Best Workout Clothes for Women Reviewed
There are a million articles on the internet about what women should or shouldn’t wear to the gym. But let’s be honest, it all comes down to personal taste with very few exceptions that all relate back to safety. If you’re a woman and you’ve tried to find articles on gym clothes, you’ve probably walked away from the computer rubbing your eyes and wondering why everything seems to be the wrong thing to wear. And you’re probably tired of it. Which is why this is not one of those articles. This is an article that is intended to showcase the best workout clothes for women in terms of what staples the active woman needs. Whether the clothes are tighter or looser, all black or a riot of colors, cute and on-trend or a comfortable classic style is all up to personal taste.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Bound Edges and Flatlock Seams
Top 10 Picks
1. Icyzone Racerback Tank Tops
Bound Edges and Flatlock Seams
Sizes Run a Little Small
Icyzone offers just about every kind of athletic apparel a woman could want. From jackets to socks, they've got their customers covered from head to toe. Most of their products are available in a wide range of sizes and are designed with many current trends in mind such as decorative straps and pastel colors. Their clothes are designed for more than just fashion, however. Each garment features flatlock seams, bound edges, and moisture-wicking fabrics to keep the wearer comfortable through even the longest workouts.Read more
Lightweight and Moisture-Wicking
A tank top is likely to be the second layer a woman wears at the gym and if the material is too thick, this can cause her to overheat before she'd otherwise be ready to call it quits for the day. Heavy fabric also feels more cumbersome and can be a distraction doing workouts where concentration is key. Icyzone's tank tops avoid these issues thanks to their lightweight material. They're also moisture-wicking so that their wearers will stay drier and cooler, longer.
Neck tags are annoying distractions at their best and claw-like at their worst. They can turn a perfect top into something that sits, unworn, in the back of someone's closet. These tank tops are designed to stay in rotation thanks to their lack of a neck tag. No matter how hard their wearers work out, their necks will stay comfortable and chafe-free.
Cost and Value
These tank tops are available as single tops or in packs of three. The bulk pack is a better value overall as it gives the buyer three times as many shirts for only two times the price of a single garment. The company's prices, whether for the three-pack or the single top, are among the more affordable among fitness tank tops on the market and that is before features such as the tagless neck and the moisture-wicking fabric are taken into account. The tops also feature bound edges along all the hems and are constructed using flatlock seams to reduce chafing. Icyzone's sizes run a little bit small but that is an easy issue to work around for the affordable quality of these tops.
2. MIRITY Racerback Sports Bras
Comfortable Support for Larger Chests
Several Color Options
Supportive Side Coverage
Pads Shouldn't Go Through the Washer
It's not often that I can personally voice for a product as happily as I can vouch for MIRITY's sports bras. They are my go-to and just about the only sports bra that I use any more, whether I'm working in the weight room, flowing through a yoga class, or taking a few laps around the track. They offer support for all chest sizes and are particularly well-suited for women like me who may be a little more "endowed" than most sports bras account for. The product's design offers excellent side coverage, no underwire, and removable pads. The pads have to be removed and hand-washed when the bras go in the washing machine but that's a small extra step to take for a garment that fits as well as these do.Read more
Supportive for Larger Chests
I have struggled with sports most of my life. Not because I dislike them but because they made me uncomfortable. Brick-and-mortar stores rarely carried sports bras that offered the kind of support I needed without the discomfort of an underwire that would cut in after twenty minutes of exercise. That all changed when I found MIRITY. Their products are designed to offer maximum support and maximum support all at once whether you're an A cup or an E.
Most sports bras on the market seem more like bathing suit tops in that they don't offer all-around coverage and mostly focus on the front of the chest. MIRITY sets itself apart by offering solid support all the way around so that their customers can be confident that they're supported no matter what exercise they're taking on.
Cost and Value
MIRITY offers their products in several package sizes. Their 5-pack is only thirty dollars and provides ideal coverage for an entire week of working out. Their products are also offered in a range of colors so that everyone can find their style match among these high-quality products. They are absolutely worth every penny, especially for women with larger chests who struggle to find sports bras that they can feel confident enough to really get moving in.
3. ODODOS High Waist Yoga Pants
High Waisted for Tummy Control
Several Size and Color Options
Made of Synthetic Materials
ODODOS is a small company with only a couple of products, but what they lack in diversity they make up for in quality. Their yoga shorts and yoga pants are both designed with a wide waistband that goes up over the hips. Both of these design choices will help the garments stay in place through an entire yoga sequence as well as any running, lifting, or biking that the wearer might put them through. Their pants also feature thigh pockets which makes them ideal for runners, joggers, or anyone who might have to keep their keys, phone, or wallet on them while working out.Read more
High and Wide Waistband
Hip-huggers have been in style for about twenty years now but that doesn't mean that they are an ideal cut for athletic clothing. Low waistbands tend to roll or fall when they are put through frequent and intense motion while the high waist on these pants is more likely to stay flat and stay in place, thus avoiding discomfort and distraction. Thick waistbands are similarly less likely to shift or roll than thin ones and they also tend to be more flattering to more body types which are a small added bonus.
Ah, the pocket. It is the most elusive and sought-after design element among women's apparel. ODODOS must have known this when they designed their yoga pants. Not only did they include a pocket but they made it functional in both size and location. Located on the thigh, it is low enough that phones and slim wallets placed inside are less likely to fall out while keys will be kept snug and, hopefully, jingle-free while the wearer is on a run or burning through a workout.
Cost and Value
These pants might seem a little pricey for a single pair but their value should not be underestimated. The pocket alone makes them more versatile than the vast majority of yoga pants on the market today. Their wide and high waistband will stay in place and their numerous size and color options mean that there is a pair for nearly every body type.
4. Dasuta Athletic Head Band Set
Set Of 10
Suits Many Hair Types
Material Stretches Easily
Sizes Run Small
Dasuta is a comply primarily concerned with headbands and hair coverings that are both stylish and convenient. Most of their bands come in multipacks, whether the product is intended for day-to-day fashion or for a trip to the gym. Their athletic bands are highly absorbent and designed to stay in place through long workouts so that the wearer can keep her focus on the workout and not on keeping her hair contained.Read more
Good for Almost All Hair Types
Clips and ponytail elastics are often promoted as ideal hair products for women who plan on hitting the gym, but they don't work for all hair types. Not everyone has the hair texture or length that lend themselves to ponytails or the aggressive hold of a clip. These headbands, on the other hand, will help keep the wearer's hair off their face and off their neck while the exercise which will help them stay cool and focused. The bands should do no damage and slide off easily once the workout is over.
Dasuta also designed their headbands to be highly absorbent. This may pose a problem for people who keep moisturizer in their hair, unfortunately. But it will also help wick sweat from the scalp and brow which will help the band's wearer to stay cooler, longer.
Cost and Value
These headbands are sold in packs of ten. The price for each pack is low enough that the headbands are only a dollar or two apiece which makes them affordable for almost any budget. The ten-pack gives the customer enough headbands to last a little over a week and closer to two weeks if they take a few rest days. Customers also get a wide range of colors in each pack which will allow them to choose the band that best matches their outfit or mood, depending on the day.
5. PUMA 6 Pack Low Cut Socks
Large Pack Size
Built-In Arch Support
High Price Point
Almost Entirely Polyester
PUMA is one of the biggest brand names on this list. They are best known for their shoes but they have been involved in the wider athletic-wear industry for quite some time. Their 6-pack of low-cut athletic socks is one of the best on the market, even if some sellers charge a higher price to reflect the reputation of the PUMA brand. These socks are moisture-wicking with built-in arch support and are available in a large range of size and color options.Read more
It's a gross but unfortunately universal truth that feet get sweaty when we work out, especially if we are working out with shoes and socks on. This can lead to unfortunate odor but that is not the most worrisome outcome. Damp feet can lead to athlete's foot which is incredibly uncomfortable and, if left untreated, can become a more complicated issue. Moisture-wicking socks draw sweat away from the wearer's skin to help them avoid this issue entirely.
Built-In Arch Support
No sock is going to provide the kind of arch support that a supportive shoe is going to offer, but some socks can certainly help! PUMA designed their athletic socks with a little bit of built-in arch support so that their customers could rest more easily on their feet. Supportive shoes are still recommended and the arch cut might take a little bit of time to get used to, but the added arch care is absolutely worth it.
Cost and Value
PUMA's six-pack of socks is available in several prices ranging from the affordable to the nearly-absurd. Some sellers increase the price because of the prestige that the PUMA brand carries, but other sellers focus on the merits of the socks themselves. They're not worth the inflated prices, but if buyers can find a set at the more reasonable end of the spectrum, they are tremendously valuable.
6. Cestyle Scoop-Neck Tank
Works As Streetwear
Lots of Color Options
Sizes Run Small
Not Machine Washable
Cestyle is a fashion brand that likes to keep their fingers in several pies at once. They have everything from dresses and tops to athletic wear, almost all of it on-trend and utterly adorable. Their eye for fashion extends to their athletic line which results in products like their scoop-neck racerback tank. Its fit-and-flare style couples well with Gym or street clothing while also keeping the wearer cool.Read more
Longer Length and Flared Hips
One of the most flattering trends making the rounds right now is to increase the hem length of tops and leave them fitted across the bust before having them flare around the waist. This creates a flattering A-Line shape that also allows for more air flow which will help keep the wearer cool.
A more mysterious trend on the rise is that of athletic clothes that have to be hand-washed or dry-cleaned. Cestyle thankfully decided to forgo this particular trend in favor of machine-washable material that is much more user-friendly. This gives their customers the ability to have a more capsule-like wardrobe because they can wash and wear the same top with more frequency.
Cost and Value
This top might seem a little pricey but it is well worth the moderate investment. It pairs well with street clothes so it is not limited to the gym alone. The material is lightweight and breathable which will keep the wearer cool in and out of the gym, and the cut is a flattering flare that is sure to make anyone feel a little more confident during their workout. The only real hangups are that the shirts are sized a little small and that they should not be machine-dried. Cestyle recommends that their shirts be laid flat to dry or line dried, which is important to keep in mind before purchasing any.
7. FITTIN Racerback Sports Bras
Risk of Fakes
FITTIN is another company with a small, focused inventory and the reputation to prove that doing a handful of things and doing them right can really pay off. Their product line consists of three athletic garments: sports bras, leggings, and yoga pants. All of their products are made using Climacool fabric and all of them are well-rated by their customers. Their sports bras are also designed with narrower straps and a narrower back than normal so they are more likely to remain under the outline of an overshirt throughout a workout.Read more
Climacool fabric is an engineered material that is designed to do two things in order to keep its wearer cool. First, it wicks moisture away from the skin which also draws away traces of body heat. A little loss of body heat might not seem like much, but the cumulative effect is a lower body temperature. After wicking away the sweat, the fabric releases the moisture due to quick-dry properties, thus fully releasing the heat and making way for more moisture to be absorbed.
Most sports bras have a fairly wide back to provide a smoother level of coverage while the wearer is on the move. FITTIN chose to go with a narrow back which may not give quite as smooth of an appearance but does increase the likelihood that the bra's straps will remain covered by an overshirt during the workout.
Cost and Value
A few sellers offer these bras and they do so at a range of prices. The higher end of the price range is not necessarily worth the investment, even for four Climacool bras. But the lower prices are an absolute bargain and certainly worth the asking price.
8. CompressionZ Leggings
Back Waistband Pocket
100% Money-Back Guarantee
4-Way Stretchable Fabric
CompressionZ has made a few lists before and there's little reason to wonder why they keep reappearing. Their products are made to higher standards than most despite being affordable on most budgets. Their high-waisted leggings are an ideal addition to any active wardrobe, particularly because they are just as useful on the court or in the weight room. They are constructed using 4-way stretch fabric and have been designed with the back waistband pocket and are made to offer a true compression fit.Read more
Back Waistband Pocket
Pockets are hard enough to find on women's clothing, let alone pockets placed with accessibility and security in mind. CompressionZ's leggings are designed with a pocket in the waistband, located in the center of the wearer's back. This pocket takes a small amount of flexibility to get into but it is also one of the most secure locations for a couple of cards or a runner's house key so that they can run hands-free.
100% Money-Back Guarantee
CompressionZ is the kind of company that stands behind their products. Not only are their products affordable and made to last, but the company goes the extra mile and offers their customers a 100% money-back guarantee if they are unhappy with their purchase. The product's rating highlights how few people end up returning their CompressionZ products, however, which just adds to the company's solid reputation.
Cost and Value
Compression garments are usually more expensive than similar items on the market because of the material needed to provide the proper amount of pressure on the wearer's body. CompressionZ has managed to buck this trend, however, and offers a quality garment at an affordable price that gives their customers the kind of compression necessary to reap the benefits. The products are good enough that fakes have become a problem in recent years and buyers need to be sure that they are buying directly from CompressionZ in order to get the real deal.
9. Baleaf High-Waist Yoga Shorts
Sizes Run Small
Baleaf has made a few previous lists but their high-waist yoga shorts are such an ideal product that they needed to make this list too. The company itself is dedicated to making sure that people get up and move regardless of what activity they find most appealing. They offer everything from biking gear to basketball clothes. These yoga pants fall somewhere in the middle and they really exemplify the attention to detail that sets Baleaf apart.Read more
The previous garments on this list to feature pockets have all been pants, but Baleaf stands a little apart because they managed to design a pocket onto their yoga shorts. It is located on the thigh and is deep enough to hold a small key ring or a slim wallet, which makes it ideal not only for those traveling light to their yoga class but also for runners and casual athletes who want to keep a few things on them without running the risk of having everything fall out of their pockets.
Not only do these shorts look good but they are also designed to help keep their wearer dry which helps keep them comfortable. The shorts are constructed from a moisture-wicking material that draws sweat away from the wearer's skin and traps it within the fabric. This helps draw body heat away from the wearer and releases it into the air as the fluid evaporates.
Cost and Value
Baleaf is a popular enough company that their products have been picked up by outside sellers. Customers need to be sure that they are getting a genuine Baleaf product, even if it means paying a little bit more. The company is not the least expensive on the market but their garments are something of a light investment and will serve their wearers for years before they need to be replaced.
10. Adidas Defender II Duffel Bag
Lots of Color Options
Several Size Options
Interior and Exterior Pockets
Reinforced Ripstop Material
High-End Price Point
Adidas is very nearly a company that needs no introduction. They have been around the fitness and fashion worlds since 1949 and are a household name that denotes quality and style. And while the company might be best known for their shoes and garments, every woman needs a gym bag and the Adidas Defender II is the ideal candidate. It is constructed from a reinforced ripstop material and comes with a lifetime warranty. The interior and exterior pockets make it easy to organize and Adidas offers several sizes so each customer can find the Defender best suited to their needs.Read more
Reinforced Ripstop Material
Duffel bags are one of the rare items that seem to be indestructible. They get thrown around, run through the wash, slide across floors, and generally put through a level of abuse that most bags could not keep up with and they just keep going. This is what makes it so devastating when the finally rip. It's just so unexpected. Adidas has been in the gym gear game long enough to have a keep awareness of this issue and has put a lot of time into developing a ripstop material that will keep their bags together even longer. This bag is designed to outlast its own use which certainly makes it worth every dime.
Adidas wants their bags to last so long that they get passed from one person to another, but they know that their products aren't perfect. Odd situations arise and factory defects happen. They may not like these sort of situations but they have their customers covered all the same. Adidas offers a lifetime warranty on their Defender II bag so that their customers always have the option to bring the bag back if something goes wrong.
Cost and Value
Adidas products carry a slightly heavier price tag based partially on the Adidas logo on the side. The price tag also means that the bags are held to Adidas' quality standards. These standards are higher than the industry average, it's part of what makes the company's products so desirable. Yes, the bag is a bit of an investment. But it is an investment that is sure to pay off in the long run.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
You’re not going to want to work out if your clothes are too uncomfortable. This much is undeniable. That is why every product on this list was evaluated based on the accuracy of the company’s sizing and the comments made by confirmed customers. There are few harsher critics than athletes who have put themselves through the strain of an intense workout only to find that a seam is in an uncomfortable location or the material chafes when damp. Their complaints and comments were taken into account to find the most comfortable options in each category.
Some people hedge around this, but it’s a topic best addressed candidly. Many women – not all, but many – need sports bras and athletic tops that help support and control their chests. This is an issue that an overwhelming number of women deal with throughout their whole lives starting in their teen years. In spite of this, many companies who produce sports bras and athletic apparel seem to overlook this need entirely. Whatever efforts they do make are usually inadequate or uncomfortable, particularly with women whose boson is a little ampler than others. Exercising without chest support can hurt. A lot. And despite what Richard Simmons says, pain is absolutely not necessary to see the gain. That is why the tops and sports bras on this list were rated, in part, based on the support that they can offer their wearers.
Good athletic clothes can cost a pretty penny so it makes little sense for them to be designed in a way that makes them unusable when the weather changes. Being able to layer workout clothes is just another way of determining how versatile a garment is and versatility is one of the broadest yet most important factors that all products should be judged under. As Alton Brown says, single-use items should not be the norm when the same many can get quality and versatility.
Color options were not a strong factor when choosing products for this list, but they did play a role. Most people opt for dark solid colors when heading to the gym but that should not be the only option on the market. Bright colors can help motivate some people and this list is all about helping people get up and moving.
Is there any design feature women crave more than pockets? Our clothes rarely have them. If pockets are included, they’re often too small to use or illusions designed strictly as decoration. This lack of storage is what propelled pockets to the number one priority among the “Style and Design” criteria requirements. Most people don’t carry much with them when they go to the gym, but any garment that has a place for a phone, keys, or a slim wallet automatically received a higher priority than garments without this option due to the sheer versatility that pockets can offer.
For as long as athletic endeavors have been separated from day to day life, there have been athletic fashions and styles. Everyone remembers the leotards of the ’80s, the windbreaker suits of the ’90s, and the tracksuits of the early 2000s. Current trends are more about the details, like cutouts in the legs of yoga pants and extra crisscrossing straps across the back or chest of tops and bras. These are styles that can flatter any body type which is part of what has fueled their popularity and why products that offer fashionable yet comfortable options were ranked more highly than those companies without them.
There is a strange phenomenon among fitness clothing companies wherein they only make sizes for slim people. This issue is common enough that it only adds to the frustration most people experience when they have to go to the gym. Frustration is the last thing that a list like this should inspire. For this reason, companies that offered products in a wide range of sizes were given priority over companies that only focused on one side of the size range.
Most people have material types that they prefer over others. This preference should be tempered with information about the materials, however, so that the options chosen are those best suited to the needs they will have to meet. Natural: Natural fibers are a go-to for many people because of their breathability and tendency not to hold on to foul odors. Nobody wants to be the one upholding the idea of “stinky gym clothes” and natural fibers tend to take better to soap and water than their synthetic counterparts. They are also often more breathable and softer on the skin which can be ideal for anyone whose skin gets sensitive when it gets damp. The downside to natural fabrics is that they tend to wear out faster, carry a higher price tag, and fit more loosely on the body. Some people may prefer this looser fit but it can become an issue in sports like swim, running, and the more active yoga branches because the loose fabric may distract or trip the wearer. It will also hold on to more moisture than synthetic fibers as most exercise clothes made of synthetic material are designed to be quick-drying. Synthetic: Synthetic materials have quickly gained the upper hand in the fitness apparel market. They are more form-fitting which allows for a better range of motion while providing more support for the wearer. Most synthetic materials are also designed to be moisture-wicking and quick-drying with some companies even adding anti-microbial properties to help avoid unpleasant odors. Even with these antimicrobial treatments, however, natural fibers are still more likely to let go of bad odors. Synthetic fibers also have the unfortunate tendency to shed microplastics into the water when washed and the impacts of this issue have recently been highlighted by multiple scientific studies and news stories on water quality.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Only one set is really, truly needed. Having one set means doing more laundry, unfortunately, and the clothes will wear out sooner. If the budget allows, two to three sets are recommended so that the wearer can go two days in a row without having to worry about running out of gym clothes. People who go more often should consider getting more sets of clothing so that their workout plans do not go off the rails for lack of something to wear.
The best way to keep a gym bag fresh is by not leaving dirty gym clothes or shoes in it. If that has already happened, there are several sprays on the market that can return the bag to its pre-funky state. If a spray is used, it is a good idea to also spray any shoes and equipment that are kept in the bag.
Other Factors to Consider
Motivating yourself to go to the gym is hard enough. It can be daunting to walk into a place full of bodybuilders and slim runners whether it’s your first time in the gym or if you’re working out between marathons. Everyone has personal tricks to help get them through the door but there is one trick that just about everyone uses: looking good and feeling good about themselves. The right outfit won’t magically make all the stress and worry disappear and it won’t make the prospect of sweating in front of strangers any more appealing but it can make the difference between skipping a workout and taking another step toward making exercise a habit or maintaining a habit you’ve already worked to put in place!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What else might I need for the gym?
There are only a few other “key items” that most people might want to bring to the gym but those suggestions vary wildly depending on the activity someone plans to do. An armband, for example, allows someone to keep their phone on hand and stream music from it while they work out but it is not suitable to wear during martial arts practice. Likewise, headphones are great for music but cannot be worn in the water.
Specific exercises aside, however, the most common additions to the staples listed above are armbands, headphones, cross trainers, a smartwatch or heart rate monitor, a cooling towel, and a water bottle. Some gyms might ban cooling towels and water bottles in certain areas for fear of spilled water making the area unsafe, so be sure and check the rules of your gym before making any new purchases. You may want to invest in some pre or post-workout, too!
q: Is there an “ideal” fit for gym clothes?
There are some general guidelines, but a truly ideal fit will vary from person to person. As for the guidelines, they essentially suggest that gym clothes not be so tight that they affect blood circulation or the ability to breathe while not being too loose as to cause tripping or get caught in machines.
q: Are there clothes more specific to certain exercise methods?
In very specific cases, yes. Most martial arts branches have a uniform that their students are required to wear, for example. Swimmers must wear appropriate swim attire as dictated by the rules of their pool, and people taking spin classes should opt for tight-fitting clothing that will not get caught in any fast-moving parts. Weightlifters should avoid clothes that could hamper their grip or cause them to stumble and dancers are often limited to skin-tight clothing so that they can make sure that their bodies are moving correctly.
q: I don’t want tight gym clothes but I plan losing weight. What size should I get?
This is a situation where specific measurements will come in handy. They will allow you to find a company whose sizes are just a little bit bigger than your measurements which will result in purchases that are not tight but won’t become baggy too quickly once the weight starts to drop.
q: Why are most sports bras designed the same?
Sports bras are supposed to provide as much support as possible without being too uncomfortable or causing their wearers to overheat. The most common design meets these needs while also fitting under the majority of athletic apparel.