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The Best Workout Clothing

best workout capris leggings sport bras

Do you remember the days when only a very few workout apparel companies existed? And none of them were super exciting nor particularly attractive to wear? Yeah, well, those days are over, as it seems every week a new retailer jumps on the scene. I, for one, am thrilled about this since none of the workout clothes from the days of yore worked very well on me.

I decided to put together a list of my favorites, as well as reader favorites (via the Whoorl Facebook page) for your perusal. The ones denoted with asterisks are my can’t-live-without essentials.

C9 Champion® Women’s Enthusiast Seamless Sports Bra – C9 has been mentioned to me many times due to the excellent price point. Bonus that you can pick them up at Target!

Zella Stamina Sports Bra* – This is a personal favorite of mine – it’s great for walking, yoga, or low-impact activities, and the slightly deeper v-shape in the front is very pretty. I get pretty modest when it comes to cleavage in sports bras, so this one is as low as I go.

Under Armour Eclipse Sports Bra* – Another favorite, but for medium-impact activites. I like that this one doesn’t dip as low in the front for days that I want to feel completely covered in the chest department, and I like the adjustable straps on the back.

Moving Comfort Juno Sports Bra – Many larger-chested women swear by this sports bra for keeping the chest situation intact.

Enell High Impact Sports Bra – I had never heard of this brand, but it was mentioned a few times by readers. It looks like they’re onto something – just check out the 700+ 4- and 5-star reviews!

Lucy Studio Cami Racerback* – Personally, this racerback replaced my Lululemon Power Y Tanks when the quality of those tanks started to decline. The Lucy tank has an internal shelf bra removable pads, which is a must for me. (Gotta keep the headlights under control, people.)

Zella Double Scoop Tank – The Zella brand at Nordstrom is a huge winner for me personally, as well as many readers. I haven’t tried this particular tank, but it’s been mentioned to me several times by friends.

Lululemon 105 F Singlet* – I don’t wear a ton of Lululemon anymore, but I do LOVE these singlets. They are super lightweight, and I personally love the deep armholes, exposing some of the mid-back and ribcage. I think I have about 4-5 colors.

Zella Z5 Tee – Once again, Zella can do no wrong. Plus, if you don’t have a Nordstrom near you (hello!), you get free shipping and returns.

Under Armour Twisted Tech Tee – Under Armour was another brand mentioned several times (besides my personal love for the above sports bra), and the brand has a great price point.

Nike Tempo Short – A huge winner in the running short department, according to readers. (Do you guys remember The Great Running Shorts Search of 2007? Nike Tempo shorts were a favorite back then too.)

Under Armour Perfect Pace Short – These look promising, however, I don’t run any longer so don’t listen to me.

Zella Live In 2 Capris* – Love these capris. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve disliked anything by Zella.

Under Armour Alpha HeatGear Stripe Capri Leggings – More Under Armour! You guys like this stuff!

Athleta Chaturanga Capri – Highly recommended my many, and I own two pairs myself. They don’t ride down and wear/wash well. Two thumbs up.

Alo Airbrushed Capri Leggings – You people like yourselves some Alo. I haven’t tried the capris, but I really want to try the Goddess leggings. (See below.)

Old Navy Compression Capris – Old Navy garnered some mentions – great price point!

Fabletics Salar Capri*** – Okay, I’m going to gush for a moment. I can’t get enough of the Fabletics Salar capris and leggings. They are, far and away, the best workout pants I own. Now, I haven’t had tons of luck with Fabletics tops and sports bras, but I LOVE THESE CAPRIS. They don’t stretch out or ride down, and the waistband is high enough that I feel nice and contained in the low abdominal region, if you know what I mean. These capris come in 20+ colors and patterns, and I seriously am smitten.

Fabletics Salar Leggings*** – The Salar leggings fit just like the capris, except full-length. 30+ colors and patterns, and they are on sale right now. DO IT. (It seems some are final sale, though, so double check!)

Zella Live In Leggings* – I own these in a few colors, and they fit very well. My only word of advice is make sure you get them in the right size. I ordered a small thinking they were very comfy for yoga and such, but they started to ride down over time. I think if I would have gone down a size (which was the size I should have bought – according to the size chart), it wouldn’t have been an issue.

Splits59 Nova Reef Capris – I don’t have these, but aren’t they super fun? This brand was mentioned a couple of times.

Alo Goddess Ribbed Leggings – I think these are the coolest leggings I’ve ever seen, but don’t have any myself. Such a fun and different take on leggings. Do you have a pair?

Alright, ladies, there you have it! Sorry if I didn’t mention all the recommendations I received, but I’m hoping this will be a great jumping-off point for your exercise apparel search. Also, if you have a favorite that wasn’t mentioned, please leave a comment. It will be much appreciated, as always.

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8 Comments
  • Emily

    May 11, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    I so wanted to jump on the Fabletics bandwagon, but a few orders in and the right fit just isn’t there for me. Zella > Fabletics every time.

    But Moving Comfort bras are the best thing ever ever ever! Seriously. I used to “double up” sports bras, wearing two at a time. Even then, I wouldn’t run. Now I feel secure while still being able to breathe – WIN!

    • whoorl

      May 11, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      Love Zella!! I just wished I ordered my Zella leggings in the correct size. Well, at least now I know!

  • angela

    May 11, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    just wanted to pry… why don’t you wear a ton of lulu anymore? Just curious. That’s all. Love all your picks.

    I purchase all my workout stuff from the same store. And for one single reason – because I know my size and how their clothes fit so there’s virtually zero returns. The colors also tend to go with other items in their pallet.

    • whoorl

      May 11, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      I just think the overall quality of Lulu has declined over the past few years, especially for the price point. :(

  • Erica

    May 11, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    I am not a fan of the tank with the built in bra. My go to tank, is the Chi tanks at Athleta. They aren’t too tight, but stay down during intense circuit trainings. Also a huge fan of the Juno Moving Comfort bra. I wore them when I was a 36DD and still wear as a 32C. It is a great bra. I also love the Chaturanga capris, but the ones with the side panel. The stripe ones you link to have a single side seam. I prefer the other style as I find they fit a little tighter. I also love the Athleta skirts with the shortie shorts under them. I have a few and they are a nice alternative to running shorts.

    I’ve heard good things about Fabeltics. Might give them a try. I am also intrigued by Carrie Underwood’s workout line at Dick’s. The prints are super cute. Anyone try them yet?

    Tank – http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=963942222
    Capris – http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1004361&vid=1&pid=489411022
    skort – http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=92344&vid=1&pid=489449032

  • Nancy Warren

    May 11, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    GracedbyGrit is my new favorite! Great colors!

  • Amanda

    May 11, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I have to give a nod to Splits 59 – I have two pair of their capri leggings and LOVE them. I am also obsessed with the Lorna Jane capri leggings and tops as well as Prismsport and Alala. I have a new gig doing fitness videos for SkinnyMom and get to keep all of the outfits I wear in the videos which has introduced me to a ton of new fitness gear companies.

    Have you heard of SweatStyle? I just got my first shipment last week and they hit the nail on the head with everything they sent.

  • Angela

    May 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I am a runner and crossfitter and I am a huge fan of Oiselle (www.oiselle.com). It is a company run by women that only designs clothes for women. The quality of their clothes is outstanding and their pieces are not only beautiful but they are made to perform. I mean, you want to look cute during your 12 mile run but the last thing you need is itchy clothing or chafing. No bueno!

    I agree with you on lululemon. I used to love their stuff but the quality has decline considerably in the past couple of years.