4 Tips For Wearing Workout Clothing Over 60, According to Style Experts
A great workout wardrobe can be an inspiration to get moving.
Between a growing focus on the importance of fitness and the advent of pandemic-era casual, workout wear has come out of the gym into the light of day. "Athleisure" means changing after a yoga class is strictly optional, and leggings are a wardrobe staple that has nothing to do with athletic ability. We could almost forget that we wear our workout clothing to actually work out—but you don't want to hop on the treadmill in your jeans and boots. If you're over 60, it's more important than ever to stay fit, and great gear might just give your exercise efforts a boost. Read on for style experts' advice on how to do workout wear right, in and out of the gym.
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Choose comfortable, practical items.
While it can be argued that comfort is key at any age, it's especially important over 60.
"Choose clothes that have enough stretch to comfortably move with you as you exercise," advises Deniz Efe, founder of FitnessEquipped. Also, be sure that they don't bind or bunch as you move. If you feel better, go with loose-fitting clothes, but steer clear of flowy designs that get in your way or get caught in equipment.
But make sure they're supportive.
Not everything that's comfortable for lounging around the house can do double duty for working out. "You want to feel supported without anything feeling too tight or constricting," says Holly Chayes, personal style coach at WhoWearsWho.
High-waist leggings are a good example of this. A favorite is Lululemon's Align yoga pants. These basics come in three different lengths (depending on if you want full-length or cropped, or how tall you are), as well as sizes from 0 to 14. The waistband keeps the tummy flat, but the soft, buttery fabric ensures you won't even feel them.
Workout bras are another item where you'll want to check the support. Most brands that specialize in workout wear offer sports bras in a range of support options depending on what your cup size is or what activity you'll be doing (for example, you won't need as much support if you're taking a barre class as you will if you're running).
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Pay attention to fabrics.
Just like you wouldn't wear flimsy sneakers for working out, don't wear fabrics that aren't conducive to movement and sweating.
"Focus on breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics," suggests Melissa Fiorentino, stylist and trends forecaster at CakeStyle. "Polypropylene is a great choice as it forces moisture to move to the top of the fabric, keeping you dry underneath. You can also find natural fabric alternatives like bamboo, which is light, breathable, and soft."
If you like to work out in loose t-shirts, Fiorentino recommends those made of Nike's Dri-Fit fabric, "which can give you the same look, but with added comfort and moisture-wicking benefits."
You'll also want to make sure your items are machine-washable and dryer-safe. If your go-to pieces are easy to care for and hold up nicely even with frequent washings, you'll be more likely to wear them.
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Assemble a workout wardrobe.
It's true that if you feel good in your workout gear, you'll be more motivated to get moving. That's why experts say you'll want to have a basic wardrobe of exercise clothes. "Start with long tops, workout leggings, biker shorts, and several well-built, supportive sports bras," suggests Fiorentino.
"When you find pieces that are comfortable and supportive without being restricting, keep that brand in mind as one of your go-to brands when shopping for future workout wear," adds Chayes.
And remember that these pieces can do double duty, so you can head straight to the gym after lunch. "Leggings under a skirt, a sports bra under a casual t-shirt, paired with sneakers is a typical everyday outfit, but with a couple of quick changes has you ready for a workout," notes Chayes.