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. Whitney @ Blooming Significance on January 12, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I’m a runner so i live and breathe for those Nike Tempo shorts. I think they are great and comfy. I own about 7 pairs. You can never have enough right? 😉

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 11:25 am

      haha i’m right there with ya- i have like 6 pairs 🙂
      i’ve also been wearing the lulu groovy run shorts and love them

  2. Kristina @ Life as Kristina on January 12, 2011 at 11:22 am

    The Lulu retail shop around here has been out of the wunder under crop for months-I think I just have to bite the bullet and buy another pair online! I like the instant gratification though:( I def dress mine up too!

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 11:24 am

      at least lulu does free shipping! always a bonus 🙂

  3. Jessica on January 12, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I found some fitted capris the other day that I can’t seem to take off. They’re awesome! I usually don’t do long pants because I’m 5’3 and everything fits me too long 🙁

  4. Kristina @ spabettie on January 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I LOVE my wunder unders!!

  5. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on January 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

    For running, I LOVE the Lululemon Cool Racerbacks, the Push Ur Limits tank (which has enough support for running- for me anyway!) and the Run:Speed shorts. They are totally worth the $$! I also have a couple of pairs of groove pants for going to and from the gym, and since I don’t put them in the dryer (EVER!) they look like they did on the day I bought them years ago. For spin, my shorts are a little longer than the running ones, and I usually wear UnderArmour. Having said that… they need replacing soon because they have certainly been used and abused! Great post Gina! 🙂

  6. Kristy R. on January 12, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Great post! Do you have any recommendations on sports bras? I’ve tried TONS and always end up wearing two at a time because I don’t feel I get enough support from just one.

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 11:31 am

      the tata tamer from lululemon changed my life. i did sprints on the treadmill and NOTHING moved. i almost cried tears of happiness 🙂

  7. thefruitpursuit (Sabine) on January 12, 2011 at 11:28 am

    thanks for this great and extensive list! I’m writing a lot of exercise tips posts right now and it’s fun to see others doing themtoo!

    x sabine

  8. Nicole @ Making Good Choices on January 12, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I love Nike Tempo shorts, they are my favorite running shorts I’ve found. I also like lululemon yoga pants. I guess I need to get a pair of wunder unders though!

  9. Laury @ thefitnessdish on January 12, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I love racerbacks. They are my fav! Now a days I am rocking H & M long tanks because maternity gear is so overpriced! Those Boogie shorts are something I would of wore 7 years ago. Tight short shorts now, I just wouldn’t try to pull off 😉

  10. Amanda @Fashionably Plate on January 12, 2011 at 11:37 am

    This was a great post! This may be a stupid question, but why is “cotton the enemy”?

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

      it doesn’t breathe well at all- cotton= one hot and stuffy workout

    • Shelly on January 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      Cotton can also be a recipe for chafing if you sweat a lot b/c it sticks to you. I can actually wear cotton shirts if they are really fitted, but for running, I have to wear technical socks unless I want to blister like nobody’s business!

  11. TheHealthyApron on January 12, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I love shopping for work out gear! I rarely ever have that perfect matching outfit but I do feel kick ass when my out fit looks great! I adore the racerback form fitting tops that I don’t have to wear an additional sports bra with! Two for one!!

  12. Shanna, like Banana on January 12, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Love the first Luluemon pants you show and also the Bikram shorts.

    For Bikram I wear similar shorts and a sports bra..too hot for anything else!

  13. kelli on January 12, 2011 at 11:39 am

    The lulu site has bewn out of my size in wunder unders, so I finally went to my local lulu store and they had them and I bought them so excite to wear them on my plane to california tomorrow <3

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 11:42 am

      you’ll love them!

  14. Lisa on January 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Hey Gina – long time reader, first time commenting. Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m curious, since you work at Lululemon, do they “sponsor” (for lack of a better word), or give you any sort of “kick back” for recommending their products to your readers? I’ve noticed that you’re constantly mentioning them, and while I know you love their products, just curious if you’re benefitting from it at all (you should!!). I’m in a similar situation and wondering if I should take it to the next level, ya know? 😉
    Thanks for the great blog 🙂

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 11:43 am

      nope! i don’t get any benefit from telling you guys about their stuff- i do it because i seriously love their products! if i were making any type of gain (financial or otherwise), i’d be sure to include it in the post. i’m always transparent with my readers when it comes to that kind of stuff

  15. Jenn on January 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I almost always go to the gym (when I used to go to the I mostly run on my treadmill and yoga it up at home) in mismatched workout wear, messy hair and no make-up! Sexy. I use and abuse my favorite crop pants from the GAP’s new athletic line. Cropped pants make me feel like I’m running faster. I shied away from spin classes when I used to go to the gym. Don’t know why.

  16. Sara K on January 12, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Ahh! I think it’s time to pay a trip to Lululemon! I absolutely can never wear pants to the gym…I just get so hot and uncomfortable easily so I usually just wear a pair of running shorts and a t-shirt- but honestly, I want to get some cute workout clothes so that I can look a little more like I know what I’m doing in style 🙂
    Love the DitchIt top!

  17. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on January 12, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I love this post Gina! Thanks for all the linkbacks to the cute clothes! Now I have a few things I have to add to my wish list 🙂 I love the way Lulu clothes look, but not their price..haha!

    I agree w/ you on long pants getting too hot and also about the spaghetti strap/creeping up comments.

    The clothes that I have used and abused are a 10 year old Nike long sleeve wicking shirt, and some 10 year old Nike running shorts. Sort of the pre-curser to the Tempo Shorts. And Pearl Izumi running socks. And anything Be Present or Prana for Yoga. I could go on and on…but normally budget dictates what I buy, i.e. Target sports bras, and also I “shop in my own closet” to try to find buried gems I forgot about 🙂

  18. Anna on January 12, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I have a lot of lulu in my closet from my days as an educator and my favorite is their running jackets- I own 4 different styles, some waterproof, some wicking, and I love them all. My favorite winter runnign outfit is a waterproof lulu jacket over Under Armour coldgear top and UA coldgear tights. Warm and functional! I never found a lulu short that worked for me, unfortunately (I have a big butt and they just don’t make good shorts for the apple bottomed types) but love the Groove and Still crops for yoga.

  19. Joanna@ Drizzle of Sunshine on January 12, 2011 at 11:54 am

    ::swoon:: I had FUN just looking at these things! Is it normal for new bloggers like me to all of a sudden be OBSESSED with buying workout clothes? Everywhere I go I’m going straight to the workout section! I went to my first Lulu in Vegas and holy moly! AMAZING place. Thanks alot Gina for giving MORE things to buy! hahah

  20. Sheena on January 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll have to get a pair of the wunder under leggings – so multifunctional!

    So this is a little off topic, but the other day you mentioned that use good quality cake mix because it tastes just as good as from scratch and frost them with homemade icing. I’m supposed to bake for a birthday this weekend and am pressed on time and would appreciate it if you could recommend some good cake mixes…I have access to all kinds of grocery stores. Thanks! 🙂

  21. Michelle on January 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Hi Gina,

    What brand is the “Explosion Top”…Love it!

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      margarita- the title is linked if you want to check it out!

  22. Hilda on January 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Cool list! One question for you: what’s your take on VPL (visible panty line) at the gym? No-no or who cares?

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      i’d have to say no-no

    • Shelly on January 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm

      I have a lulu running skirt that I absolutely love and wear all summer long. I got a running jacket for Christmas that zip up, has reflective spots, and has lots of pockets that I’m currently living in for all of my outdoor workouts. (obviously running is my workout of choice.) It’s the Saucony Ethereal Run Jacket.
      I wanted to comment though to point out that the Lucy site you linked has a 30% off sale on everything, including sale items. I got a skirt and a pair of shorts that are going to be awesome on my honeymoon this spring and including shipping I paid $25. I love a good deal on travel clothes!!

      • Shelly on January 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm

        oops! that was meant to be a regular comment, not a reply. sorry!
        I will say that I just don’t care about VPL when I’m working out. I feel like comfort takes precedence over looks- as a chafing prone runner, I don’t even want to think about what would happen if I wore a thong with my workout clothes!

      • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm

        amazing deal!

  23. christina on January 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I dig that explosion tank!

  24. Jen on January 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    How does the woman in the Boogie shorts get abs like that? Do you think that was airbrushed?? BTW, it makes me think of Booger shorts. hahahha

    Also – do you ever have a problem wearing shorts in yoga and then getting too sweaty so you can’t hold your leg for poses like Dancer’s Pose? I have a big problem with that!

  25. Courtney (greeneyedrunner) on January 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I’m in love with running, and I find any excuse (or none at all) to wear my Nike running crops for EVERYTHING! I’ll often roll with a cotton tank for yoga, even though I know I’m not supposed to! I love the Cool Racerback though-makes me feel sexy!

  26. Leanne (For Health's Sake) on January 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    For spin… cropped pants are the way to go! Long pants make me freak out a little bit because I worry they’ll get caught on the bike (irrational, i know!) and they also are too long… but short shorts or baggy shorts would make me feel self concious!

    I hope to get in great enough shape that I can wear shorter shorts for running/yoga eventually! My biggest goal is to turn 25 next october in the best shape of my life!

  27. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine on January 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I’m OBSESSED with Tempo shorts. I have about 12 pairs and I wear them for pretty much every workout! Comfy, cute and not super expensive. I also love Lulu’s Groove pants-I got my first pair on Christmas and hope to stock up on a few more at the Lulu outlets when I’m in Orlando this weekend. Wishing you were still there!

  28. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine on January 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I’m OBSESSED with Tempo shorts. I have about 12 pairs and I wear them for pretty much every workout! Comfy, cute and not super expensive. I also love Lulu’s Groove pants-I got my first pair on Christmas and hope to stock up on a few more at the Lulu outlets when I’m in Orlando this weekend. Wishing you were still there!

  29. Steph on January 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Love the wunder unders – I’m wearing them today to work with some nice boots 🙂 They also work well for wearing under my groove pant lately when I’m running. It’s super cold here (-4 degrees F) so the extra layer is wonderful.

  30. Katie on January 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    My workout of choice would be Bikram, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa yogas. I usually wear pants and a tank to all three (pants to Bikram in the winter because I can sometimes not sweat at the end if I’m wearing shorts).

    And the one piece of workout clothing I’ve used and abused would be my 7th grade volleyball spandex shorts (I’m 28 years old). I wear those things to Bikram in the summer and wore them over the years to go running and to the gym almost daily and can’t believe they haven’t torn yet! (Now that I say that, they’ll probably rip at the crack next time I wear them). 😉

  31. Ginna on January 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I love spin and I def say pad crops or long shorts a a Must! Ur tooth wil tha you! I love my Shebest crops wih padding and their short skirt combos!

  32. Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) on January 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I usually wear a mix of Lululemon, Athleta and Target. Those are my personal favs. 🙂

  33. Kara on January 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Cute workout clothes make hard workouts seem easier somehow.

    I love wearing cute workout stuff, which is why I was so frustrated with maternity choices…I guess pregnant chicks aren’t supposed to look cute at the gym? I’m very happy to be back in cute stuff again!

  34. Sarah (Sarah Learns) on January 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    madison just got a lululemon shop – and i think i’m taking my birthday money next week and going STRAIGHT there! i can’t wait to see some of these cute things in person!

  35. Molly @ MollyRunsFresh on January 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Great post! I definitely use-and-abuse the Nike Tempo short. I have them in 4 different colors and refuse to run in anything else. Best. invention. ever!

  36. Christin@purplebirdblog on January 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I am a huge fan of the Target Champion sports bras and workout pants! I also got some awesome yoga pants from Costco that I wear constantly for yoga, both capri style and long pants! Love em (and wear em for running errands and stuff too!)

  37. Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter on January 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I wear a whole bunch of Nike and Lululemon. I have to wear pants when I run outside here, considering it was snowing last night.

  38. breakingsilence @ Freshman -15 on January 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I have used and abused my Soffe’s since high school. I’m thinking about buying the Nike Tempo shorts to replace ’em.

  39. Kelly on January 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I definitely abused the sofi shorts and cotton T’s in college. I think everybody did. I just wasn’t into spending money on real workout clothes. That has all changed now! 😉

  40. Katherine: Unemployed on January 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Speed shorts are my favorite! not for working out though because as soon as you do crunches or something, you’re going to be showing everyone what color your built-in underwear is!

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      yeah, they’re great for running.. crunches: notsomuch

  41. Jennifer@ Frost Bites on January 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I prefer shorts for most of my workouts. My legs get too hot..unless of course, I’m going for a run outside and it’s 30 degrees.

  42. Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] on January 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I just put the personal best singlet in my ‘shopping cart’. So dang cute! Do you own one? 🙂

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      no, but i’ve tried one on before- the fabric is DREAMY

  43. Katie on January 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Love this post and lululemon def has great stuff! Thanks for taking the time to put this post together! I also love the push it to the limits tank at lulu, it works really good for me and keeping my melons in control, lol!

    Have a great day Gina! : )

  44. Allison @ Food For Healing on January 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I love seeing all the workout clothes!
    When i go to spin i wear lulu crops and tank, works perfectly. I get warm, but not overheating. Good to see i follow what you recommend!

  45. Clare @ Fitting It All In on January 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I recently fell in love with the FlowY IV bra for Bikram! And I love my Nike spandex shorts too (better than the boogies I think 🙁 ).

  46. Sassy Molassy on January 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    As another workout wear fanatic, I love having cute, comfy clothes to wear to the gym or on a run.

    Lulu stuff is great if you can spare the $$. I love my wunder unders and groove shorts for boot camp and yoga classes.

    I also am in love with Moving Comfort’s sports bras. They are great for high impact workouts (running) and/or larger chested people. Occasionally, I’ve found a few tech t’s that I like on clearance at Tar-get.

  47. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun on January 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    What a great post. I would love to own all that stuff. Heck, I’ll be excited to start shopping in my closet again now that I have had my baby. 😀

  48. Sophie@ KeepCalmCarryOn on January 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I love my lululemon wonder under crops (I make my boyfriends buy me a pair every year for my birthday and christmas) My reverse groove shorts, my Nike hyper cool sports bra and an american eagle sports bra that I love but I don’t know what its called.
    Also, my Nike free runs (LOVE!)

  49. Cilla on January 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    My favourite favourite item is my lululemon knock out shorts <3

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      i have them too and love them!

  50. Christine (The Raw Project) on January 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Love the runner crop pants, I need to get to a Lululemon soon. My workout of choice is running and SkyRobics currently and I usually wear running crop pants.

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