Today’s post is courtesy of Jessica Fleischer, college student by day, plus-size fashion blogger the rest of her day and all-time Green Mountain alum. You can see more of her fashion sense at Chic in Every City, her new blog devoted to the best in plus-size fashion.This summer, she’ll be traveling the world to photograph and blog about plus-size fashion. Can I go, too?
For me, keeping up with a workout routine is all about comfortability. I seek out fitness environments where feel at ease, I use supportive sneakers with cushioning soles, and I spend time (and money) searching for the sports bras that will keep the girls in line. I’ve noticed that the notion of comfortability extends to what workout gear I’m wearing and greatly impacts my attitude toward exercising. In general, I feel more positive about going to the gym and happier after my workout is finished when I wear clothes that make me feel good. After all, going to the gym after school and work is already a huge effort, the last thing I need is to be attacked by an ill-fitting crew neck t-shirt while running (I swear, they’re trying to choke me!!).
I find that packing a bag or laying out clothes that I enjoy wearing the night before is a huge motivator to work out. I prefer dry-fit fabrics because they are breathable and often cut loosely. Also, I am easily annoyed by my hair falling out of a ponytail, so I make sure to have proper hair accessories in my gym bag. (Have you ever tried to put your hair up while running? It’s unpleasant to say the least).
Take advantage of the experience I’ve accrued, and treat yourself to some fun, functional fitness clothing!
Nike: Nike has FINALLY come out with a plus line. Like many plus size lines, styles are limited and less trendy than straight sizes, but for working out, the primary concern is functionality or range of motion. I HIGHLY recommend investing in Nike Dri-FIT bottoms in whatever style you like best. I personally prefer the “Running Capris” style (a tight fit that hits about mid calf” with a longer shirt on top. I also like the Regular Fit Capris and Be Strong Training Pant (to the floor, wide leg). While the price is not astronomically high like some of the trendiest straight size retailers (think LuluLemon), they are a bit on the expensive side. Rest assured that I wear my Nike bottoms weekly and have been using some for as long as 6 years.
I also really like Nike’s Dry Fit Tops. The color selection is great and the sweat absorption is excellent. I teach Zumba Fitness and I really appreciate the array of extra bright colors (because I only wear black on bottom). Purchasing information: Online: www.nike.com, www.nordstrom.com. In-Store: Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross & Nike Factory Stores.
Old Navy: For less expensive work out gear, check out Old Navy. They have started to sell both yoga pants and capris in a dry-fit-like material. The caveat is availability of Old Navy workout wear is unpredictable. Unlike Nike, you cannot simply go online and purchase a pair of bottoms. Also, if you wear larger than a B-Cup, forget about Old Navy sports bras. Purchasing information: Online: www.oldnavy.com, In-Store: Old Navy & Old Navy Outlet stores.
Fitness Wear DONT’S
Under Armor Brand: I DO NOT recommend Under Armor. The quality of their clothing has decreased drastically over the past few years: the fabrics are itchy, clothes are poorly stitched, and they shrink in the wash.
“Toning” Sneakers: Your workout is doing plenty of toning. These sneakers can lead to excessive cramping after your workout, not to mention feeling off-balance while wearing them!
Ill-Fitting Sneakers: Your feet need to be supported. Even the slightest ingrown toenail can make working-out a chore! Make sure your shoes fit properly (here is a great guide) to avoid injury.
Old Hair-Ties: Old, worn-out hair ties will inevitably allow your hair to fall out of place. Splurge on a pack of Scünci’s Evolution Gel Hair Elastics. If they can hold up my thick hair for an entire Zumba Fitness class, they can handle anything! (Leave them in your gym bag!)
Don’t forget to bring plastic bags: A great way to recycle plastic grocery store bags is to leave them in your gym bag for sweaty clothes! It will keep your gym bag smelling fresher, longer and is the easiest way to get everything into the washer!
Thanks for the great info, Jessica! Anyone else have anything to add?