Sometimes, You Are What You Wear

workout clothing

What feature do you most look for in your workout apparel for buying? Credit: lululemon athletica

We review a lot of workout apparel here on FBG. So I know that I’m in a bit of an unusual work environment where I’m occasionally pushed outside of my own fitness and fashion norms. While the fitness fashion trends have been getting louder and brighter—and more feminine in many ways—I’ve worn whatever has been “in,” testing it for all of our readers. But, despite my call-to-FBG duty, I’ve noticed that as my confidence in my fitness abilities has grown, so have my fitness-fashion risks.

In college, I loved to work out and I worked out a lot. Probably too much. I’ve openly discussed the pressure I put on myself as a group exercise instructor and personal trainer, and how over-exercising, dieting and scale-obsession took me to body-image hell at that time in my life. When teaching, I’d choose neutral workout oufits—black capris with a slightly fitted T-shirt or athletic shorts with a basic tank (that I usually spent all of class making sure my stomach wasn’t pooching out in—oh, how those weren’t the days.) I wouldn’t dream of rolling in with pink socks, red and blue shoes, and a neon hoodie. Sure, at the time, those things weren’t really in fashion, but even if they were, I wouldn’t have been wearing them. Draw extra attention to my body? I think not.

Not to say that these days I’m flaunting my junk around. Shorts still cover all of my booty, and I’m not quite brave enough to run in just a sports bra on top (to the women who do so confidently, kudos to you. One day I will join you!) no matter how hot it is outside. Now my body hasn’t changed that much since college. Sure, I work out far less and have more cellulite. But I also have a cleaner diet and a bigger love of and for myself. And as my self-love and self-acceptance has grown, so has my ability to wear just about anything (that will, again, cover my lady lumps, humps and anything else Fergie has a euphemism for). Bright-pink hoodie worn without a second thought? Check (review coming soon!). Funky colored socks with even brighter shoes? Not a problem. Mismatched top and bottom. Oh, yeah, and I did it on purpose.

I am by no means a fashionista. Gosh knows Tim Gunn would probably have a field day with me. But I have to admit that dressing a little loud takes confidence. It’s liberating to not only have fun with the workout appareal you wear, but it’s also incredibly freeing to put something on and then not think about it again…because you’re so focused on your workout—and not on what the people next to you *might* be thinking of you. Chances are, they’re not thinking of you at all.

So whether or not you wear the latest fitness fashion trends or if you wear apparel that’s totally low-key, here’s a reminder to wear whatever feels good to you. Choose clothes that make you want to move and let you focus on what’s really important—you feeling like the best version of yourself. No matter what size your workout pants are or if they’re in neon or navy, rock them.

Does your workout attire reflect your confidence in yourself and your body? How? And why? Could you give it a little more self-love? —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


Add a comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Lynn says:

    I think my workout attire does say so much about how I feel about myself! I tend to wear baggy shirts and long sweatpants. I find them comfortable, yes, but I am aware that I choose them so I can hide in them (yes, my body image needs work).

  2. vicki says:

    in my dotage i’m REALLY liking color blocking.

  3. Joelle says:

    Unfortunately for me my attire does not match how I feel about myself at this point. After losing 100+ pounds and not being able to afford some new threads my old ones kinda hang and get in the way during my workouts. I would love to have some better fitting things it is just not in the budget so life goes on.

  4. Alyse says:

    Truth be told, my workout attire mostly involves old target tank tops. But lately I’ve found myself gravitating toward the brighter colors in my collection, partly because I love the contrast they make with my bright pink shoelaces 🙂

  5. Jenn says:

    My workout attire must match at all times. Different shades of blue or purples. It has to or I feel like my mojo is out of whack 🙂

  6. Cindy says:

    I weigh 350 lbs and I wear bright colored spandex, stretch cotton or one of the modern wicking fabrics fitted to my body. I used to wear t-shirts and I was convinced those little sleeves were making me hot in spinning class so now I wear tank tops. I have had many people tell me I am an inspiration because I am doing evey class they thought fat people could not do and I dress however I want. They also love the ridiculous ponny-tail I have sticking out of the top of my head.
    I’m there to exercise and if other people find it entertaining, so much the better!

  7. Madelyn says:

    Right now my clothes make feel confident about myself, I’m 155 pounds and I walk five days a week in the University track. I have to switch my mind because I was a plus size and when I buy clothes I always look for my old size. Wearing running tights and shirts in brights colors makes me feel that I can, no matter how tired I feel before work.