Your workout clothes have more of an impact on your fitness than you think. It may sound shallow, but many people say that having a cute new outfit to wear to the gym will actually motivate them to go more often and to stay longer. I've even heard clients say that they've skipped workouts because bringing extra clothes and changing after their workout just makes the whole ordeal not worth it. Nice try, but that excuse doesn't fly, especially because there are tons of apparel companies out there making cute and functional fitness clothes that can transition seamlessly from your workout to your busy everyday life.
Cover-ups are easy to toss on over a sports bra before and after a sweaty Bikram yoga session. Skip your old college hoodie and show off your tight midsection with a light and breezy crop top, like Gaiam's Twist Front Top, perfect if you are meeting the girls after yoga class for lunch. Or, for a more casual choice, Gaiam's Studio Top is easy to slip on then out to run errands. A classic and elegant flowy top, like Gaiam's Blousant Top can be a trendy cover up over yoga capris and easily double as a work or dress shirt when paired with black skinnies.
Zumba is a great Latin dance-based workout characterized by its loud music and even louder clothing. Zumba offers their own attire, which usually consists of neon layers on top and loose, busily designed capris to allow for maximum movement, but most would think twice about wearing their Zumba getup in public. If you love to shake your money maker at Zumba, but want something that you won't be embarrassed to be caught in outside of class, look elsewhere for similar designs. Be Present's Kona pants are a little more inconspicuous, but just as functional, and are available in a wide variety of colors so you can still stand out in a crowd.
Running with Layers
Workout clothing is not just about having something to wear while getting sweaty anymore. Now, cute tops are becoming a great way to share your love of your favorite workout with others. Are you a die-hard road runner? Layers are a runner's best friend. Light layers will protect you from the sun on your run without overheating you. If you're a runner and want everyone to know it, the Whooha I Run...Burnout Tee is a great way to keep your skin protected while pounding the pavement and motivating others to do the same.
The Non-Basic Yoga Pant
Yoga pants: two words that will make both men and women drool. Always comfy and usually worn more often outside of workouts than during, yoga pants are a staple in any girl's wardrobe. Break away from basic black with vibrantly colored yoga pants, like the meSHEEKY Trixie pant. Available in seven great colors, the Trixie pants are the perfect way to add a pop of color to your wardrobe while you work out, while you run errands and while you have a girl's afternoon.
Skirts? Yes, Skirts!
Girlie girl? Skip the pants all together and go for a skirt. There are many running skirts on the market with built in shorts, but if you are looking for a true blue skirt you can wear anytime, try meSheeky's Odette skirt. An adorable skirt for anytime and available in a wide variety of colors, the Odette can be worn over workout capris for extra coverage during your workout and then as a cute bottom afterwards out to coffee.
And, Course, the Sports Bra
My wardrobe is usually pretty neutral, but when it comes to sports bras my philosophy is "the brighter the better." Sports bras aren't known for being the most flattering to your figure, but new shapes and designs are making them more of an accessory than an undergarment. Wear a bright and eye-catching sports bra under a loose fitting tank with yoga pants for an adorable workout outfit, then toss on a pair of jeans or shorts for a cute and casual outfit you can take to the streets. BodyRock's Sophie bra not only fits beautifully, it's the perfect outfit accent with its pretty pink floral pattern, gold front zipper and optional Swarovsky crystals for some bling.
Buying versatile workout gear is an investment that will end up saving you money by not having to maintain two, separate fitness and non-fitness wardrobes. Stocking up on a few key, versatile pieces and no one will notice you are wearing your gym clothes, but they will just notice your awesome fashion sense.
Kelly Turner is a Seattle-based ACE-certified personal trainer and professional fitness writer. She began writing after becoming frustrated with the confusing and conflicting fitness information in the media and the quick-fix, gimmick-centered focus of the fitness industry itself. Her no-nonsense, practical advice has been featured on DietsInReview.com, FitnessMagazine.com, Yahoo! Shine, and she has a regular fitness column in The Seattle Times. Kelly has her own blog at www.kellyturnerfitness.com or follow her on Twitter @KellyTurnerFit.