All The Best Workout Gear

Cute workout clothes that actually perform and incredibly important to me.  I work out almost daily and have an affinity for pieces that help me throw together a casual athleisure look, so my yoga pants must be comfortable, my sports bras must be supportive, my athletic tank tops must wick sweat, and my running shoes need to go the distance.  If you’re looking for tried and true workout gear for your sweaty pursuits (or even just the carpool lane) keep on reading to see what I consider the best!

All The Best Workout Gear

I grew up as an athlete so fitness has always been a big part of my life.  I also love fashion, so when I can merge the two I most definitely do.  I’m picky though, and if a product doesn’t perform it’s not worth my money and I don’t want it to take up space in my closet.  Over the years I’ve tried out lots of different athletic tops, bottoms, headphones, sneakers, etc. but here are my favorites, that I’d recommend to anyone without hesitation.  

best workout clothes - athleisure - fitness - gym clothes

(For sizing reference, I’m 5’5″ and 127ish pounds)

1.  This tank is so good, y’all.  It’s loose and longer and works well with yoga pants and running shorts.  The fabric is very lightweight and great for moisture wicking.  I think the mesh on the back is a cute detail too.  I wear a size 6.  

2.  This is the first lululemon tank I ever fell in love with…and you can tell by looking at my closet.  I have more of these than I should, but they are so incredible.  They’re good for yoga because they stay put when you do inversions, but they’re also fantastic for running or sweatier pursuits.  They’re more form fitting than the other two tanks I listed, which also makes them ideal for layering.  I wear a size 6 but can also wear an 8. 

3.  I love the sheer stripes on this athletic tank.  It’s loose-fitting, long enough to cover you bum in yoga pants, and it comes in tons of different colors!  I have 4 different colors and wear them all the time.  (These are pretty delicate so I wash them in a mesh bag.)  I wear a size small.

4.  When I go to the gym I almost always wear a sweatshirt or jacket on the way there.  It can be a bit cool in the mornings here, and I these days I always tend to gravitate toward one particular sweatshirt.  I’ve mentioned this sweatshirt on Instagram often the past few months, and it’s because it really is the best.  I’m wearing it now as I type, actually (and in the photo above)!  It’s loose but doesn’t look sloppy, and the tie in the back is a cute detail.  I have the rose/blush color as well as the white/black skinny stripe one.  I’d love to add all the colors to my closet though.  I wear a size small.

5.  The other item I love to layer on is this jacket.  I haven’t bought a new one in years, but I believe it’s still pretty much the same.  It looks cute unzipped, but also nice and fitted if you zip it up.  I still wear mine that are 6+ years old and love them as much as I did when I bought them.  I wear a size 6 but could probably size up to an 8 too.

6.  This is my favorite sports bra and I’ve had 2 of the old versions for about 6 years and now have 2 of the newer versions too.  I love that it has pockets on the front if you need to stash something like a credit card, chap stick or your phone.  I wear a size 6.

7.  I bought this sports bra in the early days of nursing Caroline and still wearing it all the time.  It’s nursing friendly because you can release the straps, but it’s not technically a nursing bra, so anyone can wear it.  It’s great for larger busted women because you can adjust the straps to make them more secure if you need them.  The back has a hook and eye closure, just like a regular bra.  I wear a 34B.

8.  My favorite long sleeve running top is this one, and I have it in way too many colors.  They’re great as a base layer if you’re running outside in the cold and want to add a vest or heavier jacket on top.  I pair them with shorts or pants, depending on the weather.  It also has little thumb holes that are great when the weather is a little cold and it makes layering much easier.  

9.  I used the regular Bose sport headphones for years, but after switching to these Bose bluetooth headphones I’ll never go back.  Here is why: 1) you don’t have to worry about cords getting tangled, 2) when you run on a treadmill you don’t have to worry about accidentally pulling your phone off the little shelf, 3) you can do workout videos on your phone (I do the free Glow Body Personal Training videos with headphones at the gym) and you aren’t tethered to your phone, so you can place it somewhere and then move around as needed, and 4) you can listen to podcasts or music at home when you’re doing chores and you don’t have to carry your phone around with you.  Give these a shot and you won’t regret it.

10.  I always wear a hat when I run outside.  I don’t know what it is, but I feel naked if I don’t.  The sun protection is so important and I think it also helps keep sweat out of my eyes.  I’ve tried lululemon hats but none have been good, in my opinion.  Nike hats seem to be my go-to, and I buy a new one every 5 years or so.  I’ve also had good success with some off-brand hats at TJ Maxx!  

11.  When I discovered these shorts in 2011 when I was training for my first marathon I bought them in every color available and have never looked back.  I still wear the same ones I bought way back then, and have added other colors over the years.  Here is why I like them: they have a comfortable built in liner so you don’t have to wear underwear.  It stays in place, even if you run a marathon.  The length is perfect if you’re a runner and don’t like long shorts restricting your movement.  The waistband doesn’t dig in like lots of shorts do.  And the best part is that they have 2 front pockets and one zipper back pocket!  I’ve run almost all of my marathons and races in these and have had no need for a fuel belt because I can fit everything in the pockets.  My favorite version is the high-rise version, which was only available for a little while and I snagged 3 pairs when I had the chance.  I’ve heard they’ll come back sometime this year, and you’d better believe I check the website frequently so that I can buy some more and let you all know!  They are THE BEST for postpartum mom-bods.  I wear a size 6.

12.  I love a good running skirt, and have quite a few of the old lululemon pace setter skirts (they have cute ruffles on the back).  I’ve run half marathons and done many long training runs in them, and they are incredibly comfortable.  This is the current version that lululemon sells and they look very similar and get fantastic reviews.  There is also a pocket on the leg that can fit a phone!

13.  I stocked up on lululemon running socks in 2011 and 2012…and I’m still wearing those same pairs.  I honestly don’t think I’ve bought new running socks in over 6 years, and I work out almost daily.  These stay put, prevent blisters, are moisture wicking, look nice with sneakers and are very comfortable.  If you’ve never tried lululemon socks you’ve got to give them a chance.

14.  I used to wear Oakleys when I ran, but then I realized that my favorite sunglasses (that I’ve owned and worn daily since 2012) stay put when I run too, so they’ve been my go-to running sunglasses ever since.  They fit nicely even if you’re wearing a hat (a problem sometimes when the top of your glasses hit the bill of the hat) and they look cute too.  The black and brown color combo makes them incredibly versatile too, so they match with everything you own! 

15.  These tights are a bit thicker than the other two pants I’ve included below, and I’d say they also have a little more compression.  I am in love with the color I purchased, which is maritime pine.  It’s the perfect green that plays well with white, blush, navy, light blue, black…basically all the colors I wear frequently.  These are incredible pants and even though they’re more expensive than the Amazon pants I’d recommend scooping up a pair because of how high quality they are.  I wear a size small.

16.  I’ve tried so many pairs of lululemon pants, and while I’ve liked almost all of them, I looooooove these pants the best.  I have them in black, navy and a pretty teal blue color. (as seen in the top photo).  The high waistband that doesn’t dig into you at all makes these so dreamy.  They’re great for yoga but I also wear them for running and strength training with no issue.  They also come in a variety of lengths, though the 25″ style is my favorite because they’re cropped but not short like capris.  They run a tad big, so if you want more compression size down one size.  I wear a size 4. 

17.  These leggings are a recent discovery and they’re from Amazon!  I talk about them often on Instagram because I’m seriously obsessed.  The fact that they’ve joined the ranks of my lululemon and Athleta gear is incredible to me.  Only $24.99 and they fit like a dream (very similar to the Align Crops listed above)!  Oh and the outer thigh pockets are big enough to hold a phone.  I wear a size small.  I have them in navy and black and want to add the light blue to my collection once they’e back in stock.  

18.  I put my running shoes through a lot, so they’ve got to perform well and be comfortable…but the fashion loving side of my personality also has an opinion, so they’ve got to be cute too.  I’ve gone through 4 pairs of these sneakers and I love them.  They aren’t all that expensive, the colors are beautiful, and they’re simply a great running shoe.  (I even ran the marathon in them.)  When I bring them home I do swap out the insole for Dr. Scholl’s insoles for a little extra comfort, and once I do that they’re good to go for the next 6 months.  I wear an 8 in most shoes but size up to an 8.5 in New Balance sneakers.

favorite workout clothes

sweatshirt | athletic tights (two of my favorite pieces included above!)

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Anonymous
    February 20, 2019 / 4:20 am

    Love this post, it is super helpful! But have to ask, how big are the pockets in the lulu sports bra? Can you seriously put your phone in there without it looking super weird or bouncing around a lot? 🙈

  2. February 20, 2019 / 6:05 am

    Haha good question! So it does look kind of weird but it doesn’t bounce that much (I’m an A cup so there isn’t much bounce in that department at all). If you’re larger than a B it probably would not work. I have an iPhone 8 Plus so it’s large but still doable. I ran all of my marathon training runs with it in the bra pocket but for the actual marathon I put my phone in a koala clip pouch that I attached to the back of my bra. It just didn’t want it to bounce around for 26.2 miles. Hope that helps answer your question!

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