If you are like me, you need all the help you can get to get to the gym. One big motivator for me to get to the gym (and stay at the gym) is to have clothes that make me feel good. If my gym wear is flattering and shows off my body in a positive way, it will motivate me to go to the gym and work on looking better. If my outfit is comfortable and stays put during my workout, I will be more likely to actually finish my workout!
This is one of my favorite outfits. The top is from Athleta and has a built in bra, flattering straps, and seaming that is SO flattering. The color is so much fun too. The pants are Nike Dri-Fit (purchased off ebay). They are the perfect length, they stay put when I am running, and they suck in my stomach with a wide waistband. And lastly - my beloved sneakers. They cuties are so much fun, and actually make me a little excited to go to the gym. And yes, I do usually "match" when I go to the gym. I am who I am, and going to the gym won't change that. :)
Here are 5 Rules I live by when buying gym wear:
1. Know the areas of your body that make you self-conscious, and build your workout wardrobe around it. And conversely, know the area you feel best about and show it off! For me, I am very self conscious about my stomach. So when I buy clothes, I make sure that the pants have a wide waistband that will keep me in and I make sure to buy tops that are long enough to not ride up.
2. Pretend you are shopping for a dress. Look for all of the things in your gym wear that you would look for in a dress: a flattering shape, straps that complement your body, a flattering neckline, and stratefic seaming. My favorite tops have an empire waist and strong seaming that floats the shirt away from my torso (my area I dress to flatter).
3. Listen to your gut! (no pun intended). If you are self conscious before you leave your house, you will be miserable once you start twisting, moving and sweating. If your shirt is too tight, your shorts are riding up, or your bra is itchy...it's only going to get worse once your on the treadmill.
4. Less is more. What I mean by this is it's better to have only a few workout outfits that are really good quality rather than a drawer stuffed full of clothes you are not comfortable in. Spend money on your gym wear, even if that means you can only afford a few key pieces. Cheap "lounge wear", old sweats and your husbands old t-shirts are not meant for working out - they will ride up, chafe, pull, and stretch. You will be tugging and pulling at yourself, and feeling self-conscious. Cotton clothing holds on to sweat and will make you feel miserable. Quality gym wear is made to breathe and keep you dry, and are designed for the specific movements your body will be going through when exercising (Nike running shorts are designed to not ride up). I went for years struggling through workouts wearing cheap clothing I had bought at Bob's or Victoria's Secret because I didn't want to drop a lot of money on workout clothing, and I never felt comfortable. Once I finally invested in some good pieces, I kicked myself for all of those years of torture!
5. When you find "the one", buy multiples! I remember I found THE PERFECT pair of gym pants on Ebay - They were a paid of flared leg Nike Dri-Fit black pants with a wide waistband. They were comfortable, they looked great, and they stayed put during my workout. I came home and ordered two more pairs from the same seller. The same is true of the workout top shown in the picture - I love it so much that I own it in lime green and pink. It can be hard to find good gym wear, so when you do find something that works for you- stock up! Gym clothes are the only time that I am a big supporter of buying multiples.
Some of my favorites:
1. Athleta Revelation Capri: $79
2. Nike Dri-Fit at Bare Necessities: $45
3. Nike Dri-Fit at Ebay: TBD
4. Nike Dri-Fit at Bare Necessities: $45
Nike Free Run at Nordstrom
VaVa Tank at Athleta: $55
Achala Tank at Athleta: $35
Chakra Tank at Athleta: $55