Smutty Fitness: Plus Size Workout Clothes
Ok, so I am a plus size girl. My goal is not to be skinny but healthy. I am also a fashion junky and believe it or not, I'm having problems finding cute work out gear for women my size. No need to say it's a major downer. I'm not a runner (yet) but I'm starting to do the walk/run combination but find that with the workout pants (sweats) I have, they always tend to fall down when I try to speed up. Is there a place that does cute and WEARABLE workout clothes for girls like me? It needs to be practical.
I completely understand your frustrations when trying to find cute and comfortable workout clothing that is also functional. My first piece of advice to you is to throw away your sweatpants. Get rid of those things or promise me you will only wear them to and from your workouts and on lazy Sunday mornings. That is one of the first steps with my clients: revamping their workout wardrobe. I find that women who are considered plus size feel the need to “cover up” and hide their bodies, which in fact only makes them look bigger. I know when I am at the gym or doing my run in an outfit that I feel is unflattering, as sad as this may sound, I am less motivated to work hard especially when gyms are full of wall length mirrors. I’m going to challenge you to buy some fitted workout wear, not only because it will make you look smaller as you burn away all those calories you have stored up, but because when you wear a fitted garment you will be more comfortable, there will be less chafing (trust me, if you have never experienced chafing you are lucky, especially after a long run; chafing makes for a very painful post workout shower), and you will be carrying less weight as the garment will move with your body, not against it. AND, you will spend less time stopping to pull your pants up and more time focusing on moving.
I’ve put together an outfit for you that is very practical and can be worn at the gym or running outside. The first step is making sure that you layer your workout clothing so that you have the option of taking layers off if you become too hot or putting layers back on if you become cold.
The first item you need to start with is a good pair of running capri tights. I suggest a capri for two reasons. 1 – they are less restrictive and you will find that you can move a lot easier in a capri than in a full length tight. 2 – they are more flattering than the full length tight.
Here are 2 options for you and they both come in extra large, which is between a size 14-16. The first is the New Balance Go 2 Capri. This is a great tight that you can wear for anything; running, aerobics classes, yoga, gym workouts or just a walk with your girlfriend. I have a pair of these myself and love them. The second option is also a running capri: the Elan Capri and is found at Mountain Equipment Co-Op.
The next item you need to invest in is a very supportive and comfortable sports bra. I do not have a problem with that myself as I do not need much support up top, but in my experience of training women I understand that if you are not wearing the right bra your workout is a waste. I like this one, the New Balance Bonita Run Crop Sports Bra. I like this bra for many reasons; the shoulder straps are adjustable so you can make it fit perfect to your body and you can also adjust the support under your rib cage. I also like how low it sits under the armpit as this limits the amount of chafing you will experience in your long run.
The next layer is a fitted tank top, one that does not have a built in bra in it. These are hard to find in a moisture wicking fabric so you are pretty much stuck with Lululemon’s Every Yogi Tank. I have one in every colour. They wash well, they wick well and I have run every single marathon in one of these tanks. Buy the largest size you can and do not worry if it is extremely fitted as it is supposed to be and almost acts like a pair of Spanx, holding everything in while you exercise.
You will then want to layer overtop of the tank, a running t-shirt. On a warmer day I suggest the New Balance Icefil Short Sleeve Tee and on a cooler day go with the long sleeve version.
Finally, if you plan on running outside and if you live in a climate like I do (where it rains all the time), you will want a lightweight jacket to help keep you dry and warm. I love this one from New Balance as it is so bright and will not only make sure you will be seen while you run (very important for safety) but it also brightens up a very gloomy day if you are having to get outside to run.
When shopping for workout clothing you want to purchase your products from companies that have spent time researching how a garment should fit and feel. I always purchase my cycling wear from cycling companies, my triathlon items from triathlon companies, my sailing and ski outfits from sailing and ski companies, etc., so that is why I buy my running clothing from companies that specialize in running clothing. You may have to spend a little bit more but you get what you pay for as the garments will fit you properly, they will wear and wash well and they make you feel like a runner. If you want to cut costs make sure you invest in the most important items; the running tights, the jacket and the sports bra. Try to stick to moisture wicking if you can, as cotton gets heavy as you sweat and the moisture will stick on your skin. I always try to go for function over fashion but lately companies have started to realize that not only do we want to look athletic we also want to look pretty so being both functional and fashionable is easy!