What to Look for in Workout Attire

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Buying gym clothes can be almost as daunting as wearing them. There is so much out there already – and it seems that the technology and styles are continually evolving. So, what should you look for when investing in your gym clothes?

  • Comfort. Look for soft, non-restrictive fabrics. Spandex is a great choice, because it is designed to stretch and move with your body.
  • Wicking. Gym clothes have come a long way in keeping you comfortable once you start sweating. Look for polyester/Lycra blends and synthetic materials, which are designed to draw sweat away from the body. Many lines, including Under Armour, Nike, Adidas, and most other major sports even design tops and bottoms specifically to keep you warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather.
  • Layerable. This is especially important if you will be exercising outdoors – you want be sure clothing can be easily layered to keep warm, and removed to keep cool.
  • Technologically Advanced. Fabrics have become specialized for not only warm and cool weather, but also to be antimicrobial, provide UV protection, or to glow in the dark (or be luminescent).
  • Activity Appropriate. You wouldn’t take a Spinning class in big, baggy pants, and you won’t do Bikram in a sweatshirt. Think about what types of activities you will be participating in, and plan your purchases accordingly.
  • Long Lasting. Invest in a few dark bottoms (pants, shorts, capris … whatever your preference) and solid color tops. They’ll never go out of style.
  • Perfect Fit. You want to feel your best when you’re doing something good for you! If you don’t feel comfortable, you won’t be able to focus on your workout. Look good, feel good! The Today Show recently did a great story on fitting your gym clothes for your body
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Most importantly, remember you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money for functional, comfortable, and attractive gym clothes. Personally, I’m a fan of Lucy – but I’ve never bought anything there that wasn’t on the clearance rack (they do have great sales!) I’ve also found a number of great pieces at TJ Maxx and Marshalls – they can be hit or miss, but I’ve found many of my favorite Nike, Adidas and Under Armor pieces at these stores … for a fraction of the sticker price. That said – make sure whatever you do invest in is quality. You’ll be better off spending $50 on a great pair of pants that look and feel great, versus a $15 pair that will fall apart in six months.  And handle with care! I machine wash my clothes, but I always air dry them (socks excluded) to maintain the integrity of the spandex and lengthen the life of gym clothes.

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