Gear Up: 5 Fitness Apparel Trends for Fall

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Summer swimming gives way to fall hiking, and our once too-hot-to-handle weather is whisked away by cool breezes and darker mornings.

As the seasons change, so do our workouts—and our wardrobes.

Here's some of the cutest, coolest and newest trends in fitness apparel that you can find this fall.

Fabulous Colors
The folks at Adidas were nice to send Stepfanie (our resident yogi), Tanya (our at-home exerciser and power walker) and myself (runner and fitness instructor) some samples of their latest fall line. We loved their Techfit Hoodies ($55, sizes S-XL), which took the chill off our outdoor workouts and were more than long enough in the torso and sleeves for us tall ladies. (Believe me, I have such long arms that long-sleeved shirts rarely fit and these had ample length—major bonus points in my book!) They had thumbholes, too, and pockets galore for your keys, cell phone, or goo packets. We also tried their comfy Techfit sports bra ($25, sizes S-XL) and Techfit tights, which come in 3/4 length and full length ($40-$50 respectively, sizes S-XL). These tights are smooth and silky feeling, plus have wicking ability and offer surprisingly high quality for the price. Tanya said hers felt like "second skin." We love the hot colors of these tops (bright pink, "slime" yellow, turquoise and more)—perfect for being seen outdoors during the darker mornings or evenings of fall. And since the tops ran a little large, they'll be great for layering as it gets colder.
Multitasking Essentials
I will admit it: I am officially loco for Lulu, even though it can be a little pricey. I treated myself to their Run Inspire Crop II tights ($86, sizes 2-12), which are perfect for fall. Made with "Luxtreme" fabric, they feel so soft and luxurious, but do a hardcore job of keeping me cool and dry when I run, Spin or do Pilates. Next on my wish list is their Ahead Of The Curve jacket ($128, sizes 2-12), which will be my go-to outdoor jacket for fall hikes and walks with my dog.  Probably what I love most about my Lululemon purchases is that the clothes are cute and functional enough to work in my everyday casual wardrobe as well as at the gym! I can wear my Inspire Crop tights as leggings by day and to Pilates by night. All of my tanks work well under a cardigan at work, making my transition from job to gym.
Quality at Affordable Prices
I have been increasingly impressed in the style and quality of the GapFit line available online and in Gap stores. I get so many compliments on the workout clothes I have purchased from the Gap. Not only are they super soft and comfortable, but they're available in a wide range of sizes (XS-XL, including Tall lengths) and often at amazing sale prices. I snagged some comfy sweat pants there for just $15 last weekend, and couldn't help myself from giving googly eyes to all the cute jackets, tights and workout tops they had available. Check out their new arrivals for fall here, but believe me when I say that the stores always have the best sales compared to online shopping.
Target's C9 by Champion line offers a lot of great buys, too. I think the products are well made and offer a great value for the money. They fit well, work well, last a long time, and come in all sizes, including plus sizes. This fall, snag their zip-up jackets and fitness pullovers (pictured here) for around $24.99 each. For more plus size workout apparel options, check out Beth's wonderful blog post about plus size exercise apparel.
Compression Wear
Although independent studies (like this one) have failed to prove that compression clothing provides an advantage during athletic performance, that isn't stopping people from trying it. Professional athletes (including elite runners like marathoner Paula Radcliffe) sport them during competition, and casual exercisers are getting in on the trend, too. I've seen guys at the gym wearing compression clothing from neck to ankle while they lift weights. And many runners swear by them post-workout to help alleviate soreness. I've tried a pair of knee-high compression socks ($59.95), courtesy of the brand CEP. While I love how they feel, I don't buy into the performance-boosting claims (a spokesperson from the American Council on Exercise says that is more a placebo affect that anything; if you believe they'll work, you might get a marginal benefit, but if you don't believe it, you won't). But I DO like how they feel when I wear them for a few hours after a long run, which tends to tighten up my calves. Come fall and winter, I love wearing taller socks when I run outdoors anyway, because my calves tend to be cold when the temperatures drop.
My test of compression socks wasn't exactly scientific, if you feel like compression gear is beneficial and is worth the fairly high price tag (socks alone can cost upwards of $60), then it might be a trend for you to try.
Odor Controlling Fabrics
I'm seeing more and more fitness apparel that claims to help prevent and control odor thanks to special technology. Under Armour (pictured at left) has a line of "odor control" clothing that claims to "prevent the growth of odor causing microbes." Some of Lululemon's clothes are made with "silverescent® with x-static® for anti-stink properties." I have tried the sport-specific laundry detergents, but I have not yet tried these odor-preventing clothes. My friend Marie has some of these tops and swears by them. I am generally skeptical, but would be willing to try them out. (Have any of you guys? What's your experience?)

Will you try any of these fall fitness trends? What are you seeing (and loving) in workout apparel lately?

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I'm starting to look for some workout clothes for this fall far not too excited by what I have found in stores. Report
I really like Target's Champion line, and the prices too. I can have a variety for little money. They feel good, look great, last a long time, and they carry plus sizes as well. Cute clothes, the same as the skinny workout clothes. Everyone wants us to lose weight, but they don't make comfortable exercise clothes for us to exercise in and feel good about ourselves. This includes the Sparkpeople store. Do you know what a difference it makes? Apparently not. Report
These clothes are very cute however I don't think that Lululemons are worth their price tag. Depending on how you work out, you are liable to either wear them out or grow out of them, so why bother to spend $100+ when any comfy old sweatshirt will do? Report
I love the champion line at target. it's made of the climalite/climacool fabric instead of being cotton based (like most other affordable workout clothes). i love the look of lululemon, but i would never pay the price.
think the only one that i would be interested in is the odor blocking clothing. a long workout at the gym screams for something like this. Report
I am a huge shopper of Kohl's clearance. I get tops all the time for $3-5 that are normally over $35 when they first come out. Report
Kohl's online store will sometimes have deals on fitness apparel. You can go to and search the Kohl's forum for coupon codes, also. I don't spend a lot of money on clothes, period, even though I could afford it. I'd rather save that money for a vacation or a fun party for my kids. If I still worked, was younger and went out all the time, or just had a different lifestyle, I would spend money on clothes. Not saying it is bad, but it is just a waste of money for my situation. Target and Kohl's work for me! :-) Report
I agree with the majority of the responses - i would love, love those clothes but can not afford them....but do exercise all you need to do put on any clothes and just do it!! Report
living on a fixed income I have found Wal*Mart. They have workout clothes that work well on my income. I can't afford any of these clothes. It would be nice to show clothes for people like me. Report
I am down to the point where I can wear an XL but many, many Spark people are overweight to the point where they require plus sized clothing. It is hard to find, especially in soft, breathable fabrics. How about something for the bigger Sparkers? Report
love the jacket but it is sized to small for me and way out of line with the price . also like the other things but like the coat just can not see me buying anything from this line . to to small . Report
I would love to try these, but don't have enough money to. :( Report
LOVE the "Ahead of the curve" jacket. It will be out of style by the time I can wear it, so I'll find it someplace at a discount price in 2015. I enjoy reading fashion articles - and it's okay that I'm not in the 2 - 12 size. . but. . SOMEDAY ..... I willllll beeee Report
I'm with RICU1952!!!! I challenge you Coach to do this same article with us men in mind! Report
I am with CRAFTYDEBI if the site has only Barbie sizes 2 through 12 they sure do eliminate a lot if potential buyers.
Thanks for the great information though. It helps to know what is out there especially for non competitiors who love nice work out clothes. Thank you. Report
I like NIKE clothes for exercise. Report
Nice article, but what about the guys? We always seem to be the forgotten gender. Report
I enjoyed the article and appreciated that you were inclusive of various sizes. I have the opposite problem than you as I am just over 5 ft tall and things are too long. Short gals who wear Size 14 and up could use some hints on attractive clothing and colors. Neon colors just would not work for us. Report
Yes. This is almost frustrating. Seeing as this is a site with so many different types of people. It would have been appropriate to include brand suggestions for larger women and men for that matter. But thanks for ideas for the future. Report
I will admit it: I am officially NOT loco for Lulu. When I first came down out of the 0X-1X sizes and wanted workout clothes that didn't look like flour sacks, I tried Lulu. I almost whispered to the salesgirl (yes, she was little more than a girl), "Do you carry larger sizes?" "Oh, yes!" she responded breathlessly. "We go all the way up to a size 12!" I thanked her, turned, and walked out, thinking but refraining from muttering something that rhymes with "witch." Across the mall was Lucy, a great store with XL size that can run large. Even now, when my size Large wear is starting to feel roomy, I go to Lucy and won't return to Lulu. Report
Not yet- they are all in "someday" sizes.
Loved the Lulu jacket. Report
I absolutely ADORE anything from athleta. Yes, it's a bit pricey but I love the vibrant colors and the very cute styles which are also available in plus sizes. It's cool enough today that I'll be able to wear the tights and running skirt I got a few wks ago. For a few wks now I've been wearing their capri/skirt. Having cute work-out outfits motivates me to get out there!! Report
Yeah for Fall!!! I am so ready! Texas has had a long hot summer! Report
Thank you! I love color and its so difficult to find workout clothes that have some color! Report
FAIL on article name!!!!

Should be: Gear Up: 5 WOMEN'S Fitness Apparel Trends for Fall

Always looking for a better sports bra with more breathable fabric. I need a good one considering I'm well endowed, no matter what weight I am. I hope to find some on these sites you've listed! Report
bought a new lululemon outfit for my marathon and will buy CEP socks at the expo. Report
I love my compression gear. Keeps things from jiggling so I can do much more in my workout! Report
I'm feeling better about wearing fitted workout clothes-like tights, etc. so I'll be on the lookout for some new fall gear. Thanks for the info.

PS-I still need a couple of new suits for aqua bootcamp, tho! I wish more stores sold swimsuits all year long. I'd rather try it on than go the online route. Report
Very cute choices and interesting article. Wishing for just as cute clothing for plus size 1X-3X gals. Report
My daughter wore a scoli brace for years and the tanks provided by the company had silver woven into them to help control odor. I do believe it worked. Unlike my workout clothes (which are NOT work 15 hours a day), her brace shirts never developed a lingering odor. Report
I am a lululemon girl as well for exactly the same reasons: cute, trendy and comfy apparel for both work and play. I recently bought a brigth yellow jacket from the running room for my outdoor running. The weather isn't cool enough for it just but surely it will come. Thanks for sharing advice and views on these products. Report
Love the new fall workout apparel thank you so much for sharing. Report
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