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6 Things to Look for When Buying Exercise Apparel

How to Shop for Workout Clothes


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    totally disagree on cotton. i'm finding i hate having anything other than natural fibers against my skin. I'm not a long-distance runner though, so chafing might be an issue if I did that... but I've tried the poly performance stuff and it always ends up STINKY after one wearing. with BO that won't come out in the wash no matter what I try. Cotton doesn't absorb the BO as much, and it clears right out when I wash it. Plus it does soak up my sweat. Plus it leaves ME less-stinky afterwards because it can breathe in a way the so-called 'performance' stuff doesn't. I notice a huge difference in the stink when I pull off my nylon/spandex bike shorts as compared to my cotton/spandex workout capris. If performance specialty gear works for you, great. for me, the ol' cotton t or a tank for summer is far superior. natural fibers whenever possible on this body!!! I don't workout in sweats, though, because I find they're a little too bulky. and workout gear is REALLY hard to find in larger sizes. I'm about a size 12 right now and all the bike gear I have is XXL and just barely fits. I have no idea what I'd do if I still was 235 like in high school!! I guess ride in T's and jeans probably. Oh, and I have a good friend who is seriously allergic to poly. breaks out in a rash if anything touches her skin... so I try to wear more natural fibers for that reason, too! Wool is actually awesome for wicking and staying warm when wet. Plus the wind doesn't blow through it like poly fleece stuff... - 6/11/2013 9:23:35 AM
  • Thanks. Biker shorts, shirt, legging, and my sneakers and Iam straight. - 4/28/2013 8:59:50 PM
    For the last two years I have been a consistent runner. This is the first year I have shelled out cash for "good" running clothes. I have always worn old cotton t's that are too gross to wear as anything else, and baggy sweats to hide my belly-bulge. After committing to running in the rain last winter, and spending an awful lot of time yanking up the pants and peeling off the shirts, this is my advice: if you are female (like me) and overweight (like me), go to a WOMEN's sports clothing store. They carry really nice, really tested brands. Tell the LADY sales associate what kind of exercise you do, and what you hope to accomplish. I spent nearly two hours trying on "dream" running rain gear, left with only a FANTASTIC sports bra (Moving Comfort- Juno, best $50 spent EVER!!!), and had a great LESSON on what is available, and what I really need. Now I can go to Target, Wal-Mart, etc, and be able to tell if the "cheaper" brands really could perform as well as the fancy.

    Work outs should feel good to do. That is the motivation to do them, right? It is not important to have the top of the line everything, but with a few key pieces that improve your workout experience, I think that really motivates me to run those extra miles, rain or shine. - 12/3/2012 4:35:09 PM
  • I ditched the cotton shirts for good after a particularly bad chafing episode. Technical shirts are so much better! - 8/26/2012 10:27:33 AM
  • shirts are not a problem for me, but right now i have two pairs of shorts i alternate between, now that cold weather will soon be around, i wonder what i can wear other than sweats.
    which lets face it, sweats?
    i mean i really wish i could find some alternative, but until i lose some more tummy, im not going to even entertain the idea. - 8/26/2012 8:36:51 AM
  • I love Champion workout clothes from Target. They are great. - 8/26/2012 8:33:12 AM
  • I love putting on a cheap pair of yoga capris one of the million tee shirts my mother bought me on her vacations. I do have some fancy work out clothes. I get them more as a treat when there's a sale at Dick's or Sports Authority. I'll get a top in a 'great' color. Doing more yoga I did get some shirts that don't move.

    There has be a lot more advertisement on Spark lately telling us that part of losing weight is buying stuff. They have to keep the site paid for so it's bound to creep in. - 8/26/2012 7:49:58 AM
  • Something not really mentioned under "Fit" that can be important - clothing that we can judge our basic form in, particular doing any sort of strength training, but also in something as basic as walking briskly. If we have baggy sleeves, it's hard to see the right angle at the elbow which is good form.

    Very interesting information otherwise. (And let's all be thankful the leotard mindset of the 80's and 90's has given way to more "normal" clothes for group classes.) - 6/14/2012 1:26:43 PM
  • Thanks for all the great info. I am going out the weekend to get my new work out cloths and this article is going to help so much. - 5/21/2012 11:33:00 AM
  • I wear performance fabric capri pants and a performance fabric sports bra when working out, whether it when I go jogging outside or am doing my normal zumba workout on my kinect indoors. I find I am more comfortable in these type of clothes when I do more intense cardio, but I have also worked out plenty of times in regular yoga/lounge pants and a regular sports bra. I use buying workout gear/clothes as rewards for my progress, which only feeds forward in encouraging me to work out more frequently. - 5/20/2012 3:46:20 PM
  • I like baggy clothes when i exercise but noticed that its hard to check my form when doing some moves so I have had to move to form fitting. I like cotton but I work out indoors. - 4/25/2012 9:13:08 AM
  • I like the wicking materials for when I do stuff like zumba, but it is very hard to find reasonably priced plus sized exercise clothing. Walmart and Target usually only go up to a XXL and fit extremely tight, making me even more self-conscious at the gym than usual. I'll stick to my old tshirts and shorts because I am not able to spend a ton of money on that other stuff. A good sports bra for a D cup is expensive enough, thank you. - 2/1/2012 2:28:12 AM
  • I appreciate the tips in the article and the comments. I've found great workout clothes a couple of times at the local Costco warehouse. I don't need many pair, but I feel like investing a bit more in durable, comfortable workout wear DOES make me more likely to work out, and more at ease doing it. Another tactic I use is to put my workout clothes on, a sort of cue to my mind that I WILL WORK OUT. Then I feel pretty silly if I miss my workout! I'm fine too with folks who don't care what they wear to work out, that's just not my own preference. For those who are hard to fit or who find it hard to simply FIND workout wear that fits, don't give up! In some respects workout clothes and shoes can be important for safety and protection -- just like the person who wrote about chafing showed. Companies that are making plus-size workout designs need our support so that they will continue to provide that encouragement to get out and move! - 12/7/2011 5:21:52 PM
    Crap. Maybe if you're outdoors and slowing off, but if you're indoors and going to get changed right after it doesn't matter. Even if you are outdoors, but heading right back to the warmth after, you're not going to out their long enough after your workout to get cold and icky.

    There's already enough excuses to prevent exercise, Can't Afford the Special Clothes shouldn't be one of them and articles like this perpetuate the nonsense.

    I work out in a good sports bra and my pyjama bottoms half the time and shower right after.I don't waste cash I don't need to - 12/1/2011 10:04:03 PM
  • Great advice to someone who isn't plus sized. The only work out clothes that I can find are either mens or they look old and frumpy. All the cute, fashionably work out clothes that I see would require me to lose a good 80lbs so I could fit into them. - 11/15/2011 10:52:34 AM

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