We’re fickle creatures really: the number one way to motivate us to workout is a shiny new athleisure look. And yes, better health and all that is obviously an incentive too. But back to the clothes! Just like you need your daytime staples and nighttime showstoppers, what you wear for one activity will not always be appropriate for another.
Consider this your gym wear cheat sheet, in which we’ve done everything but the actual workout for you.
The beauty of these forms of movement is that minimal activewear is required. In most cases, you won’t even need footwear; hence taking classes before or after work is ideal. Who can argue with just throwing an easily foldable top/t-shirt, sports bra and leggings into their bag?
As there’s minimal sweating involved (unless you’ve a penchant for hot yoga) usually a tank in organic cotton or any kind of natural fabric will suffice. Generally speaking, a lot of people like something that’s airy and breathable, so look for details like low-cut sides or a scooped back.
Leggings-wise, for the past few years I have had an unwavering love for pairs by Girlfriend Collective. The fact that they’re made from recycled water bottles and produced in ethical factories is what first piqued my interest, but their insane softness and comfortably high-waisted fit sealed the deal. While they don’t currently ship their full collection (which goes up to size 6XL) to Ireland, you can order certain pieces from Reformation.
If you’re devoted to reformer Pilates or barre classes, remember that Amazon.co.uk is hard to beat for grippy socks.
Now we’re warming up. The premise of most gym or boutique fitness classes involves breaking a sweat. While comfort is key, we’re not talking raggedy old boyfriend tees here. Something that toes the line between not baggy and not too tight is the aim of the game here. Think: something that you’ll be OK jumping, squatting and (perhaps) crawling in.
Cotton isn’t the best idea. Remember getting into a pool with a t-shirt as a kid? You don’t want to replicate that feeling as a sweat-soaked adult. A gym top with mesh features or split hems is a good option, as it won’t trap perspiration.
High-waisted leggings are both flattering and practical for the many movements involved in a typical group fitness class. Look for extras like mesh behind the knee, sweat-wicking fabric and fast-dry options to keep you cool as a cucumber even when the cardio is making you want to cry.
If you’re going to go HAM in a HIIT class, you need a shoe that works as hard as you do. While a traditional running shoe isn’t ideal, something light with cushion and support is still necessary.
I don’t know about you, but one class that’s sure to bring the heat for me is an indoor cycling one. Anything that promises ventilation should be top of your to buy list.
While spinning is lower impact on the body, a supportive sports bra is still a requisite. I probably don’t need to explain why, but for spin rookies, let it be known that a typical class involves your body bouncing up and down in the saddle like you’re on a space hopper. Protect your boobs.
If you’re so inclined, a pair of capri leggings are a great option to keep your hard-working, quick-moving legs as minimally restricted as possible.
Again, no matter your fitness level, sweating is on the agenda here. A tank or crop top in performance-wear fabric that wicks away moisture will leave you comfortable as you finish your last hill climb.
When it comes to running, virtually the only cost involved is what you spend on your gear. It’s wise to invest in shoes from a reputable brand and preferably in a gait analysis assessment in order to determine the best fit for your foot rotation.
Considering it was only invented in 1977 (!!!) a supportive sports bra is also a non-negotiable for female runners. There can be a bit of trial and error required when it comes to finding the quintessential shape and style for your body type, but if you’ve ever wondered what brands some of the world’s leading Olympians and marathon runners swear by, look no further than this article.
While many female runners opt for shorts, thanks to Irish temperatures, running tights are usually more necessary. Look for sweat wicking material and a snug fit, rather than ones that are skin tight.