workout clothes

8 Places for Cute, Inexpensive Workout Clothing

Because we wear workout clothes all day every day, we've become experts on where to find reasonably-priced, cute, comfortable, non-transparent workout clothes. And because we love ya we're sharing our favorite places to shop for threads to wear to the gym/studio/yoga class/living room gym.

Seriously, life is too short to wear clothes that are too tight or too loose or just plain uncomfortable. Sometimes we tell ourselves, "when I lose 15 pounds, then I'll shop..." But, you deserve to feel good in your clothes at every size. And working out is so much less uncomfortable when you wear pants that are the right size for your body as it is now.

Here's where we love to shop.

ThredUp. I am, admittedly, obsessed with Thred-Up. I have the app on my phone and have spent way too much time on it lately. BUT. In my defense, you can find really good prices on almost every brand of active-wear. And other wear. But for the purposes of this post, we'll focus on their selection of workout gear. I've found Lucy, Old Navy, Eddie Bauer, Nike, New Balance and Zella stuff I love there. They've got a wide range of sizes too. It's hit and miss since the selection depends on what people have sold to them. And you have to act fast if you see something you like. I've taken to just adding anything that I think might be a winner to my cart and then I go in and review it later, taking out things that don't look so great on second glance. But if you see something that's a "maybe" and you don't grab it, it's really hard to find it again.

Old Navy. Ah, Old Navy. It's not just for flip-flops and denim short-alls anymore, people. Nikki gets a ton of her stuff there. If she's wearing a cute, colorful tank or fun workout capris, chances are they came from Old Navy. 

Kohl's. Yet another Nikki recommendation. Again, most of the big active-wear brands at a reasonable price. I get my Asics workout shoes there for around $40. Also love their workout jacket/hoodie collection.

Target. Yep, Target has everything, including workout gear. 

Macy's. Macy's is always having a sale and you can get screaming good deals on name brand workout clothes and shoes. 

Amazon. The selection at Amazon is quite large, so browsing is difficult. But if you have time and kind of know what you want, you can get some good deals.

Poshmark. Another online secondhand store, like ThredUp. However, unlike ThredUp you are buying from individuals who have items for sale, not from a centralized PoshMark store. But, Poshmark is where I found a replacement for my very favorite Eddie Bauer active tank.

Etsy. Etsy is my favorite place to buy workout tanks because they have so many fun ones! 

Where do you like to find inexpensive workout wear? Any places I need to add to my list of favorites? Let me know below!

Motivational Workout Tanks

Sometimes we just need to wear a little motivation to get ourselves to our workouts. Literally. 

I've said it before on this blog, but sometimes something as simple as a new workout shirt or a new handful of songs on my iPod can make the difference between my not doing a workout at all and leaping out of bed in the morning to get to it. Silly or not, it works for me and I don't question it.

I fell down a workout-tank-shaped Pinterest hole recently and wanted to share. I wish I could show you pictures of them, but copyright laws prevent me. The links will take you directly to an image of each shirt though, so you can check them out that way. If you're looking for a little inspiration for your workouts, maybe one of these will do the trick...

Needs More Kettlebell Awesome Saturday Night Live Sketch meets workout inspiration. Love this tank from Sweaty Girl Glam. 

This Killing It tank from Luciana. For the days when you need a reminder of how much you are rocking this whole workout thing. 

Get It Girl tank. Simple. Straightforward. Go get your workouts, ladies!

I was a child of the nineties, so this Too Legit tank from Wall Sparks has some extra appeal for me :-)

This Actually, I Can tank, because sometimes you need a reminder that, in fact, you can. 

The Oh My Quad from Works a Heart tank is also kind of a throwback. 

Fix Your Ponytail and Try Again from Best Tees is my workout mantra on a shirt. 

If I were a kickboxing gal, this Fight Like a Girl tank would be mine. It still might be, actually...

This Happy tank, because sometimes you need a reminder to choose the happy.

This Muscle-Up Buttercup tank might be my favorite. Maybe it's the mint green color. Maybe it's that I've seen a million "Suck It Up Buttercup" ones, and this seems like a kinder message. I don't know, but in any event, I love it. 

The Most Unexpected Part of Exercise

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What does that statement conjure up for you? Are you thinking that I'm about to write a post about how I actually gained weight from working out and how I'm okay with that? Or maybe you're thinking it's going to be about how I sleep so much better because I work out. Or maybe you just know that this post is going to be about how I'm happier, more energized, more insert-positive-adjective-here because of regular exercise...But nope. Not it. You're not even lukewarm, if we were playing the hot-cold game. The biggest surprise about exercise to me is laundry.

Laundromat

Yep, laundry.

The sheer volume of loads of laundry I do in a week because I exercise regularly.

It's ridiculous. If I had a nickel for every minute of the week I spend dumping clothes in the washer; for every minute I spend reading tiny labels to determine which pairs of leggings can go in the dryer and which ones need to air dry; for every time I've scraped lint from the lint trap...Well, let's just say my savings account would have a few more zeros at the end of that number.

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For years, out of convenience and because I didn't really know any better, I just hung my clothes to air dry after a workout and then wore them again the next day.

Some of you are cringing right now at how gross that sounds and others of you don't see the big deal. Am I right?

Here's what I learned that made me decide that the place for workout clothes is the laundry room.

Clothespins

We are little bacteria, yeast and fungus-growing factories, we humans. Our sweat is full of bacteria, which when trapped against our skin by workout clothes can cause infections. One example is a particularly lovely acne-like skin rash called, folliculitis. But there are others.

Wearing workout clothes a second or third day in a row will often mean you smell bad. Sorry, but it's true. And no one wants that. The areas of your body most susceptible to bacterial transfer to your clothes are the parts of your body where your workout wear is the tightest and the least amount of air can circulate. Makes sense, right?

Skin rashes are one issue, but if you have cuts and scrapes on your skin and then you expose them to the bacteria on unwashed gym clothes, you can get other kinds of nasty infections. For those of us who exercise in a gym, we're exposing our workout clothes and, by extension, our bodies, to other people's bacteria and germs too. Sometimes people wipe down machines after they've used them, but sometimes not. And you never know how meticulous a given gym is about doing regular cleaning of their equipment.

If the above doesn't gross you out or seem like good enough reason to wash, consider the  lifespan of your clothes. Bacteria and fungus found on our bodies and in our sweat can break down certain kinds of materials more quickly than they would if we washed them after each wearing. They can also grow mold if left to sit damp after a workout. I want to get as much wear out of these things as possible, so it's kind of an investment in my workout wardrobe to care for them correctly.

If you are engaging in light workouts and aren't sweating at all or are sweating very little, you probably are fine to just wash your workout clothes on your regular laundry day. But if, like me, you almost always end your workouts a sweaty mess, you  want to wear once and wash. Here are a few washing options, depending on your preferences.

Run through the washing machine, gentle-cycle, cold water. Air dry.

Hand-wash them in the sink with Woolite and then let them air dry. 

Put them in a ziploc freezer bag and then remove and wash when you have enough other items to justify a spin in the washing machine. (The freezer stops the growth of bacteria.)

Rinse them out quickly in the sink with cold water, before putting them in your hamper, if you can't run them through the wash immediately.