Always choose a fabric that pulls away the sweat from your body. Fabrics that are known to provide wicking, are definitely the best for workout clothes.

  2. I like tip # 3. It is so right! For an effective workout, not to mention inspiring, we need to invest especially in workout shoes. I always allot an amount for a pair of CrossFit shoes. It’s an investment that lasts for many years.

  3. I agree with training and competing in the same clothes or at least similar. I remember in high school when they gave us totally different training gear and uniforms. We all sucked the first few games because things felt so different.

  4. I always get scared to buy work out clothing on line because I have NO CLUE how anything is going to fit! I have so many things in so many different carts but I am toooooo scared to actually purchase! Ha.

    • Thank you Rachel! I haven’t had too many problems with chafing, but a couple months ago I walked on my treadmill for an hour in a baggy cotton t-shirt and that didn’t work out very well!

    • Investing a little makes a big difference! I’m not into the super high end stuff (you pay more for the brand name than anything), but there are lots of good things in the middle of the “budget road” that works really well

  5. I love Champion! I’m always checking out the new stuff when I go to Target. It’s never let me down and holds up to almost anything

  6. So cute & always have loved certain bras from them. They contacted me on the jacket but I am a bit upset not the rest of the goodies you got! ๐Ÿ™‚ I would not use the jacket here right now so I asked for a bra. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Oh you look adorable in these!! Love that jacket! Is it bad that I just wear my workout gear everywhere now that I’ve invested in it lol! unless I’m at work I probably have something on to workout in – I guess that’s better than being in sweats all the time right?

  8. I love this roundup of tips! I used to not invest in “exercise clothing” either, but once I actually did I realized just how important it is to have quality clothing to workout in!


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