Look Good While You Get Fit
The right exercise clothes can improve your workout -- and your attitude
Put Function First
Of course, looking good isn't the only consideration when choosing a workout
outfit. Your best bet for any activity is to choose clothes that stretch and
bend with you, the experts say.
"You don't want to choose loose-fitting or short shorts, and then not be
able to use the machines or do floor exercises that require a straddle
position," Kase says. Long shirts with loose sleeves will also get in the
way, and could even be dangerous if they get caught in the equipment.
Loose-fitting tops are also not appropriate for yoga or Pilates because they
can ride up during some of the moves, says Ellen Wessel, president of the
Moving Comfort athletic wear company, High-impact activities also require more
form-fitting tops -- especially for larger-breasted women -- to minimize
movement and promote comfort and support, Wessel says.
Comfort is key, too. So look for clothing that moves moisture away from the
body as quickly as possible, Ediger says.
"A 100% cotton T-shirt will get soaking wet quickly and will stay
wet," she says. As a result, you'll be uncomfortable and may be tempted to
cut your workout short.
And take care not to overdress. "A good rule of thumb is to keep cool by
wearing as little clothing as you feel comfortable in (and is appropriate to
the setting) because people exercise more vigorously when they are not
overheated," Kase says.
Most important of all, make sure you're wearing a good pair of workout
shoes, says Brick. Go for quality, and choose the right pair for your
"Shoes need to be supportive and specific to the activity you plan to
do," she says. Running shoes, for example, do not provide enough lateral
support for the side-to-side movement that is called for in an aerobics or step
What Lies Beneath
Don't overlook your underwear -- especially if you're a woman.
"Larger-breasted women can carry as much as five pounds per breast,
making participating in high-impact activities like running difficult because
of severe breast discomfort, says Elizabeth Goeke, executive vice president of