Ask Belle: The Workout Attire Edition
Jul 23, 2012
Whether running on the Mall or working out at Golds, I inevitably bump into someone I’ve previously encoutered in my day job. I feel that all work out wear is not created equal. I despise both those skin-tight black running capris (provides muffin top or doesn’t stay up) and both the diaper-butt nike shorts that every woman in America seems to own. Further, I get dirty looks when I show up to a spinning class with my political t-shirts or alma matter tees.Can’t a girl just get a sweat in? What do you wear to workout in?Samantha
You are on the right track, (Ed Note: I apologize in advance, I didn’t know M was going to use puns.) and I applaud you for wanting to improve your workout look. Because when you look better, you feel better. And when you feel good, you are more likely to keep up on your exercise routine.
We can’t control who we might run into while working out or how the mirror-covered walls reflect all of our assets at the worst possible angles, but we can control what we wear, so let’s choose wisely. I realize that you said you hate black workout capris because they either create a muffin top or fall down. We just need to find you the right fit, an updated style, and a quality product. Well – bottoms up, sweetheart.
If I know of a product that creates the illusion of lift for my backside, there is a huge chance I will purchase it, and an even greater chance that I will want to shout the name of said product from the Elliptical.
Bia Brazil has an amazing line of basic workout bottoms, including some with a bit more “personality.” (I love color and pattern, but I am loyal to black pants because they show less sweat downthere.) I like this cropped pair with a wide waist band. It also comes in a wider leg crop style and a full-length flare.
Another option to remedy the appearance of an unsightly mid-section (muffin top) is to find a pant with a fold-over waist band. This allows you the flexibility of folding over the waist at the spot that is the most comfortable and flattering on your body – because let’s face it, every person’s body is different, and a fold-over style is customizable. Lululemon’s Recognition Pant ($98, at left) has a foldover waistband, and is a great choice in terms of performance wear. Need something cheaper? Victoria’s Secret makes a good pair that cost $29.50.
Lastly, I’d recommend Lucy’s soon-to-arrive X-Training pant. (What can I say, I like to have options.) This pant rests close to the body, has a full leg, and is mid-rise, it also has easy to mix/match options and a handful of color stories to choose from per season. They also make an X-Training pant with a low rise ($89) and a cropped style ($79).
Hate capris? Hate shorts? Hate pants? Try a skirt – this style has adjustable sides, is still made with sweat-wicking fabric, and has built-in shorts so you can wear it for running, yoga, pilates, whatever workout you fancy.
Now, let’s move on to tops. There are a variety of styles for ultimate flattery depending on what parts of your body you like to emphasize or camouflage. So make sure to chose the one that’s right for you.
If you’re conscious of your mid-section, and would like some coverage, this Nike Elastika top ($30) is great for staying cool during summer months. It has a great body-skimming shape, instead of being so tight you feel like you’re wearing a sausage-casing.
Another high-performance top with a bit of breathing room is the Charm Banded top from Under Armour ($40). (Ed. Note: I own this top. In addition to all UA’s moisture-wicking benefits, the looser fit makes it really comfortable if you’re moving a lot.)
Sometimes it feels good to have sleeves on in these super air-conditioned gyms. The Lija Virtue Top ($70) is relaxed and incorporates strategically placed ruching – not just for jersey dresses and mini-skirts! This Danskin yoga tee also has sleeves and light ruching for a wallet-friendly ($18).
Need a workout bra that doesn’t give you uniboob? Try handful.com Belle also likes Under Armour’s Armour High Impact line which provides support whether you’re an A-cup or a DD. Need to go beyond DD? Panache workout bras go up to 40GG for maximum support.
As for shoes, workout shoes are 100% a matter of personal preference. What fits you best? What is most comfortable for you? What will help correct your stride? When traveling I love Nike Free shoes ($54) – lightweight, moderate support, and easy to pack.
What are your favorite workout must-haves?