Today I’m taking my post over to the style side of things. More specifically, the type of style I’ve been sporting pretty much 24/7 lately: athletic attire. Since I spend most of my day in clothing designed for you to sweat in, I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain why you should invest in athletic attire for your workouts.
It might sound silly at first: you are going to wear these pieces to sweat in – why would you want to spend good money on them? Well, I’ll give you three good reasons!
1. First thing’s first: it is MADE for the activity you’re performing. I’m talking about material that has moisture wicking ability, which is your best friend when it comes to working out. Trust me: your old baggy tee shirt is only going to HOLD IN the moisture and make you feel even hotter and more uncomfortable when you’re at the barre, in the gym, etc. Moisture wicking material will do just that: wick the moisture off of your body and away. Much cooler. It will make all the difference between having an awesome hour workout versus an hour of overheated agony. And don’t get me started on stretch. You want your clothing to move with you as you work out, and you don’t want to be messing with it throughout your sweat sesh. A better quality piece of athletic clothing is going to stay in place on your body and make your experience much more enjoyable.
2. It lasts longer. I don’t mind investing in more expensive pieces of clothing if they are going to be items I can wear long term. “But…my old cotton tee shirt is cheaper! It’s free – just sitting at home in my drawer!” True…but when you’re putting it under the stress of a workout, it isn’t going to last as long as a performance top in moisture wicking fabric. I know a lot of people cringe at first when they see a $90 price tag on a pair of athletic leggings, but if I’m going to go through 4 or more pairs of cheaper, $20-$30 options in comparison to the one better quality one, then I completely see the value. I’m not saying you have to buy $90 leggings (you certainly don’t)…but be on the lookout for quality material that has good stretch and thickness, stitching, compression, etc. For instance, I always make sure I do the “bend over” test if I’m buying a pair of leggings. If they are too thin and you can see through them when in certain positions…that’s just not fun for anyone. I do tend to have a few go-to brands for my barre attire that I trust for quality (see below).
3. It makes you look and feel awesome. We are really all about the “barre to bar” concept at our Pure Barre Clearwater studio: so many athletic pieces nowadays are completely appropriate to wear out in public for events other than working out. You know it’s true: when you have an outfit on that makes you feel good, you hold yourself more confidently. It puts you in a good mood and makes you feel like a million bucks. Trust me: you will feel so much better about yourself if you don a good looking pair of leggings and top as opposed to an old baggy tee shirt and loose gym shorts. You won’t find yourself immediately running to your car so no one sees you, or feeling reluctant to run errands after a barre class or gym session. Wearing the right athletic attire can actually motivate you to get in to the gym or to the barre to work out in general! And let’s talk about shaping. Most of my leggings feature figure flattering shapes with compression – they keep your tummy in nice and tight, they tighten up your seat, and make your legs look slim. Compression, my friends: you know you love it!
As for some of my favorite athletic attire pieces, you know I’ll share them with you! I do want to mention that you can always keep an eye on the awesome retail your barre studio or gym has available. Our studio is stocked with great items, and those of us who work there can speak to how certain items fit, how they perform, and the like. But, if you don’t happen to have something like that near to you, you can always shop online.
When it comes to leggings, there are a few brands that stand out for me: Alo, Kira Grace, Splits 59, Karma, and Zella. These are some of my absolute favorites (I have worn them all!!!):
Left to right –
For tops, my personal favorites are ones that feature a built in bra – I love the all in one aspect. In addition, open sides and fun, strappy backs on tanks are also fantastic options (and keep you cool too!). Layering is also something I take into consideration – picking up a loose, draped top or cardigan to throw on over the top of my tank before and after class is something I love to do.
Left to right –
Do you have any favorites when it comes to athletic attire?