To prepare yourself for the best workout possible, you know what you need to have on hand: enough water to hydrate you before, during and after, solid shoes for whatever type of exercise you’re performing, a positive attitude and some quality activewear that fits your body type. We all come in different shapes and sizes, which is why that last one is so important.
Workout clothing that is too big, too small or just doesn’t fit right will only cause you discomfort and take away from the workout you’re trying to accomplish.
How to pick out activewear based on your body type
Not sure what type of activewear is most ideal for your body shape? We’re here to help! Scroll through to find out the best activewear picks for every type of figure.
If you have those old-Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe-esque curves, defined by a narrow waist and a hip and bust circumference that almost matches, you’ll want to seek out activewear that allows those curves to be free rather than contained. To accentuate curves for both aesthetics and comfort, Toni Ferrara, a celebrity stylist who’s dressed Kim Kardashian, Matthew McConaughey and Kate Beckinsale, suggests going with a classic crop top. “It shows off your waist in a flattering way, while balancing your bust and hips,” she says.
If your shoulders are wider than your hips, you might consider yourself a part of this body type. The key to balancing this shape proportionately is color, according to Ferrara. “Stay dark on top with a pop of color detail in the center to visually shrink the shoulders and draw the eye to the center of the body,” she says. “Go bright on the bottom to create definition and width.”
Get the look: Bare Necessities Prima Donna The Mesh High Impact Underwire Sports Bra, $80, and American Apparel Nylon Tricot Leggings, $38
The very opposite of the inverted triangle is the pear — a smaller bust width and a larger hip circumference (think J.Lo and Kim Kardashian). Ferrara recommends highlighting this body type with brightly colored or printed sports bra to create the illusion of more of a balance from bust to hips.
“Typical characteristics of an apple body shape are a large bust, narrow hips and a full midsection (think Rebel Wilson),” explains Ferrara. She suggests seeking out activewear that allows you to move freely and isn’t too constricting around the waist. “A v-neck is a great way to open up the airways for your bust and a nice pop of color and capri-length bottom can draw some attention downwards.”
Get the look: Lululemon Love V Tee, $48, Target Women’s Training High-Waisted Laser Cut Capri Leggings, $33
For a full bust, support is key — especially in the bra area. Ferrara’s go-to type of sports bra for fuller-busted gals is a high-neck halter. “They are super stylish and supportive for running, cross training, yoga and pretty much any other exercise you can think of!” she says. “The best part is they made really great layering pieces under a racerback tank top.”
“Petite is usually described as a smaller frame under 5’3″, but a petite frame can still have a pear, apple, hourglass or straight shape,” says Ferrara. “To flatter the classic petite frame, it’s best to find sports bras with thinner straps, as adding bulky straps can make a petite frame look disproportionate.” Luckily, most activewear brands offer a petite length in leggings. If you’re looking to elongate the appearance of your bottom half, Ferrara suggests shopping for a legging with a stripe down the side to lengthen the legs and visually add inches to a petite frame.