Do Workout Clothes Make a Difference? And Other Questions Women Ask About Sportswear

Posted on November 15 2018

sportport workout clothes for women

Women everywhere work hard to stay healthy and look good. We love to use our clothes to help us look fabulous, although, sometimes, finding that perfect look comes at a high price that can include uncomfortable, impractical, unflattering, ineffective, and even painful clothing, especially in sportswear.

So, we decided that it might be helpful to put together this comprehensive guide that includes some of the most frequently asked questions about all things sportswear — from finding the right look and choosing the best fabric to the benefits of exercise clothing and what to avoid when buying your workout clothes. Want to know more or have another question? Feel free to contact us on any topic around activewear.

Here are the Questions, click to jump down to their Answers:

  1. What is the best fabric for workout clothes?
  2. What should you wear while working out?
  3. Can sportswear affect your performance?
  4. How many workout outfits do you need?
  5. How can you look good in workout clothes?
  6. Is it better to wear tight or loose activewear when working out?
  7. What shouldn’t you wear to the gym?
  8. Can you wear athletic wear in public?
  9. Do you wear a bra under a sports bra?
  10. How tight should a sports bra be?
  11. How do you put on a racerback sports bra?
  12. Do you need to wear a sports bra when exercising?
  13. Can you wear leggings to the gym?
  14. Should you wear underwear under leggings or yoga pants?
  15. Why do men like to see women in yoga pants?
  16. What is Athleisure wear?

sportport best workout clothes
1. What is the best fabric for workout clothes?

Your workout clothes do more than just make you look good; wearing the right fabric can also increase the efficiency of your sweat session. Different materials have different benefits, so you’ll want to figure out what you’re looking to get out of your activewear. While most breathe and some stretch and compress, others naturally fight odor or include sun protective qualities. At SportPort, we use combinations of materials in our finished fabric blends for our activewear to get the best in quality and functionality in each of our sportswear garments. Some of the best materials used in sportswear fabrics include:

● Spandex/Lycra® – great stretch and compression recovery, breathable, moisture wicking and dries quickly.
● Polyester/Polartec® – very durable, wrinkle-resistant, lightweight, breathable, non-absorbent, repels UV rays and is insulating.
● Nylon – great stretch and compression recovery, soft, mildew resistant, breathable, moisture wicking and dries quickly.
● Polypropylene – very durable, wrinkle-resistant, lightweight, breathable, totally water-resistant and is insulating.
● Bamboo/Tencel – sweat wicking and soft texture, has UPF 50+ breathable and wrinkle resistant.
● Cotton – absorbs moisture and hides odors
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2. What should you wear while working out?

Start by wearing comfortable, supportive, well-fitted sportswear from the top to bottom, from your sports bra to your shoes and socks. Look for workout clothes that include performance fabrics (such as those mentioned above like spandex, Lycra, nylon, and various blends). Try on and test your choices to make sure your sportswear moves, stretches and still holds in place on your body. Check the compression feel and fit by making sure it’s not too tight yet holds muscles and fatty tissue (like you boobs and butt) firmly and effectively for your exercise. You won’t want things to rub, pinch, slip, are see-through, feel restrictive or, in anyway are just plain uncomfortable. The point is to wear things that feel good while you exercise so you can focus on your workouts while looking good too!
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3. Can sportswear affect your performance?

Yes, you can “dress for success” with your sportswear. The workout clothing you choose can directly influence your performance. Not only does wearing the right sportswear boost your confidence and, consequently, your attitude about working out (if you look good doing it, you’re more likely to do it, right?), but it can also add a layer of protection to help prevent injuries that could otherwise interfere with your workout routine. It is advisable to choose the sportswear designed for your sport, whether you are a runner, biker, hiker, tennis player or other. Certain compression fabrics in clothing can also assist in recovery after you exercise as it provides graduated compression to stimulate circulation and blood flow. It might be helpful to note that there is a difference in medical-grade compression wear as compared to sports-grade compression wear and how each has a certain job to do for individual performance.
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4. How many workout outfits do you need?

Some people think it’s okay to wear exercise clothing more than once before washing them, but this can cause yeast and bacteria to build up, especially if your gear is tight-fitting. When thinking about how many sets of workout clothes or outfits you need, consider how often you exercise and how often you do (or try to do!) laundry. The general rule of thumb is that you should have one outfit for every solid day of sweating. So, investing in an extra sportswear outfit as a backup is advisable especially if you can’t get to laundry before your next workout session.
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5. How can you look good in workout clothes?

Believe it or not, you don’t have to feel lumpy, bumpy or frumpy when exercising. Show off the right curves by choosing a nicely designed and flirty bra and opt for a hip-skimming top to camouflage or downplay any area you’re self-conscious about such as a saggy butt, saddlebags or love handles. Capri-length leggings can highlight the thinnest point of your leg, which is usually above the fullest section of your calf. Look at your sportswear for lightweight fabrics but that are thickly or tightly woven too (not see-through). Check that your workout leggings have seamlines that are flat, double-stitched and placed in strategic places that can help lengthen the look of your legs and hold and shape your glutes nicely. Same goes for good lines, seams and design elements in sports bras or tops that can play up or down large or small chested women.
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sportport best gym sportswear
6. Is it better to wear tight or loose activewear when working out?

Neither! Pull a Goldilocks and find clothes that fit just right. Clothing that is too tight at the waist might cause circulation problems and immune system complications because they interrupt the flow of lymphatic fluids, and leggings that are too tight can contribute to yeast infections. On the other hand, if your activewear clothing is too loose with draping or dangling fabrics, you may be more likely to get hurt if your clothes — particularly yoga pants with flared bottoms — catch on something or cause you to trip and fall. The ideal activewear should be snug while still allowing a full range of motion.
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7. What shouldn’t you wear to the gym?

What you wear to the gym can affect not only your performance but also affect others around you. That holey cotton tee or the oh-so-comfortable sweatpants and overstretched sports bra you’ve had since high school will not only not help you function as well but could be holding a lot of stink from your past that others will notice too. Leave the following items home when you’re heading for a workout: super baggy or stretched out clothing, underwear or bras with no control, no stretch, or old elastic bands, clothing that is too tight, worn out socks or shoes, all-cotton clothes that will hold sweat and smells, jewelry, and a full face of makeup.
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8. Can you wear athletic wear in public?

Sure, why not? Be it for travel, on the run to classes or school, to work or a business lunch, or in line for coffee, sportswear clothes, like yoga pants, are quickly becoming the first choice of everyday wear for women of all ages. Even if you haven’t worked out, it’s now totally acceptable to wear your outfit all day, every day, everywhere. In fact, many women shop for their athletic wear thinking, “How can I wear this from the gym to the street?” As long as you invest in pieces that mix fashion and function (aka: athleisure wear) and make sure you’re adequately covered if the occasion calls for it (sorry, no sports bras at your VIP business meeting!), go for it!
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9. Do you wear a bra under a sports bra?

You certainly can, but you shouldn’t have to. In most cases, if you feel like you need to double-up and wear your regular bra under your sports bra, then the sports bra may not be doing its job. Nobody would blame you for wanting to add in extra protection, or even a little extra padding, but there are plenty of options if you’re in need of a higher level of support.
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10. How tight should a sports bra be?

The band should be snug, but not too tight, around your rib cage. If you can fit two fingers between the band and your body (but not more), that’s the sign of a good fit. Narrow bands are not as supportive as wide bands, and shoulder straps should feel secure and provide minimal stretch to reduce up-and-down movement. You should not feel any pressure points, as these will only get worse with repeated wear.
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sportport best sports bra racerback
11. How do you put on a racerback sports bra?

Although a racerback sports bra is known for providing better support, it often feels like they are designed for octopuses, not women. To avoid getting stuck the moment you stick your head in, follow these steps:

● Hold the sports bra by the band upside down with the cups facing you.
● Open up the band and put your arms into the armholes, bringing the band toward your elbows.
● Use your right arm to hold the back of the band, lifting it over your head.
● Stretch your arms apart and high to slip the bra onto your shoulders.
● Move the band from above your bust and slide it gently from the front to the back to bring it below your chest.
● Lean forward and help the breasts fit comfortably and securely into the cups.
● Straighten and position the sports bra straps.
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12. Do you need to wear a sports bra when exercising?

Yes and no. Sports bras — and all bras, really — exist for the sole purpose of supporting your breasts and minimizing movement while you exercise. Although it’s ultimately your choice whether or not you want to wear a sports bra, if you have large breasts that move with every bump and bounce, the soft tissue is more likely to break down or get irritated, and you may find yourself in some serious breast and back pain without proper support.
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13. Can you wear leggings to the gym?

Of course! In athletic wear, the top brands all refer to fitted stretchy exercise pants as “leggings” too. But, be careful of the fabrics used in your leggings because you don’t want sweat showing in the wrong places or sagging, bagging materials or for them to be see-through or with extra fabric that can get caught in a bike or exercise machine. Look for leggings designed for your exercise or workout. Moisture-wicking, comfortable, stretchy, proper fit and soft, are some of the hundreds of options, along with styles, and colors to help keep you comfortable — and looking great — at the gym.
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sportport best yoga pants top
14. Should you wear underwear under leggings or yoga pants?

Bare or wear? Whether you wear undies or not is up to you — panty lines are totally a personal preference. But there are some compelling reasons to consider covering up under your wear. Yeast and bacteria love a warm, moist environment, so one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect yourself is to wear underwear to catch and trap developing moisture and sweat. However, thongs are not your friend since they can slide back and forth while you workout, and the heat and friction can lead to vaginal bacterial infections and urinary tract infections, regardless of the fabric. Still, consider staying away from satin and lace undies since neither is breathable, and opt for moisture-wicking exercise-friendly underwear instead. Then, check that your leggings or yoga pants use tight-knit fabrics that are lightweight but thick enough to actually hide any panty-lines!
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15. Why do men like to see women in yoga pants?

It boils down to the Yoga Pant Effect — that strange phenomenon that seems to happen whenever a woman dons a pair of stretchy, form-fitting, sexy yoga pants. Men’s eyes follow, hanging on your every step. But why? Actually, it comes down to several reasons. Sure, our curves are perfectly showcased and our butts look fabulous. But more than physical appeal, however, is the fact that wearing yoga pants reflects a confident personality and suggests we are adventurous. The derriere extraordinaire, your perky peach, the lovely lady lump. No matter what you want to call it, it’s only made better by that perfect pair of yoga pants. And men like that.
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16. What is Athleisure wear?

Athleisure wear is the perfect intersection of casual, comfort and style seen in clothing for the athletic person who also has a busy, active life. It is clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities that can also be worn in other normal-day settings, such as at the workplace, at school, for travel, or for other casual or social occasions. Some of the most often recognized athleisure wear is women’s leggings. But you can also find fashionable gym-street-work garments in fitted tees, styled sweat tops, colorful hoodies and others. It is where fashion meets activewear, allowing you to look comfortable and cute all day wherever you are going.
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sportport best athleisure wear
References & Further Reading:
The Best Wardrobe Piece: Why Black Yoga Pants Fit as a Must-Have in Your Closet
Nonexistent to Necessity: History of the Compression Sports Bra
The Defining Words to Help You Find the Best Sportswear
Why Men Love Yoga Pants on Women
SportPort: Where Fitness Fashion & Function Come Together

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