I recently had a friend text me with the suggestion that I write a post about all things workout clothes-related. She was talking about how workout clothes are so darn expensive these days, and I couldn’t agree with her more!
I immediately thought her suggestion was such a good idea, but I wondered if what I have in my closet to wear to the gym was even worth writing about? I didn’t feel credible or knowledgeable enough of fitness-related brands to share what’s out there. But then I thought “Why don’t I just share what I personally wear?”
I feel like I wear the same four-ish outfits over and over and over again, but at the same time, I like what I have. Of course I wish I could raid a few athletic stores and buy a whole new fitness wardrobe, but at the price I’m paying monthly for Orangetheory, there’s not much (any??) moolah left for workout clothes. 😉
Workout Clothes for Women
Swiftly Tech T-Back – I only have two Lululemon tops, and this is one of them. Though the quality, longevity, science, and feel of their apparel is fabulous, it’s still nearly impossible for me to justify having more than a few Lulu items (crazy overpriced IMO). Different strokes for different folks though (we all splurge on different things)! Obviously if money were falling out of the sky, I’d go on a little spending spree there. 😉 Seriously though, I love love love this top and wear it as much as I can!
Nike Women’s Dry Tomboy Cross-Dye Tank Top – I’ve had this top for five years and have worn the heck out of it, and it’s still in perfect shape. I am always drawn to wear it because of the fun pink color.
Danskin Active Bungee Tank with Mesh Detail – This top is from Walmart of all places! It’s from their Danskin line, and I scooped it up three-ish years ago on a whim. I think it was around $7 at the time. Sure enough, I wear it frequently! It’s not my favorite workout top, but for $7 I would definitely grab more.
Reebok Women’s Heather Jersey Tank – Sweet story about this top; I have two of them. I was mumbling to Jamie about how sluggish and “squishy” I felt about three months after Sadie was born, so one day after work he went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and grabbed me a couple of these tops to wear as motivation to get outside and take advantage of some “me” time. New workout clothes are also fabulous motivators to actually go work out, and he was right on the money with getting me this top in a couple of colors. It’s a very simple, light, cotton tank, and I wear the heck out of them! I would love to get more.
C9 Champion, Women’s Mesh Block Long Tank – I have this tank from Target and have no complaints! I would purchase it in another color in a heartbeat.
Essential Tank – My other Lululemon shirt is discontinued, but it’s nearly identical to this “Essential Tank”. If all of my workout clothes were clean and I could pick anything to wear to my next class, this tank would be it. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and breathable.
Zella Live In High Waist Leggings – I bought these pants last year after hearing four thousand people exclaim how wonderful they are. Spoiler alert, but you’ll see that almost all of my workout pants are from the same line, because I was hooked on Zella after receiving these pants. Here’s the thing: THEY ARE TIGHT. They are also really high, like half way between my belly button and bust kind of high. BUT that means that everything is sucked it. The main reason I adore these pants is because I never (ever) have to worry about them when I’m working out. My midriff is never exposed, regardless of what kind of move we’re doing in the gym. I can contort my body in all kinds of weird ways at the gym, and I am comfortable in these pants. Also, my backside is not small, and most other cheaper workout pants are a teeny bit see-through or make my booty feel a little jiggly (oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m saying these things on the internet.) I do not feel self-conscious in these pants though. They are high-waisted, hold it all together, and thick in just the right way. WORTH EVERY PENNY. But let me remind you if you buy them: You may put them on and think “whew these are tight!” Yep, they are, but they’re not uncomfortable. If they are, they’re probably a little too small. But they’re wonderful to exercise in. They are also sold in the crop length. Oh, one more thing. I am 5’4″, and mine are about an inch too long for me (but they work just fine anyway), so I would not buy these if you are shorter than 5’2″. Get the cropped length if so.
Zella ‘Live In- Sultry’ High Waist Mesh Crop Leggings – These are so stinkin’ fun to wear. I love these pants.
Zella ‘Print Slick High Waist Leggings’ – I bought these pants about a month ago and just love them! So soft, but still hold everything together perfectly. I’m telling you: Zella is WHERE IT’S AT. Middle of the road pricing, but the results are phenomenal.
Old Navy High-Rise Compression Crops – I have these pants in a different pattern, and I like them. I don’t love them, but I do wear them occasionally. I just make sure to wear one of my longer workout tanks so that my booty is a little more covered since this pair isn’t as thick as my Zellas.
Nike Dry Tempo Running Shorts – In the last 10 years I’ve bought four styles/brands of running shorts, and nothing compares to Tempos. I do not want to think about my clothes when I’m running, and these shorts fit the bill.
Reebok Women’s Fast Flexweave – I wrote about these shoes a few months ago when Jamie and I each received a pair for a campaign with DSW and Reebok that I did. I still wear these shoes every day! I’m not sure I’ll buy them again simply because they’re already feeling a bit worn out, but that’s because Jamie says they’re designed for running and running only. Hmm. I do get compliments on these shoes constantly though. It’s kind of odd because I don’t think they’re anything that eye-catching, but everybody else does!
Target’s Power Shape Medium Support Sports Bra – I really didn’t have a decent sports bra until January when I picked this one up on a whim at Target. Oh my goodness, it’s the BEST. It’s so inexpensive too! I will buy several more of these for sure. I won’t even look at others because this one is perfect.
Zella ‘Double the Fun’ Headband – I bought this headband about a month ago, and I’ve worn it during every single workout since. Is that weird?!? I don’t really want to buy others if this one is perfect. Surprise surprise – it’s by Zella.
Workout Clothes for Men
Jamie’s Workout Clothes
Pro WOD Performance Shorts – I overhear Jamie get asked a TON about what he wears during his workouts, and these shorts are it. He only has two pairs, but they’re all he wears. It’s a good thing I do a small load of laundry every day since we wear the same stuff over and over. 😉 He’s so beyond obsessed with these and wears them to lift as well as to run.
Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Surge Short Sleeve – Jamie’s parents got him a few of these shirts the last few Christmases, so now they’re all he wears. They’re SO expensive, but I’ve literally washed them hundreds of times, and they never, ever wear out. I bought him another for Father’s Day, and I’m pretty sure he’s worn it every other day to work out since.
If you’re looking to build your workout wardrobe but don’t want to take out a loan to do it, my personal suggestion would be to save money on tops and buy those that are less than $15 (totally possible) and spend more money on your bottoms. Tempo shorts will never be more than $30. Those Zella leggings are around $50 full price but go on sale ALL the time. I would also get a couple good sports bras (the one from Target is cheap and excellent) and a good headband that you wear over and over. Oh, and don’t skimp on shoes. Finding a great pair of running/workout shoes less than $90 is hard. It’s not impossible, but most of the good pairs that will support you well and last you through many, many workouts will be around the $100+ price point.
Educate me on what workout apparel you love!
Hi! I’m a proud Army wife and mom to two little girls (ages 1 and 4), and I love sharing our lives with you. I blog all about motherhood, our time in the military, our travels, our meals, my fitness journey, my fashion favorites, and so much more. I truly enjoy sharing it all! I can’t get enough of birthday cake ice cream, weekend sunrise runs, or making my girls belly-laugh. I write almost daily about my family’s lives, and though I like to keep things light, I also share the messy parts too. Welcome! So glad to have you around. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram and would love to communicate with you there!