Today I went workout clothes shopping. I came home with one orange bag, and one black, white, and red bag. Do you know where I shopped?
Despite the fact that I work in the fitness world, I don’t shop for workout clothes very often. I usually go once or twice a year, and drop some serious cash. But, before you judge me too harshly, realize that these are like work clothes for me. At least that’s how I justified it when I was working at my last gym job. As an instructor and personal trainer, you have to look the part, both on the job, and when you’re just trying to fit in your own workout. And once I started buying quality (and let’s be honest, fashionable) workout duds, I realized what a difference well-made clothes make.
Both Lucy and Lululemon brands hold up to repeated washing, (I’ve got some Lulu bras and shirts that have lasted for years!), fit well, and are made of performance materials that make a real difference in your comfort during a workout.
Since I’ve been in Colorado, and not affiliated with a gym, I’ve let my workout attire slide . . . big time. And the other day, wearing the same ratty old shirt for maybe the third time in a week (yes, I washed it people) I realized that my self-esteem was taking a beating. Not only am I not able to exercise the way I want to, but I look like a schlump on top of it.
I don’t know, maybe I’ve been watching too much What Not To Wear, but the older I get, the more I think it’s important to look the way you want to feel. Obviously that varies from person to person, and it doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on fussy, frilly spandex. But if you value yourself enough to dedicate precious time to your health and fitness, why not look (and feel) good doing it?
Besides, when your clothes are fresh and workout-appropriate, you feel more confident. At least, I sure do. And wearing clothes that fit right, and are meant to get sweaty, means you can focus on your movement instead of tugging your straps or pulling your shorts out of your you-know-what.
There are lots of great fitness retailers with a wide range of price points: Target carries Champion stuff, Sports Authority (or whatever similar store you have in your area), Athleta and Title Nine, just to name a few. I even find great stuff at TJ Maxx or Ross.
Don’t get me wrong; if you feel great in sweats and a cut-off t-shirt (I’m talkin’ to you, Mike), stick with it. Your fitness is much more important than your attire. But if you find yourself dreading going to the gym because you feel yuck-o in your clothes, well that’s just a waste of time.
Btw, what’s your favorite brand of workout clothes? Have you found the store that sells the perfect pair of non-see-through pants? Do you know of a sports bra that doesn’t emphasize armpit fat? As I said, I like Lucy and Lulu, as well as the sassy statement tees that Nike makes. However, I’m not paid or perked to say that; just sharing my thoughts.
One of the tops I got today (in purple). It’s a yoga/stretching type shirt that has little loops inside at the shoulder seam to attach to your sports bra so it doesn’t fall down. So cute.