Vol.1, No.10

Plus size work out clothing options

There are more plus size workout clothes options than ever before.

A woman doing Yoga
Photo Credit: Andrei Tchernov
Women of all shapes and sizes are actively working out in gyms and clubs these days. The popularity of clubs like Curves and Contours for plus sized women is booming, and finally clothing designers are starting to take note and marketing workout wear for active larger women. Do an online search for "plus-sized activewear" and you'll find literally hundreds of resources! Many department and clothing stores now carry full lines of plus sized workout wear in the same pretty styles and colors as clothing for smaller women. A tip from a friend - if you find the choices in the womens clothing selection at your local department store a bit drab or blah, head over to the Misses department. Quite often, Misses workout clothing is available in plus sizes, and in a wider range of styles and fabrics.

Probably the most important article of clothing for your workout is a comfortable bra. Women with full busts really need a supportive, comfortable sports bra. If you are not comfortable, or you're worrying about being too floppy during your workout you won't enjoy it as much - and if you don't enjoy your workout, you'll be more tempted to quit the program! A good sports bra wall lift and compress your breasts against your ribcage, minimizing bounce without binding or feeling too tight.

Don't forget comfortable footwear. When trying on shoes, do more than merely walk around the store - bend, pivot and jog in place for a few seconds while really paying attention to how comfortable they feel. Don't forget ankle socks! These are available in a wide range of colors now, well beyond boring white.

Do you really need to look stylish while working up a sweat? You don't, but if you look good, you feel good - and feeling good will enhance your enjoyment of your workout program. You can wear the ubiquitous black leggings and big baggy t-shirt combo, but this is an unflattering outfit for just about anybody. The baggy shirt hides any hint of your shape - I know that is supposed to be the reason we wear one, but it's not fooling anyone! The same goes for tight black leggings - no matter how shapely your legs are, pairing leggings with a huge t-shirt will make your butt look much bigger than it really is.

The recent popularity of yoga has spawned some new, looser and much more flattering workout wear. Look for straight leg, looser leggings than skim your body rather than hugging it like a glove. Comfortable workout wear will move with you and neither feel too constricting, nor excessively baggy.

Avoid all-cotton clothing, which tend to quickly lose their shape. Polyester clothing does not breathe well, and you will be more likely to sweat and feel uncomfortable. A good choice is cotton with some lycra or spandex in the mix, so the fabric breathes and retains its shape. Buy the best quality clothing you can. Well made clothing and higher quality fabrics will hold their shape, resist pilling and fit much better in the long run.

No matter what your size, you can show off the parts of your body that you are most happy with. If you have shapely legs, buy full cut yet body skimming pants. If your legs are long, loose,

cropped workout pants can look fabulous.

Wide, shapely shoulders can be accentuated with a tank or halter top. If paired with dark, basic pants a bright shoulder-baring top will draw focus to your upper half. If you are not too full-busted, try a fitted tank with a built-in bra to show off the results of your hard work! A modest (no deep cleavage) V-neck will minimize a large bust - the higher the neckline, the more you will accentuate your bust.

The basic rules for color and pattern apply. Small fussy prints, horizontal stripes and light colors will make you look larger. Large and geometric prints, vertical stripes and dark colors are quite slimming. If you need to keep your hair up while working out, buy some pretty hair clasps or scrunchies to co-ordinate with your outfit.

Don't be afraid to add some color and pizzaz to your gym outfit - it's supposed to be about fun!