Dress for Success: Your Guide to Plus-Size Workout Clothes

By , With Research by ~INDYGIRL
If you've ever embarked on a weight loss journey, you'll probably agree that the process can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to change the way you think, eat, and move, but you also have to set yourself up to succeed at those changes. One of the most underrated ways to keep up a steady stream of motivation and positive results is by buying proper workout clothes.
Think about it: trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle without quality, functional workout gear is like stocking your pantry full of junk food and then wondering why you can't find anything healthy to eat in the house. Just as you have to set yourself up to succeed with your diet, there are certain things you have to do to help you meet your fitness goals. Chances are, if you're working out in clothes that aren't made for exercise, you're not going to be comfortable or confident, and will ultimately end up hindering your results. It's amazing what workout clothes can do to elevate your motivation, performance, and outlook on fitness.
~INDYGIRL, a SparkPeople member who has lost over 160 pounds, agrees:
''Before I started my journey to weight loss and better health, I thought that ''active wear'' was only reserved for people who want to show off how gorgeous they already look.  Well, my mindset has finally changed. Losing 166 pounds with SparkPeople has taught me that workout clothes are a must for getting fitter.  Without them, it is harder to be motivated to work out.  Workout clothes help get you in the mindset that you are a person getting better, getting fitter, and fulfilling your own dreams."
Like ~INDYGIRL, you might feel intimidated at first when you think about purchasing workout clothes. But it doesn't have to be that way! Sure, buying active wear can be new and scary, but it can also be empowering at the same time. Not only are you investing in a pair of breathable workout shorts, but you're also investing in your future health. When you put on those new exercise clothes, you'll stand a little taller because you're changing your body for the better, inside and out— and you'll look great while doing it!
If you're anxious that you won't be able to find any workout clothes in your size, don't worry-- all it takes is a little research to discover that there really are attractive, functional, and high-quality plus-size exercise clothes available out there. You just have to dig a little deeper to find them! We had ~INDYGIRL provide us with a guide to some of her favorite typical mall stores and chains that carry plus-size active wear. 
Name Average Price Sizes Offered What They Sell
Aeropostale $10 (top) - $30 (hoodie) W: XS –3X
M: S – 3X
Tops and hoodies.
Avenue $5 (camisole) - $50 (jacket) W: 14/16 – 30/32
M: N/A
Pants, tops, jackets, and shoes.
Dick's Sporting Goods $25 (shorts) - $250 (jacket) W: S – 2X
M: S – 3X
Tops, bottoms, jackets, hoodies, bras, outerwear, running shoes. Brands: Adidas, ASICS, Columbia, Dolfin, Moving Comfort, Nike, Speedo, TYR.
The Gap $10 (top) - $70 (zip-up jacket) W: XS – XL
M: XS – 3X
GapFit: tops, bottoms, jackets, hoodies, maternity, bras, outerwear.
JC Penney $5 (t-shirt) - $55 (sports bra) W: S – 3X
M: S – 5XL
Tops, bottoms, jackets, hoodies, maternity, bras, outerwear. Brands: Adidas, Glamorise, Made For Life, Nike, Puma, Xersion.
Kohl's $13 (t-shirt) - $135 (track jacket) W: S – 3X
M: S – 4XB
T-shirts, tops, sports bras, pants, shorts, jackets. Brands: Apt. 9, Arrow, Chaps, Columbia, Croft & Barrow, Dockers.
Lane Bryant $30 (t-shirt) - $60 (capris) W: 14 (0x) – 32 (4x)
M: N/A
Skorts, pants, shirts, and jackets. Brands: Glamorise, Marika Miracles, Reebok.
Target $10 (top) - $30 (jacket) W: S – XXL
M: S – XXL
Jackets, tops, pants, shorts. Brands: Champion, Converse, Icon, Merona, Mossimo.
Wal-Mart $6 (top) - $70 (jacket) W: S – 5X
M: S – 5X
Pants, tops, jackets. Brands: Danskin Now, Dickies, Faded Glory, Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, Just My Size, Reebok, White Stag.

Don't feel like braving the mall crowds? You can buy online, too! Check out these sites for flattering, plus-size workout clothes:

Name Average Price Sizes Offered What They Sell
A Big Attitude $15 (cami bra)- $70 (combo outfit set) W: 1X-5X
M: N/A
Pants, capris, tops, hoodies, combo sets, camis, sports bras, jackets.
AdoraOm $12 (headband) - $119 (jacket) W: 14-20
M: N/A
Pants, capris, tops, hoodies.
Always for Me $28 (t-shirt) - $81 (shorts) W: 16-26
M: N/A
Tops, pants, capris, sports bras, hoodies. Brands: A Big Attitude, Enell, Mt Borah.
Catherine's $22.50 (capris)- $58 (jacket) W: 16-34
M: N/A
Tops, pants, capris, jackets, hoodies.
Junonia $10 (tank top) - $90 (hoodie) W: 1X-6X
M: N/A
Pants, capris, tops, hoodies, jackets, sports bras.
OneStopPlus $10 (sweatshirt) - $66 (sports bra) W: 12-44
M: N/A
Pants, tops, capris, jackets, hoodies, sports bras, jogging suits, tunics. Brands: All-American Comfort, Avenue, Torrid, Woman Within.
Taffy $25 (tank top) - $60 (jacket) W: 1X – 3X
M: N/A
Tops, bottoms, jackets, hoodies.

Where do you shop for your active wear? Have you found any plus-size workout gear you can't live without?

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CKEYES1 7/18/2020
I'm a Wal-mart girl. Don't really care how I look as long as I'm comfortable Report
JSTETSER 7/14/2020
Interesting! Report
thanks Report
I have purchased 1X & 2X on sale from Dick's Sporting Goods; also J C Penney's & Sears. QVC has athleisure wear on some lines like Denim & Co to 3X. I wear those pants for work & everyday or workouts. Have also purchased at times over the years menswear- my long legs make finding taller pants an issue but navy grey or black, who cares? Same w/ zip jackets, I just buy more colorful tops in pink or purple to pair.
Sports bras are trickier altho our local Target seems to be stocking larger sizes now. I am hard to fit since I can't tolerate underwires at all. Some swimwear tops have been a good option but for swimming I only wear a one piece.
To get wider shoes, I sometimes get mens & also love the Vionic walking shoes. If you wear a popular size keep looking & if you have foot issues, try to find a Red Wing shoe store near you, or even a medical supply place. I bought a pair that was an ugly taupe color, took & had them dyed & added some fabric patches for a few $$ more. So cute & had compliments on them! Wear what's comfy & practicsl but think outside the box. Report
Very nice post. I buy almost all my https://bodyphenom.com/ from online stores. Report
I need a sports bra for 58 DD! Where can I find such a bra? Report
You left out my favorite online store! Woman Within at WomanWithin.com which right now has a sale 50% Off Memorial Day Sale! Grrr! Report
thanks Report
Absolutely great Report
Great Article on Plus Size Gym Clothes. Thanks for sharing such motivational thoughts. :) Report
I get mine at Lane Bryant. Quality fabrics and excellent fit. Wait for a bogo sale. Report
I THINK “Bombshellsportswear.com” is also a great fashion explorer on Women’s Workout Clothes/Gym Wear. Report
Great article. Report
Great, Great, Great!!
Thank you! Report
I use to buy mines at Wal-Mart, but they changed the pants style and I'm not a fan. Still looking for the right style and price. Report
If you are biking,get kitted out corectly trimbo workout shorts for women will help if you are plus size and going to spin class Report
where oh where do you get a good workout bra when you are a size 44DDD -- can't find them anywhere. Report
I have always found mine at Walmart. I don't mind if it makes me look fat. My trainer used to tell me that looking at your bulges gives you motivation to work out harder. Report
J C Penny-XERSION --I love the fit and they hold-up well! Our store has them up to 3x. Report
What about for those of us who have a LOT to lose? I can't find sports bras or tops anywhere that will fit. Not even the places listed here. I might be able to squeeze into one or two pieces, but the sites that carry clothes that fit me (5x usually) never seem to have the really good gear. Report
I've found mine at Walmart and no where near $70. Report
I'm going to go out and look for some workout clothes. Report
Great artical I have always had a hard time finding good workout wear for my size but will certainly check out the online outlets and Pennys, my local Target does not seem to have much in the plus size that I find fits well. Report
I really love this article!!!! I was just discussing how I need some workout clothes. The chart was really helpful. I think I'm definetely going to Walmart to get some cute and fitting clothes instead of just big t-shirts and sweat pants. Report
My local Target doesn't have any good plus size clothes and a limited variety of colors/styles including workout clothes!! Report
Target is always my go to store for t-shirts (short or long sleeves), thin stretch pants and bras; all of which I could live in not just work out in. The t-shirts are fitted (so you don't feel like you are wearing a tent), bright colors and breath well.
I have the hardest time finding shorts because I am very picky (lightweight fabric, loose, not short but not too long, elastic waist with a drawstring). I have some from REI that I love but they are extremely expensive (~$40) and the largest size is XL. Report
I aboslutely love my lululemon! Don't let the sizing fool you, you have to try them on to know for sure. I usually take a 22-24, but wear the relaxed fit or 'still' pants/crops in a size 12 at lulu. They also seem to be super flattering, so a confidence booster. They are pricey, but last. It's a great treat for reaching a milestone! Report
Here in Ontario,I love Addition Elle! I don't spend a lot of money on outerwear.I can find what I need at WalMart and Zellers. However,Addition Elle has the supportive bras I need. My shoes are another story, I will spend money on them. I don't bargain shop for shoes! Report
Thanks fo the article - look good feel good! Report
Lately, I have been buying online--Woman Within, Blair, Fashion Bug, are all good choices for a lot of things. At the mall, here in Michigan,m it's JC Penney or Kohl's. Report
www.nuu-muu.com has the best exercise dresses. I run and hike in them, wear them as beach/pool coverups, you name it, you can wear them there. The material is great and their customer service is awesome. Another great company for skirts is SparkleSkirts.com. They have plus sizes and is another company with great customer service. When you look great, you feel great! Report
I agree with JPONCIN! Old Navy has great workout clothes in a wide variety of sizes. Price are very reasonable as well, even found some great stuff on clearance! Report
Don't forget Old Navy! I have workout pants and shirts from there, and I have a sports bra from there that I love. You don't have to spend a lot to get fitness wear, and I'm a stay-home mom so I can't. Report
Swimsuitsforall.com has great board shorts and great active wear for doing water aerobics in. They have chlorine resistant suits that are amazing and all for the plus sized woman size 8-26W. Some styles run to a size 32W. They run really great sales all the time and their prices are extremely reasonable. They also serve international customers which is great when my friends from Canada want to place orders. I used to have to order things for them and then ship to my friends in other countries, but now they can order their swimsuits directly from Swimsuitsforall.com. They have a very easy return and exchange policy too in case things don't fit you. They are extremely sensitive to the needs of the plus sized woman. They have underwire style bra suits for the more endowed woman too. Lots of choices. I have been a customer of theirs since 2006 and very satisfied! Report
The Danskin line from Wal-Mart is a good choice, comfy with all of the fancy wicking fabric that usually costs a lot. If you're in the 1X-2X range you can save a bit of money by shopping the Women's section, not Women's Plus (usually $2-$3 more).

I swear by my Junonia swimsuits. They hold up well to chlorine, repeated washings and don't fade in the sun. I also like the built-in shelf bra and wide straps. Another bonus is they don't ride up and have a higher neck so the girls don't flash the pool when I'm doing water aerobics. It wasn't cheap (although I found mine on clearance) but the quality is so great that it was worth the money. Report
Check out Land's End. They have lots of choices and regular sales from their online site or catalog. Report
I never cared about workout gear. As long as i've got a decent bra and trainers, I'm good. i've worked out in my jammies or just my underwear. even when i went a gym, I just bought cheap shorts and t-shirt from a cheap clothes shop Report
I love my Old Navy yoga capris and pants and sports bras. The C9 by Champion line at Target is great, and I like the Danskin Now line at Wal-Mart, too. Report
in florida there is also Cato and for Mature ladies styles there is Bon worth. everybody has websites now days Report
Easy Champion fitted workout pants work very well for me. They are fitted in the butt and thighs (prevents jiggle while running) and have a slight flare that balance out the figure (avoids that dreaded pear shape). I buy mine at Target (typically $19.00, but I've gotten them on sale for $15.00). Report
I lost 70lbs and now I am in between reg and plus and cannot find anything that fits right. I wear 1x it hangs on me I wear a XL it doesn't fit right. I put on a large and it is to fitting and I look horrible . I get embarassed to wear them at the gym. I used to not care at Jazzersise i think it's because the gym has mirrors Report
Here in Toronto, I get most of my workout clothes from Giant Tiger, Old Navy, and Fairweather. Giant Tiger is great because its cheap (the sizes can be a little conflicting depending on the brands, so I make sure to try everything on first). Old Navy is a little more pricey, but their yoga clothing is sooo comfortable and flattering for a bigger butt like mine. Fairweather is great because they have a lot of outlet locations where you can find their very comfortable track pants and yoga pants for as cheap as 2 for $15!! :) Report
I am 5'11", with an inseam of 35", so its really hard to find yoga pants that fit AND are long enough. I buy Champion brand at Target ($19.99) - they come in all sizes and lengths, so I was able to start at XXL/Long and work my way down. They also last forever (I don't put them in the dryer - don't want them to shrink in length) - I just had to pitch a pair that was about 10 years old and was finally beyond repair. Report
I like to wear work out clothes because it keeps me motivated and makes me feel pretty. A this point I am not buying new work-out clothes because I want to lose weight so I can look better on them and I cannot afford it. Report
I don't wear any "special" workout clothes. Give me a pair of shorts, a short sleeve shirt, and I am off! Report
Catherine's, Wal - Mart and JC Penny. Report
Here in Australia, KMart have become a cheap option with lots of good plus size clothing to work out in. Report
One of my new favorites for great yoga pants and capris is Old Navy.
Annually there is a sale and I bought a coupleof jackets and pants that are fantastic. I was underwhelmed with the tanks but the rest of the gear is great! Report
I used to LOVE buying stuff from Junonia - not just the workout gear, but the clothes were cute, too! Generally I'd stick to the stuff on sale; the "normal" prices there were ridiculously high. I liked them so much I was actually kind of sad when I got too small to wear their things...

As far as plus-size swimsuits that handled the chlorine day-in day-out and were actually flattering, nothing could beat the polyester suits I used to get from www.eswimmers.com . I especially liked the skirted T.H.E. ones. They lasted so well that I actually handed them "up" to a friend when I got to small for them.

They even had a group order option, so if you got some friends in your water aerobics class to order with you, everyone would get a discount.

Another place you can sometimes find workout gear is your local thrift store. Check the sleevless top section for workout tanks, etc. Just run your hand along the rack and when you feel a nice stretchy synthetic, take a look.

I'd like to add that I STILL use buying fun workout gear as a motivational reward and incentive for fitness. These days it's about muscle definition more than dropping sizes, but it's still fun to find things in nice colors and cuts. It makes me feel like going. Report
MSDRPEPPER, I have no doubts since it's the same where I live. This is true about several stores. In the ritzy town north of mine, a saleswoman greeted me with, "We don't carry your size in our store." Yet this chain has a whole plus size area in their Cape Cod story. I thanked her for saving me the trouble of buying the gift I had actually entered the story to buy.

MSPOOH404, I just bought from OneStopPlus for my Sedona trip and got 3 workout outfits (tops, bottoms - one top is hooded) at their sale price - 50% off. Report