Working out is a huge part of my life. I grew up dancing nearly every day from the ages of 5 to 23, and once that part of my life slowed down post-college, I needed something else to fill that void. I do everything from Pilates to boxing, but my personal favorite work out is Body by Simone. I could go on and on about how much I love the classes there, but for the time being, I'll spare you. Over the years, I have found that no matter what kind of workout I do, I always feel better both mentally and physically when I not only like what I'm wearing but when it doesn't interfere with my performance during the workout.
If you find yourself struggling with what to wear to the gym, let me assist you by filling you in on what I won't wear to the gym. Ahead, I list out a small handful of the things I've vowed to never wear to a workout again. Thanks to a couple of my favorite new pieces from JoyLab at Target, I was reminded of just how crucial taking the time to think through your athleisure wardrobe is to ensure the most positive workout experience time and time again.
Won't Wear: Barely There Sports Bras
Will Wear: Longline Sports Bras
No one likes fiddling with their sports bra during a workout. Despite the fact that I know (due to my personal breast size and shape) that I can't wear a V-neck sports bra or anything that has the barely there look, I have found myself attempting to somehow break the laws of gravity only to be pulling up my bra all throughout a workout class. The result is a workout that I didn't give my all due to an unnecessary distraction.
Instead, I love wearing high-neck sports bras, and in particular, sports bras that offer a little more coverage on the bottom, sort of like a crop top. I find that these keep everything in place, support me where I need support, and make my body feel more flattered than any stringy bra ever has.
Won't Wear: Low-Rise Leggings
Will Wear: Mid to High-Rise Leggings
I see women wearing low-rise leggings in the gym or in a workout class all the time with no qualms in the world, so if that's you, more power to you. However, in my case, similar to the annoyance a barely there sports bra causes me, I find myself constantly pulling up a low waistline on my leggings. Since some of my favorite workouts involve weird positions (yoga), jumping (dance cardio), and all that comes with high-intensity intervals (burpees, squat jumps, etc.), having my leggings fall down is the very last thing I need.
Instead, I love, love (and I can't stress this enough) love high-rise leggings. Since I am on the petite side, even a mid-rise legging makes all the difference in the world for me. The way the waistline hits at the smallest part of my body makes me feel great during a workout, and the fact that I don't have to think about anything falling down helps me stay focused at all times during the workout.
Won't Wear: Fussy Tops
Will Wear: Tops Designed for Workouts
There are so many stylish athleisure brands these days that aim to satisfy the fashion-forward customer. While we all love to feel great in our workout attire, sometimes, this specific realm of the market takes things too far, resulting in more fuss than function, especially when it comes to tops. What classifies a fussy top? Anything that you are constantly re-tieing, adjusting, or pulling down.
What I love about JoyLab is that it designs tops that are both stylish and functional. Whether you're looking for a cropped tank, breezy tee, or breathable long-sleeve, they've got it. No matter which style you choose (I personally love the twist tank below), you'll be feeling and looking great for workouts to come.
Won't Wear: Cotton Leggings
Will Wear: Performance Fabrics
This might sound like a no-brainer, but up until recently, I have ended up accidentally wearing something cotton to a workout as a result of either laundry day or a bag packed in a rush earlier that morning. Cotton leggings, in my experience, trap heat and show sweat like none other. After being embarrassed by weird sweat stains one too many times, I finally tossed all my cotton leggings for something a little more practical.
Leggings that are made with performance technologies are the way to go, always. These top-notch fabrics (don't ask me what's in them, I'm no legging expert), ensure your body is never overheated, that your sweat won't bleed through, and that your movements will never be compromised.