Everyone that knows me knows that I am obsessed with shoes, I’m a self confessed shoeaholic…..I have shoes I haven’t even worn yet and yet continue to buy…
Anyways, after shoes , the other item that I have way too much of , but yet I still keep buying, is gym clothes!! As I write this, I am waiting on a shipment of a VSX gym tights, sports bra and gym towel (in my defense , Victoria’s Secret had a special promo on with a tights, sports bra and towel for $55 plus Free Shipping! It would have been a crime to NOT get this purchase!) .
I try to go to the gym four times a week and I have a gym color scheme , yes I know it sounds corny , but it’s true. All of my gym clothes , my gym bag, my gym equipment and my sneakers are either black, pink, white , grey or a mix of all those colors , sometimes I throw in a hint of orange to make it exciting .
When I first started the gym about 11 years ago, I didn’t really care what I wore to the gym, it was just clothes to exercise in , so I wore regular “baby tees” and cotton tights…..now it’s totally different, there are a couple things that I look for when buying gym clothes .
- Functionality – Gym clothes must be comfortable , you definitely don’t want clothes that restrict your movement, especially for movements like squats or deadlifts etc. or even cardio. You need to look for something that won’t “get in your way” or limit your range of motion when doing certain movements. Gym wear should also be “breathable” , that is , they should enable you to feel cool during your workout , of course it’s impossible to not sweat, but at the same time you should not feel like you are working out in an oven.
- Aesthetics – Gym wear should make you feel and look your best, nothing is wrong with wanting to look cute in the gym especially if you are working out like a beast. Please note that I do not condone dressing up and for the gym and looking like a model , only to reach the gym and walk on the treadmill for an hour while snap chatting your friends…There are so many options for gym clothes that are fashionable nowadays , they have become such a huge fashion empire that many brands have jumped on the bandwagon and started their own active line. General rules for active wear that make you look your best : – Compression wear is the shiznit , it holds in all the extra folds and ripples that you may have and smoothes everything out, especially high waisted compression tights, nothing makes your tummy look flatter and waist smaller than high waisted tights. This tip is specifically for women by the way, NO man should be wearing compression tights unless they are built like a Greek God – Racerback tanks make your shoulders and back look awesome , the shape of the racerback makes your shoulders look broader , thereby making your waist look smaller. Not to mention that if you have toned arms, tanks are the best way to show them off! – Jackets , if you are self conscious about your body , you can always opt for a zip up jacket or hoodie, not only do these cover any flaws you might have but they make you look super athletic and honestly when I wear my hoodie in the gym I feel like a total Badass
- Economical – This for me is the most important factor when choosing gym clothes , and most times it is THE deciding factor . I am always looking for super deals and I have been told I have a nose for finding the best deals at the best prices. I am not willing to spend tons of money on gym wear (or any wear for that reason but especially gym wear) , reason being that you can literally get fashionable, durable , functional gym wear for a fraction of the cost of Lululemons . No offence to those who purchase Lululemons , I just can’t see myself spending $100US on a pair of tights when I can purchase one that is just as good in terms of quality for $40US !
I have zero loyalty to brands , my gym wear is from at least 10 different brands, wherever has a sale on at the time is where I will purchase my active wear. Here is my list of the best places to purchase active wear online at decent prices:
- Victoria’s Secret – No longer is VS only known for their lingerie , but they have grown quite popular in the active wear category . I am waiting on my first VS sports bra to be delivered but I have two of their Knockout gym tights and one more on the way . They offer sports bras for light, medium and heavy impact workouts and they are super trendy and cute .The Knockout tights are AMAZINGGGGGGG!!!!!! I got them on sale for $35 and it is one of the best investments I have ever made , the regular price is $70 , which is why I wait till they are on sale to purchase. These tights are so soft and fit like a glove, they have the fit of a compression but much more comfortable, it features 4 way stretch material and body wick technology so you stay cool and dry. It also has a small inside pocket on the waistband to hold small items like a key. These tights come in 3 different rises(?) – low, medium and high , 3 different cuts – crop, capri and full and 3 different lengths – short , regular and long. For someone like me who is barely 5ft tall , the fact that VS makes tights that come in a short length is the best news since sliced bread, in fact it’s better than sliced bread. Not only do these tights come in a large variety of colors and patterns but they make your butt and legs look AWESOMESAUCE . They make your legs look longer, slimmer and toned and makes your butt look bigger , trust me, buy these and you would not regret it! Note that I read some reviews saying that they started making the knockout tights with a slightly different material so please read the reviews before purchasing.
- Old Navy – Before I discovered VS Sport (VSX) , I purchased alot of gym clothes from Old Navy , both tops and tights . Old Navy is still my go to for gym tops, more specifically, racerback tank tops, they come in a large variety of colors and patterns and some even have really cool graphics and gym memes on them . The best part is that when they are on sale, you can probably get them for around $5US – $8US each, of course, at that price don’t expect fancy sweat wicking material etc. they are basic cotton tanks but still look great, at that price you really can’t go wrong. There are tons of different styles in their active wear top line that now carry the “Go-Dry” feature made from a mix of Polyester and Spandex or Polyester alone that also sell for $15US and on sale for around $5 – $8 . The last pair of tights I bought from Old Navy was a long time ago, but it was too large for me, even though it was an XS, bear in mind that as mentioned before I’m barely 5ft and weigh roughly 111lbs so I am “petite” . However, within the last few years their active line has improved significantly , just like VS they also have different lengths and cuts and a huge variety of colors and patterns. Their tights retail between $30US – $33US and when on sale go for anywhere between $15US – $25US . The best thing about Old Navy is that they ALWAYS have a sale on, do not buy anything at the regular price because most likely within a few days, it will be on sale!! I cannot reiterate enough to read reviews before purchasing so that you do end up having to do returns or give the items away.
- Forever 21 – Generally Forever 21 is one of my favorite places to shop, they usually have really good deals and have within the last few years really upped their game in the active wear department . I have a few sportsbras from F21 and I love them, they fit great, have the padded inserts so there’s no “show through” AND they were less than $10US!!! The sports bras from F21 come in a huge range of different styles and colors and vary in price from $10US – $15US , and are available in 3 different types – light , medium and heavy impact workouts .They also carry a large variety of gym tops, tights and shorts. F21 is known for their very reasonable prices and the active line is no different , the most expensive items are less than $30US. There are different cuts and styles in both tops and bottoms in their active line but their lengths are all standard (no petite or tall lengths) . Forever 21 always has a sale section, so I normally check there first when I’m shopping on their site.
- Express – Express is also one of my favorite places to shop online , the quality of their items are fantastic but can be on the pricey side, which is why I buy from them ONLY when on sale. Many people probably would not think about checking out their activewear simply because it’s not a huge part of their business, there isn’t a large variety of styles etc. compared to the brands mentioned above , but you can always depend on their quality , their styles are relatively basic but still trendy and retail between $35US – $70US , however when on sale they can go down to $24US – $42US , or even better you can wait till they have their extra sale on clearance items when it can go down to less than $20 per item. I own two gym tees from Express (EXP) and they are two of my favorite gym tops, they keep you cool and dry during workouts and the way that they positioned the seaming makes you looks slimmer and gives you the “coke bottle” shape.
- Amazon – Everyone knows you can find anything on Amazon , well other than the brands above , but you can get all the popular sports brands like Nike, Adidas , Puma , Reebok , Under Armour etc. plus another bunch of unknown brands that got really good product reviews at really cheap prices! I particularly like the fact that Under Armour is available on Amazon simply because Underarmour.com does not accept international credit cards and in any case Amazon usually has better prices than the website itself. The only issue with shopping for activewear on Amazon (or anything on Amazon for that matter) is the amount of pages and pages that you have to go through before you find something that you really want at the price you are willing to pay. Of course, the upside to this is that the options for brands and styles are endless and there are different sellers selling the same item at different prices. Lastly, FREE shipping over $25 is always a plus!
- 6PM – This website is similar to Amazon at least when it comes to clothing, handbags and shoes. They carry a variety of different brands and styles , all of which are brand names at very reasonable prices and you can filter by brand, size and price. I find it easier to navigate on 6PM so what I would normally do is when I find something on 6PM that I like , I copy and paste the description into Amazon to see if they have it so I can compare prices and read reviews. The style variations are pretty conservative on this site, but they do have very good basic gym attire . 6PM also offers free shipping with 2 or more items or over $50 .
Hopefully I have helped in some way for when you are making your next activewear purchase , always remember you do NOT need to pay ridiculous prices for great gym wear!