Fitness clothing has become its own market and boy, is it overwhelming. There are clothes made specifically for different activities – running, training, yoga. There are so many different brands with so many different price points.
There are three types of fitness wardrobes:
1. The (old) t-shirt people. I mean, you’re going to sweat in it and just throw it in the wash right?
2. The hardcore I-wear-brand-name-fitness-gear people. You’ll see symbols like this:
3. Some combination of the above.
Bonus #4. I just wear whatever I was wearing regardless of whether or not it’s appropriate to work out in (polos fall in this category).
Honestly, fitness gear does not have to be expensive. You can do quite well with clearance racks! However, something very interesting happens when you wear fitness clothes that are not old t-shirts or raggedy things or ugly clothes you would never actually want to wear out in public. You know the saying, dress for the job you want? Much has been written about this phenomenon, but as some companies have recognized, if you buy clothes you’d want to wear and are appropriate for the occasion, you are more likely to play the part. You don’t have to wear shabby stuff to the gym.
When I buy fitness gear, there are actually a lot of things I keep in mind. The gym tends to be an atmosphere full of very self-conscious people. If you put some thought what you wear, you can worry more about your form and less about what you’re wearing
1. Freedom of movement
When I find a piece that I like, I would do a few things in it: make arm circles, squat, run in place, stretch, forward bend, side bend, and lunge.
– Is it riding up anywhere when you move?
– Are straps (if there are any) staying in place?
– Does it restrict your movement in any way?
Probably don’t want to be walking around in something that you have to scratch at or adjust every few seconds. I find this category to be the most important. I find that clothes that I can barely feel are the most comfortable – light, airy, and loose.
– Does it itch or scratch at any sensitive places?
– Is it too tight?
– Can it breathe?
– Will it wick away moisture?
– Does it feel heavy?
– Is the material stretchy or stiff?
Bottom line is, you have to like how it looks on you.
– Are there back fat bulges?
– Is it transparent? (hint)
4. Durability / Quality
Especially important if you plan to throw your clothes in the washing machine!
– Are the seams intact?
– Is the material thin / does it seem like it will tear easily?
– Is the construction sloppy?
5. Potential for wardrobe malfunction
– Will it stay on?
– Will coverage change with movement (example: if you’re doing inversions or burpees, will the shirt flip up, will the straps fall, will pants ride up, will you step on the pants, etc.
– Is it easy to put on/take off?
– Can it be machine-washed?
– Is it easy to match to other pieces?
– Will you still be able to wear it if you lose weight?
– Is it too expensive?
In coming posts, I will create in-depth reviews of some of my wardrobe staples.