Ask the FBGs: Plus-Size Workout Wear that Works


Credit: PinkMoose

Today we’re featuring an Ask the FBGs post. This feature allows readers like you to ask the FBGs for advice. Nothing is off limits, although we do prefer that it’s fitness or nutrition related, so send your undying health questions to AsktheFBGs@fitbottomedgirls.com. You just might see them posted on the site in the future!

Dear FBG,

I’m an overweight woman, who has been trying desperately on and off to take off weight. Things are going pretty well right now, but I would really like to start running. (I am LOVING the Run Like a Mother book I won by the way!)

My problem? Finding plus-size performance wear that isn’t skin tight and/or sleeveless. I’m an apple shape, carrying most of my weight in my tummy, chest and especially my arms. I am not comfortable in anything sleeveless out in public, and while I don’t expect a shirt that hangs off me, I don’t want it clinging to me either. (If people can count the rolls, it’s too tight.) All these little cap sleeves and so-called “short sleeves” that barely cover my armpits will not work. So far, I’m relegated to working out in my cotton T-shirts, and let me tell you, they hold the sweat smell. I tried Tide with Febreeze—didn’t help. I’m going to try the Win detergent next, but I digress. Is there anywhere a woman can buy a loose-fitting performance-type top with nice, roomy short sleeves?

Thanks so much for the site and all the information you put out there. I’ve really enjoyed it.

—Top Heavy

Dear Top Heavy,

Oh girl, thanks so much for your question! This is an issue that so many ladies, especially on weight-loss journeys, struggle with because you want to look good and show off your hard work, but in a way that is both comfortable and flattering. Thankfully, there are some good companies out there.

We did some research and found the following options:

  • The Champion brand at Target (hooray for affordable!) has some good looks that are semi-fitted, leaving you room to move and sleeves that actually cover what they’re supposed to.
  • A company that really seems to get it, Always for Me, has a great line of workout clothes and sports bras. It isn’t as affordable as the stuff at Target, but its refreshing to see real plus-size models in the apparel. Plus, the company’s sports bras have been featured on The Biggest Loser!
  • If you’re looking for a bit more fashion and sleekness with your workout gear, we totally recommend Lolly 38’s Taffy line of workout apparel. From fun designs on yoga pants to tailored tanks, there’s some fun stuff here with department-store pricing.

Between these sites, you should be able to find something that both functions and flatters! Let us know how the workout gear shopping goes!

Fit bottoms come in all shapes and sizes!


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  1. Kari Ritter says:

    Didn’t know there were such things! I got some shirts from Target I thought weren’t going to be so tight, but they were, and they were 2X. I was wearing 2X when this journey started, now I should be in XL. So afraid they were going to be tight, I got 2X, and they too are skin tight all over! Forget it if you wash them!

  2. Alida says:

    Check out Skirt Sports apparel as well! They definitely have the best running skirts which are so much more flattering and comfortable than shorts! There are also skirts with built in capris or pants. As far as tops…check out the Hour Glass Tee it may work for you, has amazing technical fabric and it’s super flattering! Good luck with the running!

  3. FBG Tish says:

    Coincidentally, I was recently introduced to a lululemon bra called the “ta ta tamer” that is made for women with bountiful bosoms. the lu lu girls promise optimum support, no uni-boob action and they’re pretty : )

  4. Kristi says:

    You can also get some great (if a bit pricey) stuff at Junonia.com. They have from 1x to 6x and it is very good quality. I get my swim suits and workout tops from them because I don’t like the too-tight fit either.

  5. Carol says:

    I also recommend Lands End! They have some great items in their Plus Size Active Wear collection. I love their V Neck performance wear top. I also agree with the poster above who shared Junonia. Their items are definitely on the pricey side, but I loved their dual layer shorts. I loved that they were shorts, but enjoyed the modesty the extra layer provided (especially in classes where we would lie down etc.). But the way they are designed, you don’t have the outer layer riding up while you’re walking; and no chafing! They are well worth the money.

  6. Debbie says:

    Plus size Danskin sports clothing and the Enell sports bra available here: http://www.onesweetone.com/ . Love, love, love this bra made specifically for larger breasted women to workout. Also, the Enell lite bra sold here is super comfy and supportive for plus size.

  7. Tracy T. says:

    HSN sells the BL Body workout gear to capitalize on the Biggest Loser name. I haven’t personally tried them, but some of the pieces look similar to lululemon designs.