Kristina Mikolčić

How to choose workout clothes and where to buy them

Quality workout clothes is an important factor of any workout. Whether you are a recreational athlete or a professional athlete, sportswear has a purpose; in addition to protecting us, it gives us a sense of confidence, provides support and security, and can further motivate us to work out.

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Most common problems when shopping for workout clothes:

  • Price
  • See-through materials
  • Waistband type: wide or narrow
  • Too tight waistband
  • Too much or too little elastane
  • Type of material: dry fit, compression materials, cotton
  • Waistband depth
  • Unpadded or badly padded sports bra

Workout Clothes: Price

Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Zoe, H&M, etc, we have all heard of these sportswear brands. 

I remember when I first started exercising, I didn’t have any clothes from these brands. I found the best clothes I had at home and hit the gym. One of the reasons to this was that I wasn’t working yet at the time, I was studying and my budget was pretty limited. 

I couldn’t afford any of the brands mentioned above, they were all too expensive. Even when I started making my own money, I always liked to spend it wisely: buying clothes on sale, from outlets, lesser-known brands, or simply, saying what I needed when people asked me “what do you want for your birthday present.” : D

Furthermore, before I share with you a list of places where you will find affordable workout clothes, I want to give you another piece of advice: if you are just starting out with any form of more intense physical activity, avoid online stores that you have never heared before.

Why?

What looks beautiful on a picture does not necessarily mean comfortable, high quality and good for you. Regardless of the much lower price of clothes we can find online compared to the physical stores, if you do not know what suits you and if you do not know the manufacturers (because they all differ in something: material, quality, amount of elastane, etc…,) 

I recommend plannig a trip to a sportswear store for the first time. After a while, when you learn what works best for you when you’re working out and you know the brands, you can save a lot of money buying workout clothing online. But brands that you already know or brands that are recommended by another person who already tried them.

Best quality-price brands for workout and dance

Akara Social

One of my favourite brands. Akara Social. It’s a local Spanish brand that uses a part of their benefits to help children in Guinea Ecuatorial to have medical consultations.

Zoe Leggings

One of my favourite store in Croatia. They also have worldwide deliver and the prices are not expensive.

They have good products with really good quality.

H&M

Maybe is not the best quality, but acording with the price, for me is really good quality and really comfortable. 

I have few leggings and tops and both were a good purchase choice.

FAQ: How to choose best workout clothes

Waistband: wide or narrow?           

I hope you know what a waistband is, but, just in case, I will show you both examples to make it easier to understand:

Wide waistband
Narrow waistband

Personally, both types of waistbands are fine for me. However, a wide banner has its advantages; it hides the belly and visually reduces and beautifully shapes the waist. The only thing you have to watch out for with a wide waistband is that the rubber on the strap is not too tight because it can sting you and even hurt from too much pressure. 

Second, that the elastic extends through the entire width of the waistband and not just a little on the top. The narrow waistband of course doesn’t hide as much but also pay attention to the elastic.

Waistband depth

This is important for one practical reason. When performing exercises such as squats, for example, clothes always “move” around the body (depending on the material). 

Which means when you do a couple of squats, the leggings will definitely go down a little on your butt. What I don’t like is I don’t like fixing clothes during my workout so that someone else doesn’t see half of my butt. 

That’s why I always choose leggings with a higher waistband. How do you know if the depth of the leggings is okay? When you stand correctly, your tights must be at or slightly below the belly button. The lower they are, the more problems you will have when performing some more complex exercises.

Too much or too little elastane

Always buy leggings with elastane. However, be careful. This is hard to explain, but by trial and error, you will understand what I meant. Always try to “feel” how the amount of that elastane “behaves” on your body when you’re trying on leggings. 

As an example, I will just mention that I once bought leggings that at first seemed completely okay, but after a couple of washes instead of size S, they stretched to size L. Also, as far as cotton leggings are concerned, I recommend the same. There must be at least a little elastane. Otherwise the leggings will soon become baggy pants you’ll use for walking your dog. 😀

Type of material: dry fit, compression material & cotton.

In the summer, I prefer light sports clothes for working out, for example, those that have the dry fitt label on them. This means that such clothes already start drying while still on you, in contact with the air. 

On the other hand, in winter, for example, I wear cotton clothes with elastane or lycra more and sometimes I just choose what to wear based on how I feel. 

Manufacturers today are really trying to make workout clothes to feel like your second skin, so you will see for yourself over time what suits you best.

As for compression materials, it is, for example, clothing that is used by runners, such as sports bras. Such material reduces stress on the muscles and gives more security: it “squeezes” the muscles and the body more and you don’t have that feeling “that your breast or ass is shaking” when you run or jump.

Unpadded or badly padded sports bra

Before, I didn’t like sports bras without padding. Now I’m totally fine with that because you can find really firm and quality bras on the market, but on one condition: you have to try it on first. 

Buying a sports bra is not like buying a regular bra “in a hurry,” you can do that because you already know what your cup size. No, you have to try on a sports bra, every time. If you still prefer a bra with a padding, just make sure that the padding is “fixed,” that is, sewn inside the bra.

I hope this text will be of help to you when you will be buying your new workout clothes and will save you money and time. And when you buy these new things, use them as extra motivation to workout. If you have a bad day and you don’t feel like working out, always choose the combination in which you feel the best and strongest and there will be no workout for which you will not feel motivated.

I wish you smart shopping and after that, go workout.

Thank you very much for reading my blog. And, if you liked the post, I would like to ask you for something. Do an Instagram or Facebook Story with a screenshot of this post and tag me: @kristinamikolcic.

I would love to see who is reading my blog around the world! 🌎

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