Reader’s Request: Wear to What

Heyyyyyy 😀 How are you? Hope you’re having a great day so far <3

I get a lot of questions regarding which types of clothes to wear for each type of workout- thought it would make a fun Reader’s Request 😀

As you guys know, it’s beyond cool to go to the gym in your grungy finest. I promise you that no one cares what you’re wearing. Before I started working at the gym (as a trainer/instructor, you’re supposed to look professional), I was lucky if my gym clothes matched. Usually they didn’t, and I wore my hair in a messy bun on top of my head. Ain’t no thang.

However, if you like to go the extra mile (heh), or wearing cute workout clothes helps motivate ya, here are some of my favorites for different types of workouts:

(Note: As always, brand and price range variety are included)

1. Spin and Run:

For spin, tight, wicking crops reign supreme- tight, longer shorts work well, too. When I used to wear Sofeee shorts to spin, I was left with a lovely bruise/cut on each thigh from the seat. Long pants are often too hot, so crops work perfectly.

For run, you can roll with crops or shorts, just make sure they’re a light technical material.

Run Inspire Crop  (run or spin)                                  Speed Short   (run)

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Spinner Short


As far as tops go, it’s usually a good idea to roll with something sleeveless for spin– just make sure it’s lightweight and wicking. I also bring a hoodie or sweater to throw on after class.

For running, you can do short-sleeved, sleeveless or long-sleeved. Just make it a tech fabric- cotton is the enemy.

Inner Awareness Tank                  Distance top

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BodyPump or weight training:

For any type of weights-based class, or your own on-the-fly weights workout, I usually roll with pants or shorts, depending on the rest of my workout. If I’m just doing weights, I’ll wear pants, and if I’m sandwiching it with cardio, I’ll roll with shorts. I get WAY too hot doing cardio in pants.

Tempo shorts                               Form Fitted Pant

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Tops: Same thing—roll with sleeveless, or lightweight short-sleeved, make sure the fabric is wicking.

Personal Best Singlet            Cape Elizabeth Racerback

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Dance Cardio (or Zumba):

I always like to get a little funky with my dance gear 🙂

You’ll want to wear a looser-fitting pant (for all the booty-shaking)- it’s always a bonus if the bottom has a drawstring, so you can scrunch the pants up the crops and pull the drawstring.

Two of my all-time faves:

Studio Pant                                     Fusion Cargo Pants

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Tops- anything goes!

Explosion top                       Ditch It Top

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Yoga or Pilates:

As far as tops go, you can pretty much wear anything. For hot yoga, wicking, tank or spaghetti strap (or just a sports bra) is perfection, and if you’re going to be doing lots of inversions, try a longer tank or one with a drawstring so it doesn’t creep up on ya.

These both have drawstrings:

 Yogi Dance tank                        Alia Top

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And these are just cute and fun:

Happy Buddha Tee                            Henna Lotus Tee

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I almost always roll with pants or crops for yoga. It makes me feel more comfortable than shorts (freedom to move without flashing anyone is always a good thing), but I’ll wear shorts for Bikram and cropped leggings for hot yoga.

For Bikram:

Boogie Short


Power Yoga

Wunder Under Crop (my pant lurve. You can dress them up or down, too)


For vinyasa, Pilates, anything else:

Cassidy Capri



I think that’s it! I had so much fun putting this post together! Hope it was helpful 🙂

What’s your workout of choice and what piece of athletic clothing have you used and abused?

See ya later today <3



PS. Eat some Indian Food for me, mmm k? 🙂

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  1. Heather (Heather's Dish) on January 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    i definitely over-use my underarmor running shorts in the summer time. i’m completely shocked they’re not totally dead!

  2. Gill (snaxandthecity) on January 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    What a great idea for a post!

    I usually do weights and high intensity cardio. I always wear Nike skin tight shorts (i have a pair that i love!) and usually some sort of old cotton t-shirt (gross, i know!)

    Gina, why should you avoid cotton? Is it just because the tech fabric is sweat wicking? Or is it bad for your skin or something? If so, I’ll definitely invest in some more high tech tops…

  3. Diana (Soap & Chocolate) on January 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Yeah, ever since Zumba became my life I feel an intense need for some looser cargos a la Zumbawear. When I wear sort of standard (like Groove) pants I feel too pretty/graceful/ballerina-y. It’s not that that’s not comfortable, it’s more the feeling the clothes give me! Need to get more ghetto. 🙂

  4. Salah (My Healthiest LIfestyle) on January 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    love this post!!! I am a huge lululemon girl!

  5. mi-an dela cruz on January 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I love workout clothes! i live in them. as i’m sure lots of people in here do as well.
    i have so many black workout pants ranging from lulu to new balance to gap to old navy to nike…that they are all my used and abused work out clothes. also have a racerback top from lulu that i truly love. i love the length of the top too. i went to NY last month and i wore it under my sweaters and totally kept me warm!! love the versatility!

  6. Ana on January 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Nice post!! I am one who likes to have some cool workout clothes, it does motivate me to get up and hit the gym!
    Thanks for the ideas, I love the pieces you chose, all are awesome and look great. I wish I could afford lululemon, their clothes are really pretty.

  7. Emily on January 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Love all of these! Wish they were in my budget! Any recommendations for some cute, but less expensive items for a gym crazed college girl?

  8. Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! on January 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    You just made me want to go shopping sooo bad! I have been looking for some cute cargo athletic pants. I definitely use and abuse my running tights, I pretty much live in athletic wear so I guess I really abuse it all! 😉

  9. Jillian on January 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Ahhh I just crecently found your blog and have quickly began reading daily! Lululemon is my absolute FAVORITE for workout clothes! My favorite workouts are ZUMBA, Kickboxing, Butt&Gut Class, Yoga….and running when I have no other options! My all time favorite pants from lulu are the Groove Pants, and the WonderUnder (pants and crops) and my favorite tanks that i cannot live without are the coolracerback and the scoop neck 🙂

  10. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn on January 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I luuuurve my Nike tempos! They are perfect for running, I can’t do the spandexy ones anymore;)

    Slash I wish I could wear tank tops when I work out, but since I’m prezzy of the itty bitty titty committee, it’s semi-difficult to find a good one. Any suggestions?!

  11. carpensm @ A Life Without Ice Cream on January 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Great post! But now I feel like shopping 😛

    My gym has a “no sleeveless” policy in areas that are coed. You can wear tanks etc in the women’s only and in studios for classes but not in the coed cardio room. Its always a challenge to find something cute and wicking with sleeves!

  12. Maryann on January 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I wear Nike tempo shorts for everything!! They’re my fave 🙂

  13. Chai Latté on January 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I finally made my inspiration board! 🙂

  14. Chai Latté on January 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm
    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      it’s beautiful!!

  15. Moni'sMeals on January 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    really cool post, super cool of you to put together. 🙂

  16. kirst on January 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    love the clothes, any suggestions on affordable sports bras? i’m a runner and have such trouble finding ones that keep the girls in place!

  17. Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) on January 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Awesome post! I love anything lulu, but you know what my alltime favorite must-have is? Their rockin’ headbands. Theres nothing worse than hair in your eyes during cardio, weights OR yoga!!


  18. Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition on January 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I’m all about the tight capri and tight tank top! I hate when clothing is lose on my in Yoga- once I wore a tee shirt and in downward dog it would alway ride up– so annoying!

  19. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on January 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I love my Lululemon Boogie shorts and I wear them for just about everything!

  20. Sara on January 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    The most important consideration for me is something that keeps ‘the girls’ under control. As I’m an ‘E’ cup (yes, natural, no I’m not otherwise large), this requires a decent sports bra and a support top, especially if the exercise requires any sort of jumping or running! Apart from that, which takes considerable planning and expense, anything goes. 😉 Surely I’m not the only one with this issue??

  21. Sara on January 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Kirst, I use Berlei for sports bras. Not cheap though, but really good.

  22. Namaste Gurl on January 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    How fun! I want all those fitness wears 🙂 Now I just need to find the mula….

  23. Caree @ Fit-Mama! on January 13, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for all the fitness wear tips!!! I wish the good stuff wasn’t so darned expensive!!

  24. AllieNic @Frisky Lemon on January 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    What cute workout clothes! My workout of choice is crossfit or heavy lifting, so I LIVE in stretchy pants and beaters…I heart capris usually because they don’t flap around, but I’ve recently fall in LOVE with Lulu’s groove pants! They’re SO comfy AND the don’t ride down (?) when I squat for olympic lifts!

  25. Shannon @ Philadelphia Phitness Pharmacy on January 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Love this post! Can’t wait to try some of these out!!!

  26. Melissa on January 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I always love your clothing posts! Gives me so much new ideas of what to wear in the gym and where to get it!
    There used to be these foldable Yoga pants from Lululemon, they came up almost to your bra line and could be folded down for Yoga etc, they are my all time favorite. They are discontinued so I am taking VERY good care of them!!!
    Thanks for the post Gina!

  27. Krista on January 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    The speed short and Wunder Unders are 2 of my faves. I also love the racerback for the gym.

  28. Ilana on January 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    For Pilates, I highly recommend a fitted pant so you and your instructor can be visually aware of how your leg is tracking and moving, ya know?

    For Zumba, I always bust out the bright colored gear!

    • Ilana on January 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      Oh, and Pilates tops, form fitting is the way to go, too. Joseph Pilates often had his students in their underwear or leotards and nothing else! Most of the old pictures of Joe are of him in his undies too haha.

  29. joanna on January 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    This was extremely helpful. I too wear assorted clothing depending on my work out and I always feel like some people just wear the same thing. I feel better now. I always have a problem if I am going to the gym and doing cardio and then yoga or some other combination. I started changing clothes. It’s annoying to carry all that stuff though when I go to work and then the gym. I just got a cardio skirt for Christmas. do you ever wear those? i haven’t tried it yet but I am always looking for more feminine work out wear.

  30. Dani @ Body By Nature on January 19, 2011 at 6:59 am

    This is great!
    To save your readers from much embaressment I would like to point out that I made the mistake once of wearing my Lululemon Boogie shorts into spin class thinking it would be ok…it wasn’t, they rode up and up until it looked like a pair of bikini bottoms :/

  31. erin m. {{well in l.a.}} on February 15, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Fun post, Gina! Lululemon had a line of cycling shorts last summer. The cut is incredibly flattering and the padding isn’t overdone (it’s more than enough for an hour of comfort). Any insider info on when/if they will be bringing them back?? I have students that would love to purchase a pair!

    • Fitnessista on February 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      we had them at the outlet for a little while, but no clue when they’ll be back

  32. Taylor on June 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    What about socks?! Ew, but important. I will NOT skimp on socks! I like the Nike Dry-fit variety and shorter ankle lengths are most flattering i find.

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