10 Ways to Make Your Workout Clothes More Flattering

Still wearing 100 percent cotton and plain leggings?

Your crow pose or one-handed backhand is fierce, but is your fitness outfit just meh or even downright unflattering? Some might say it doesn’t matter. But if you feel better when you look your fiercest, then that could mean 120 more seconds in that plank. Here, ten workout wear mistakes and how to fix them.

Want To Look Sporty But Not Bare? Accentuate Your Best Feature

If you’ve been working on those back muscles, for example, you’ll want to wear tops with soft straps and cutouts that highlight all your hard work. Oh, and feeling that cool breeze on your back after 20 minutes on the StairMaster is definitely a plus.

Get the look: Forever 21 tank ($13); Sweat by Whitney Port bra ($33); Monsoon tank ($87)

Want Chic Over Trendy? Look Beyond The Neon

Hey, there’s a time and place for all the bright workout gear. But today, fitness apparel comes in seasonal collections just like regular clothes. So embrace moodier tones in fall and winter. Because hi, they’re slimming.

Get the look: Lucky in Love skirt ($68); Nike sneakers ($90); Vimmia pullover ($110)

Want To Divert Attention From Problem Areas? Use Color For Balance

If you have something you’re self-conscious about, say hips, thighs or rear end, then wear a lighter shade near your calves and a darker color up top.

Get the look: Alo Yoga ($94); Beyond Yoga ($110); Yogasmoga ($130)

Want To Look Pulled Together? Upgrade Your Cover-up

Hint: If your jacket/sweatshirt/zip-up are in the same general tones as your workout gear, it will look like you put together an intentional outfit instead of an afterthought. So think outside that ratty old hoodie.

Get the look: Lululemon zip-up ($118); Alo Yoga bomber jacket ($168); Athleta anorak ($178)

Hate The Jiggle? Avoid Loose Leggings

Instead, opt for sculpting (aka compression) leggings that really hold you up and in. Yeah, go on and show off your butt.

Get the look: Graced by Grit ($92); Lululemon ($118); Sweaty Betty ($135)

Sweat A Lot? Embrace Mesh Inserts

Mesh is a great technical addition to tops and leggings to let a little air in. So you can wear them around the track and then down the grocery store aisles looking fashionable.

Get the look: Forever 21 ($16); Alo Yoga ($110); Michi ($175)

Have Short Legs? Go For Cropped Leggings

Don’t have legs to rival Gigi Hadid? Avoid the bunchy ankle with cropped, 7/8 and other shorter styles. (They actually make your legs look longer.)

Get the look: Vie Active 7/8 legging ($47); Fabletics high-waisted capri ($55); Athleta 7/8 tights ($89)

Want To Show Off Your Undergarments? Try A New Sports Bra Style

Step away from that old chest bandage and toward criss-crossing straps and mesh overlays.

Get the look: Forever 21 ($15); Free People ($58); Beyond Yoga ($73)

Want A Post-workout Look That’s Not Bulky? Wear Skinny Sweats

Angelenos have pioneered the printed, super-thin sweatpants. And they get paired with everything from desert boots to Chanel bags. Sometimes at the same time.

Get the look: Wildfox ($78); Aviator Nation ($128); Monrow ($153)

wear a long top vimmia

Want To Stay Covered? Make Sure Your Top Is Long Enough

Not ready just yet (or ever) to flaunt that midsection? Opt for a soft, hip-grazing top so you won’t be preoccupied with pulling down your hem.

Get the look: Champion color-blocked tank ($20); Graced by Grit halter tank ($62); Vie Active cross-back tank ($85)

dana dickey
Dana Dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...
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