Women’s Workout Clothes – 4 rules for buying workout clothing

Posted on March 11, 2009 by in Health

I just recently started working out again.  At a gym.

If you’ve ever been to a gym before you know that it is where the female spawn of satan go to make you feel fat. Some people will try to tell you that those women only hang out at the fancy gyms, but they’re lying.  Even the women at the YMCA have the ability to make you feel like stuffed sausage on feet when you first start to work out.

My first day back to the gym, I made a classic rookie mistake.  I dressed like a mom who was just starting to work out again.

I wore capri pants instead of shorts to cover up the cellulite on my pasty white thighs.

I wore a sensible tank top with wide straps to conceal the sports bra that I’m wearing for function instead of fashion.

I put all of my efforts into concealing my body instead of showing it off.  Because, hello?  I just started working out again.  And also?  I’m going to be red faced and sweating like a pig in about .02 seconds.

Unfortunately, my modesty and sensibile thinking just made me feel more self concious about the way I looked the entire time I was there.  The problem was I didn’t get workout clothes that were flattering to my body.  At all.

Yes, some women’s workout clothes are more flattering than others.  And it’s not necesssarily the workout clothing with the most coverage that looks the best.

And before you start to lecture me on how trivial it is to care about what you look like when you workout – well, suck it.  It’s distracting to be thinking about what a turd you look like when you’re trying to concentrate on things like form and breathing and not dying.

Here’s what I learned about women’s workout clothes that work better for my body.

Women’s Workout Clothes Rule 1 – wide straps  and sleevless tops are not your friend.

This is similar to the tank top I wore my first day.  Great coverage, right?

Maybe if I had some definition in my arms.  As it is, the only thing I have going for my upper body at this point is the fact that I have shoulders.  of course, in this top you couldn’t see that.  All you could see was my pudgy little arms plugged into my top.  Instead of emphasizing my shoulders or my chest, the focus was on my very undefined upper arms.

Women’s Workout Clothes Rule 2 – Work what your mama gave ya, even if it’s just a shoulder blade.

This is a much better option for me. It’s not much of a difference, but the straps are small enough that you can see that I actually have joints, not just plug-in limbs.

Women’s Workout Clothes Rule 3 – it’s perfectly OK to cater to the girls.

Even better, a top that shows off my shoulders and the little bit of chest I have. Granted, my boobs aren’t much to get excited about, but any positive attention I can bring to the top of my body takes away from my very pear shaped lower half.

And even little boobs are sexy when it’s done with class.

Women’s Workout Clothes Rule 4 – just say no to pseudo maternity wear.

Um, no.  The only person this looks good on is someone who doesn’t have anything to hide.  And do you know what the benefit of good workout tops is?  Spandex.  Spandex is your friend and will hold your stuff up and in.  This?  This is begging to have your jiggling belly peeking out from beneath your maternity top the first time you bend over too far or lift your hands too high.

Of course, I’m still in the beginning stages of my adventure in women’s workout fashion.  So far I’ve figured out how to flatter the top half of my body, but the bottom half is still screwed.

I’ve tried shorty shorts, mesh basketball shorts, and stretchy capri pants.  None of it’s making me feel less self concious about potential camel toe or butt jiggle.

I don’t suppose there’s another 5’2″ pear out there with some words of wisdom for my lower body, is there?  (I mean, BESIDES more cycling classes.)

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Posted on March 11, 2009 by in Health


57 Responses to “Women’s Workout Clothes – 4 rules for buying workout clothing”
  1. Sybil LawNo Gravatar says:

    Yoga pants?!
    I’m almost your height, but I don’t work out. I really need to start, though, so I appreciate the tips! (I think I’m going to go the Pilates way, though – I have never seen an overweight, jiggly person who does Pilates. Yes – that’s how I made my decision. :)

  2. FinnNo Gravatar says:

    Sybil is correct — yoga pants. Specifically full-length pants with a boot-cut leg (just like your jeans) to balance out the hips. You can find some that are semi-fitted, which will make kyou feel less self-conscious.

    Look at: http://athleta.com. Not cheap (which I know you LOVE), but a few neutral pairs to go with all of your tops and no one will know!

  3. DivineENVENo Gravatar says:

    I’m a fan of spandex pants and a long sleeve breathable top w/ the the tank top underneath. That way I can tie the long sleeve top around my waist (after 0.02 seconds) and have butt jiggle coverage. Just make sure the top is thin enough to not be bulgy. The added confidence of knowing no one can see my sweaty lower section(s) makes the workout that much more tolerable.

  4. SarahNo Gravatar says:

    I love the two middle tank tops.

    Also (and I know I’m totally whoring my brand) but Gap actually has some of the best workout pants I’ve bought. They are capris and pants and really flattering on.

  5. RobinaNo Gravatar says:

    Okay, our Y must REALLY be different. Almost none of the women dress fancy, just the weight lifter ones, and when I saw fancy, I mean tight short spandex and sports bras.

    Me? I swear spandex workout shorts, a workout bra, but a tee shirt. Yup, a teeshirt, and usually one that doesn’t show the gallons of sweet cause I am a woman that SWEATS!!!! It pours off of me. I even have a hand towel with me so I can wipe my face and neck as I go. I always put my hair in a ponytail, too. And ya know what? I’m always so comfortable. I’m not pulling my shorts out of my ass or showing my butt cheeks, or worried that my boobs will flop out or that some guy is going to drool on me.

    I wish I had the nerve to dress like that though! LOL LOL And I’m not over-weight, just very self-concious and have great, low, self-esteem.

  6. LynnNo Gravatar says:

    Buying new workout clothes is the carrot I use to keep me going to the gym. That, and belonging to a lux gym with a steam room. When I wear a t-shirt (boxy, men’s) and yoga pants, I feel like such a schlump I can’t workout as hard. When I wear my cleavage-enhancing hot pink top with my short lycra shorts, I feel like the skinny girls look. I’m no fitness model either.

  7. DejoniNo Gravatar says:

    OMG, I did the same f-ing thing at the gym except I had four snotty little 16 year old’s laughing at me…shit asses. I hope they all get pregnant this week.
    I like #3. I would definetly wear that to the gym.

  8. FaiqaNo Gravatar says:

    I love this post. MORE! MORE! I WANT MORE!! :)

  9. StacyNo Gravatar says:

    I guess I am just lazy because I do the capris and t shirt route…and really don’t care!

  10. CaseyNo Gravatar says:

    Target has some great yoga pants, I love them. If you ever need someone to help reviewe exercise equipment, videos, clothing, I am your girl. I have everything and anything!

  11. In this blog you will see the four rules for buying womens workout clothes. Thanks for that !

  12. Yes, target does have great workout pants.

  13. caraNo Gravatar says:

    HANDS DOWN……best pants for the gym….ladies listen up: I have been working out since I was 10 and have been every size. I am a huge sweater and I have this problem of butt sweat, yep I said it, butt sweat. There is a brand called…BEYOND YOGA. Their standard pants, in black will make your booty look tight, mask your cellulite (it hides mine in any light) and it will never show butt sweat. After one hr of cardio when I know I am totally sweaty, I mean when my hair is soaked….my butt still looks dry and perky. No lie. My mom now wears these pants. They are the only thing I will wear. check it out ladies. and btw I don’t work for this company I am just obsessed with this new freedom to not cover my wet butt with a shirt around my waist and then have to worry if the sweat soaked through the shirt too…oh boy. :)

    • AliNo Gravatar says:

      @cara, OMG thank you, thank you, thank you. I just bought a new pair today and after an hour on the treadmill my a$$ sweat was out of control. I am purchasing these pants tonight! you are a savior!

  14. sianNo Gravatar says:

    Hahahim a 5 ft 2 pear shape! Its hell yo get joggers.. Im going for 3/4 one at the moment :)

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