Ok, ya’ll. I’m sure some of you will feel me on this one. Why does it seem that a lot of the “cute” workout clothes are only for non-plus sized women?
Don’t get me wrong – I have a lot of cute workout clothes. They just took a while to ferret out and obtain. Side note – I am also cheap, so I don’t want to pay a lot for my clothes, either! I mean, to be honest, even if I COULD fit into lululemon, I don’t see myself paying $80 for a pair of pants. Just…no.
Other side note – why is athletic wear not suitable for the office!?
So, anyways, I want my clothes to be cute, affordable, have a nice fit (nothing worse than a shirt or shorts riding up during a workout…THE. WORST.), supportive, quality, and do what they’re supposed to – keep me warm, wick sweat, etc. I don’t really have specific workout clothes for specific activities (save for running and swimming) but I am a total sweat bucket, so wicking material for any activity is important to me.
I am sort of at that awkward phase where I’m in two different sizes on the top and bottom, and depending on the brand, I might be wearing an XXL or a 3x. In some brands, even an XL (which is weird to me…haven’t wrapped my brain around this yet). My closet is stuffed with clothes that run this gamut, too…it’s almost time for spring cleaning (side note – please donate your old clothes when you clean out your closet! Goodwill always takes donations, as does Dress for Success! Someone will thank you!).
Today I’ll be mentioning a few brands/places that I find myself frequenting for workout clothes. Honestly, I’m not really “loyal” to any one brand or store. I buy what I can afford, what looks good, and what performs well.
So…where do I shop?
Old Navy: A LOT of my gear comes from Old Navy. It’s affordable, has cute patterns/colors, and comes in both regular and plus sizes. The only downside is that plus sizes are online only, and returning things can be a hassle. Depending on the cut and style though, sometimes I wear an XXL from Old Navy. Actually, the other day, I tried on a pair of shorts from Old Navy in an XXL and they were…drumroll please…too BIG. Went back and got an XL and they fit great. Moral of that story – their sizing is inconsistent. Otherwise, this is a great budget-friendly option. Their stuff is often on sale and you can find some great stuff on the clearance rack – if you have the patience to dig through it!
Danskin (Walmart): This was the most surprising find for me. I tend to avoid Wal-Mart as much as possible (because hello, Target!) so most of my purchases have been online. The prices are very reasonable – I’ve found shorts as low as $9! – and pretty comfortable. I have found that while shopping online, though, a lot of sizes sell out quickly, particularly the smaller sizes. To be honest, I am not even sure if the Danskin plus size line is sold in stores, because I can’t actually tell you the last time I was physically in a Wal-Mart! Worth checking out for sure, though.
Lane Bryant: I tend to shop here mostly for sports bras, because they are one of the few (or maybe the only…hmm) store I can actually walk in and purchase a sports bra right off the rack. I find Lane Bryant to be expensive, and in general, only shop their sale racks. However, I did buy an amazing sports bra here. It was pricey – about $60 – but totally worth it because my chest does not MOVE, even when I am running. Lane Bryant has cute workout clothes (not as cute as Old Navy though) and I find some of their clothes to be flattering, but overall, most of their workout clothes are a little loose on me. I prefer semi-fitted so I am not dragging around a ton of extra material. Also a good place to shop for swimsuits!
Marshalls/TJ Maxx: I tend to wander into these stores on my lunch break and then suddenly find myself with 6 new pairs of yoga pants. Whoops. These stores are hit or miss in terms of workout gear for the plus-sized individual, but luckily I have about 4 of these stores in my area…so I sort of rotate through each one. I never really go in looking for anything specific simply because it’s sort of a crapshoot. However, every now and then I do find hoodies, shirts, workout capris and leggings, and rarely, sports bras. I will say that Marshalls and TJ Maxx often carry “gear”, so you might be able to find water bottles, protein shakers, yoga mats, and foam rollers for pretty cheap. Prices are pretty fair as well – the most I ever paid for a piece of workout clothing was about $30, and that was a performance hoodie that was valued at about $75.
Target: I know that Target carries plus-sized workout clothes online, but I have never seen it in the stores (and trust me, I am a once-a-week at MINIMUM Target girl. I can navigate the store with my eyes closed). However, Target does carry the Champion line that goes up to XXL. For me, it’s hit or miss – sometimes I fit into things, sometimes I don’t. Generally cute patterns though, and I find it to be very affordable. Their new plus-sized line, Ava + Viv, is ADORABLE. I haven’t seen much workout wear, but the clothing line is both classic and trendy, and I have picked up a lot of career wear from this line!
Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack: Definitely the most expensive on my list! I prefer Nordstrom Rack (Gucci taste, Gap budget…womp womp) and again, sometimes hit or miss there. I have found the Zella line to be cute and fashionable but it will run you a little bit more. I have picked up a few things from Nordstrom Rack in terms of workout wear but only when I find a good steal. Nordstrom has a nice online selection for plus-sized workout clothes, too. If it’s in your budget, go for it! Side note – sometimes, Nordstrom Rack has athletic shoes for a fraction of the price. I always check them out because I have GIANT feet and they have a shoe section that goes up to a Women’s 13!
So, there you have it. Remember though, if you want to start working out, you don’t need fancy clothes. A pair of sweatpants and a ratty old t-shirt will be just fine. However, if you get really into things like running, cycling, CrossFit, etc, it may be worth it to invest in some pieces that you’ll be more comfortable in. Also, if you plan on working out in extreme weather (either hot or cold), invest in some pieces that will help draw heat away from you or keep it near your body so you don’t injure yourself. And, if you’re going to get super into one sport – running, Crossift, cycling, whatever – invest in some shoes so you don’t hurt yourself.
Share with me: what’s your favorite place to buy workout clothes, either online or in the store?