Here is the first Workout Clothes Review of some expensive brands and some cheaper finds. Finding clothes that are comfortable enough to sweat in, jump in, and still feel confient in is a lot harder than it seems (pun intended!).
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The ultimate goal when it comes to any workout clothing is comfort and confidence. Nothing is worse than flimsy, see-through, or restrictive clothing when you’re trying to challenge yourself.
But, have you seen how expensive some workout wear can be? It’s crazy out there! You can find leggings for $8 or $80; sports bras for $14.99 or $89.99.
Is there a balance between getting something cheap? Because, let’s face it, you’re just going to sweat and roll around on the floor in it. Or something super expensive? Because you will use it a lot and its going to last a long time.
How do you know what’s worth the money and where you can save?
Well, let me take some of the guesswork out. I have tried quite a few different brands and styles of workout wear over the years. And, I’m here to tell you what is actually worth the money and what is not.
I have included photos and links to below and tried to include all my fit and sizing info. Enjoy all my best #fitspo poses just like on Instagram!
Find what workout clothing works best for YOU.
What I like may not be what you like, so be sure to try different styles, materials, and brands until you find the perfect match.
In general, you want a good quality material, preferably moisture-wicking. Look for reinforced seams, pockets, and thick waistbands. Don’t forget, if you need extra support, there are tons of different styles of compression wear that aren’t restrictive.
Take your gym clothes off as soon as possible and wash them after every wear. I wash everything in cold water with this laundry detergent [shown to the right]. It’s free of perfume and dyes, which is perfect for my sensitive skin. Then I hang dry everything and store in a basket for easy access.
My workout clothing favorites.
I do not like shorts and definitely prefer leggings. I have fallen in love with seamless tights over thicker leggings because they have more movement and stretch. But beware, they are quite a bit more revealing than leggings.
When it comes to sports bras I hate the “uni-boob” style, and prefer something with separation or underwire. I absolutely love this Danskin one [shown on the left]. It has amazing support, a front close, and gives you an smooth silhouette.
Finally, make sure to invest in a quality pair of athletic shoes. I have always loved Nike’s and find them to be very comfortable and very durable over the long haul.
Workout Clothing Brand Reviews
I purchased a few items during their Summer Sale in June and have genuinely fallen in love with this brand. All of the items are made of very high quality material and their construction is flawless. The shipping was super fast, and each item was individually packaged and wrapped.
Here you see me in the Gymshark Energy+ Seamless Leggings in Indigo ( wearing a large) and the Gymshark Seamless Bralette in Black (also wearing a large). I love both of these pieces. They are perfectly sized and the material is soft yet holds its shape so well. I feel compressed without feeling restricted.
I purchased these leggings on sale but to be honest I would pay full price. They are totally worth it. I also really like the cutouts and how they draw the eye down the leg, giving you a slimmer look.
I did purchase the Gymshark Elevate Sports Bra also in Indigo (size medium) and wear it on occasion. It is not my favorite as it does give the dreaded “uni-boob.” But I have to give it credit for the serious support as well as the zipper which is really cute when only half-zipped.
I also ordered the Gymshark Vital Long Sleeve Crop Top in Black Marl (size large), however it is definitely not cut for those with bigger boobs.
I loved the arm length and the thumb cutouts and it was so comfortable. But whenever I lifted my arms, even a little bit, my bra was exposed. I was so bummed because I really loved it and I am still on the lookout for one!
TL;DR for Gymshark: Worth the cost for a few staple items.
I have purchased tons of Nike active wear over the years and if I am being really honest, it is not my favorite. They have very few styles and colors (which in my opinion are not current with trends). I also have noticed their sizing varies with every single style, making it really hard to buy multiple items without having to try everything on.
Their leggings do not hold up very well to long term wear or the washing machine. I found their fabrics to be very synthetic feeling and sweat REALLY stands out on them.
Their shoes, however, are a completely different story! They are absolutely worth the investment. I am lucky enough to live near a Nike Outlet store so I pick up a new pair about every six months. I love how thin yet supportive and comfortable their soles are. Their styles are very cute and they have tons of fit options (whether you need wide or narrow).
TL;DR for Nike: Shoes are worth it, clothes not so much.
I purchased the Echt Scrunch Sports Bra in black (size large) from this brand and unfortunately it is not my favorite.
As a full-busted woman, I have a hard time purchasing sports bras online. Is it just me, or do most athletic wear companies show the bras on women who have small chests, or breast enhancements? Neither of which shows me how the bra will actually fit and support.
The bra just does not have much support or shape to it at all. But, it is incredibly comfortable! This bra is now a pajama bra as their return policy is not super friendly (pay to ship back to Australia).
However, as a brand Echt was very comparable to Gymshark in quality of material and construction. They have different designs and color schemes but overall similar styles and it is definitely worth the price.
TL;DR for Echt: Good quality, bad return policy
Below you see me in the WODOWEI 2 Piece Outfit in Green (wearing a large). This is one of the Gymshark dupes listed on Amazon and is about half the price of the original set (GS set retails for $95 for the leggings and matching crop top, where this set is just under $30).
I have to admit that this set is not as high quality or well constructed as the Gymshark pieces are. However, if you are tight on money, this is a very passable alternative.
Here I am wearing the Iuga High Waist Yoga Pants . I absolutely love these leggings. They are accurately sized (I am wearing a large), and very well constructed. The seams are solid and the fabric is thick but super soft. They are perfect as athleisure wear for traveling or running errands. But they are not my favorite for working out.
They are a little too thick and don’t stay in place as perfectly as the tights. These are just too hot whenever I’m working out. But for leggings, these are amazing and they have pockets. They are also very long, so if you have long legs they are the perfect length.
They are also not a 7/8 length like most current style leggings. So if you are tall these would probably be the perfect length. I do flip the bottom seam up on mine to get the shorter length I prefer.
To the right, I am wearing a black mesh covered red sports bra that I found on Amazon. It is fairly comfortable and decently constructed.
It does not have much support so I am wearing a different sports bra underneath. But it is really flirty, unique, and very comfortable.
TL;DR for Amazon: Good quality dupes if you’re looking to save.
I found this Canadian brand on Instagram and their athletic tops are amazing! Their sizing is shockingly spot on and well made. Their tops are super supportive (though I still wear a sports bra underneath at the gym), very well constructed, and SO flattering.
I bought (7) tops during one of their huge clearance sales and each piece was about $5.00. I love the simple style and each one has its own differen accent. Their details and styles are very trendy and so cute.
I highly recommend this brand if you are looking for a few cheaper quality items to fill out your collection. They have very cute camouflage tops, tons of colors, and all different styles.
TL;DR for La Senza: Cheaper, trendy options to fill out your collection.
I have actually purchased quite a few sports bras at Walmart that have seriously held up over the years. They have quite a few different styles so you can try something new without the risk. Most of their sports bras are under $20.00 and they have great options if you need lots of support.
I also like their sneakers [worn in all photos]. They are very cheap and feel that way (think spongy soles). But for something I don’t mind getting dirty and tossing after a few months, this is the place. Their trendy sneakers are less than $20 and come in a variety of cute colors so I even get to match them to my outfit.
TL;DR for Walmart: Short lifespan but occasionally trendy.
Reuse, Rewear, Recycle
When I first started working out I did not want to spend money on workout clothes. Instead, I stole a bunch of my fiance’s old shirts and cut them up to wear at the gym. I bought only two pairs of capris and washed them constantly (fyi, they did not last long lol).
I am still a firm believer that you do not need fancy clothes or shoes in order to get fit and healthy. You can do the damn thing in whatever clothes you have!
And if you workout at home you could do it in whatever the hell you want. So if you are on a budget, do not feel pressured to splurge on unnecessary workout wear for the gym.
I love recycling old shirts, especially ones with funny logos or sayings and turn them into tanks or crops. You can even find silly or cute shirts from the thrift store and make them into crops or halters.
Since I have been working out for years now, I have a lot more fun with my outfits. But if you’re not quite confident or adventurous yet, don’t worry. All you need is something comfortable that gives you a full range of motion and holds you in place. Oh, and that you don’t mind getting drenched in sweat!