I’ve had a lot of time to think about fitness wear. I’ve been buying it and wearing it daily for close to 30 years.
Heck, I’ve been wearing workout gear since my mid teens when playing sports in high school and college. Back then, “fitness gear” was an old t shirt and some joggers, or those sweat pants with elastic at the bottom. But I had these cool Nike swoop leather sneakers… white with a red swoop.
That started my addiction.
I’ve gone through lots of different fads and phases. I was a runner for many years in the 70’s and 80’s, so in addition to my cool Nikes, I had short shorts…the shorter the better. Next was the aerobics phase. What were we thinking? May I present as evidence…….
…..this old photo from The Aerobics Stop, the gym I owned from 1992- 2001. I put myself at great peril with this photo. I’m on the far left. We were cool and coordinated and we had black belts and thong leotards. Black belts were in… creating “the illusion of a waist”.
Luckily I moved on from that. And a 60 year old in a thong… wellllll… never mind. But you could say, besides the 90’s, I have some cred. So, here’s a few random thoughts about today’s current fitness wear trends.
I just don’t like cotton. It gets sweaty. It does not dry very quickly and it can get smelly. Too smelly, so that each time you wear it, the smell immediately comes out. I prefer performance fabrics, and they have come along way since the original lightweight running fabrics, when if you got even one stain on them, it would never wash out. I threw away so many tank tops from a simple coffee stain.
I like the high waisted yoga pants. I did not think I would, but they do hold things in well! You just have to make sure they are not hiked up TOO high. That’s a bad look.
You always have to do the “bendover” check when trying on yoga pants. Remember Lulemon? Selling pants for $90 that show your skin during your DFD in yoga? Outrage!! A rip off given how expensive but see-through they were. The material for your fitness wear bottoms should be thick. Don’t ever pay a lot of money for yoga pants until you do “the check”.
Do men even wear “fitness wear”? Or care about it? The guys I work out with wear gym shorts with compression tights underneath and maybe an old T shirt from high school. That’s their “fitness wear”. It would be kind of weird to see a guy in a matchy matchy gym outfit, wouldn’t it? I do think some guys love wearing funky socks to the gym. Is that “fitness wear”? It could be. Or it could just be the socks they wear for days and days and days…knowing young men. My last random musing on this subject…I never want to see a guy in running shorts. I’m sorry. This isn’t the 80’s.
Spend a decent amount of money on good bottoms, but don’t waste money on tops. As an older woman, I can tell you a good bottom is worth it’s weight in gold. They need to be thick ( see above) and tight, but not too tight. I buy alot of my bottoms from Athleta and they last forever. Anytime you spend a lot of money, they should last for years. But I also get great finds at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. I prefer dark colors. I’m OK with some patterns, but I try not to get too crazy. Vertical patterns are good. In regards to shorts, I love them! But I have to be really careful with the length. Always check the length… 4 inches.. on no!!! 6…maybe. Each person has a length that looks good on them, but too long on me looks weird. Do measure, especially if you buy any expensive ones online. I like adidas shorts best.
Speaking of bottoms, I really like the leggings with an attached short skirt. They are great for more coverage, but still look cute. And you can head to the grocery store without feeling too casual. I like the legging skirt combo from Cabi Online . A bit expensive but can fit that “athleisure wear” bill. Athleta also makes skirt/leggings combos some in very thick and warm outdoor fabrics. I have a great pair I wear all winter. Great coverage for the glutes.
Know how much coverage you want for a shirt/tank. Again, as an older woman, I like more coverage, especially around my chest and shoulders. And I certainly don’t want a short tee/crop top. I love the wash and wear nature of performance fabrics, so I prefer them to traditional cotton t-shirts. I just get too hot! Again, don’t spend a ton of money on tops. I find almost all tops get yucky really quickly. Athleta might have a $55 tank top.. but,.no thanks. I can get 3 for the price of that 1 tank.
Recently I came across a brand called Born Tough They contacted me to try out some of their clothing. Sure! Thanks Born Tough! So here’s my honest thoughts on the 2 items I tested.
I was really surprised at the low price, so my curiosity was peaked. Born Tough has a small item list, but I found 2 tops I liked, both in performance fabrics. (Sometimes I prefer fewer choices, as I can get overwhelmed with too many.) I got a capped sheer tee in light blue and a high altitude sheer tank in pink.
The packaging was real high end, and the fabrics were silky and light. The capped tee shirt was perfect as it was loose enough, but not unflattering. It was a bit short, but still had plenty of coverage. I especially liked it under a zip up long top, for layering. Some of the hems weren’t finished, so I was concerned about washing and any effect on the unfinished arms and bottom of the shirt. But it washed great and the fabric has remained silky and soft. We’ll see how many more washes it can take, but at less than $20, as I said above… no harm no foul.
The pink tank did not have enough coverage for me at the shoulders, but with a camisole/tank under it, it would look better. It had very high sides, so again, too much peaking on the side for me. On a younger woman, it would be perfect. Or maybe a leaner woman. But I really do like the fabric! On this item, the hems were finished.
Check it out:
Or for international peeps:
So, as a whole, I was super pleased with the price and fabric, although these shirts might look better on a younger person. C’est la vie!
In the end, it’s worth it to spend good money on some items, pairing these with less expensive additions. Spend good money on sneakers, bottoms, maybe a couple zip up long sleeve tops. But save money on other things. They key is to look put together, without looking matchy matchy,