Thursday, 4 June 2015

What to wear to the gym–10 all time favourites and where to buy trainers for less.

I had lunch the other day at Noura in Curzon Street, more about that later, with a very good friend who has just started going to the gym.  Fitness and the gym being one of my hobby horses I rather went too much to town on what I thought she should be doing – holding back never being my strong point. 

What to wear to the gym is another favourite topic.  Everyone who’s a regular gym goer or runner or fitness advocate has their favourite’s, myself included, and it’s taken quite a lot of trial and error for me to find the perfect workout gear.  I’m not talking about the latest, expensive designer gym wear but pieces that are reasonably priced, comfortable, washable, make you feel good and last.  Forget the washable bit with trainers – I personally think once you put your trainers in the washing machine they’ve had it.

So once we’d covered my favourite trainers (lots of cushioning), leggings, sports bras and running jackets I thought it a good idea to bring them all together into one place.  These are the basics I wear every day.

Sports Bra
Berlie underwired running sports bra
Berlie’s underwired running sports bra is an award winning all time favourite, and each year Berlie bring it out in different colours, plus black and white.  This year you’ll find, if you’re lucky, cherry red and deep purple. 
This is a mid priced bra offering lots of support and it’s Marks and Spencer underwired sports braextremely comfortable to wear all day.  Don’t put it in the dryer if you can avoid it as the colour will fade, although I have to confess mine have been through a couple of times….. You’ll find this at Figleaves and Less Bounce.

My second favourite sports bra, also offering lots of support, is by M&S.  Again underwired and good for wearing all day is their high impact bra.  This comes in a set of black and white (if you can get it), padded and underwired with a racer back, and push-up, padded and underwired, so the choice is yours.

Just as an aside, if you want a non underwired high impact sports bra this is the favourite of another member of my family.

Gym Pants/Running Tights

Under Armour perfect capri pant The Under Armour Perfect Capri pant has a wide waistband which makes them extremely comfortable and a dry feel which I prefer to the slightly slimy feel of some gym pants (not a great word I know).  They hit below the knee andNike Epic Run printed capri tights down your calf depending on how tall you are.   Size 12 is a M, unsurprisingly.  You’ll find them at Very and at Under Armour’s online store.  Also sometimes reduced via Amazon.co.uk.
If you’re after a pair of full length running tights these are my favourite, by Nike, their Dry Fit running tight.  Find them at SportsShoes.com, and also at SportsDirect.

For something a little different, and particularly if you’re wearing a plain top, you might like to try a printed capri or full length running tight such as Nike’s Epic Run capri.  I always stick to something reasonably subtle but you can go as mad as you want to.

TrainersNike Vomero 9Trainers have become so much more than fitness or gym or running shoes.  They can take you everywhere.  Some are more ‘trainer’ than others depending on the colour and style.  My all time favourites are Nike Pegasus and Nike Vomero and I have several pairs but all allow me to walk up the nearest hill out of town, take the dogs out (when it’s dry), go for a jog or go to the gym.  And as long as you’re happy to look sporty you can wear them all day.

If you were going to have two pairs I would say buy one in a bright, and one in black or black Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31and white.  Both Nike Pegasus and Nike Vomero have a great deal of cushioning which makes them comfortable whatever you do in them. 

There are so many different types of trainer and if you’re really not sure then go to a good sports store and get fitted properly.  Then you know that whatever trainer you end up with will be right for you and the way you walk/run and you can buy them online from then on.

With regards to price, the most popular are unlikely to be discounted until right at the end of the season when the new models and colours are released.  A the right time of year (usually around June) you can find some real bargains at websites such as Start Fitness and Wiggle.

Running Jacket

Nike Legend JacketThis is a slight misnomer as you may not be going running in this, but I find it extremely useful whether travelling to the gym or going out for a fast walk (or run) when you start off chilly and then warm up.  You want something light, with plenty of zipped pockets, stretchy and reasonably flattering and this one fits the bill on all levels.  Plus Nike’s Legend jacket is currently on sale. 

This isn’t about a waterproof jacket for the brave souls who are happy to go out in the rain, but a jacket that will provide reasonable warmth and protection.  Find this one at Start Fitness and Sports Direct and wait for the new version if you really want to.

Sports Top

Nike Sports Running TopHaving worn ordinary t-shirts to work out for a long time I’ve gravitated to the softer more stretchy (and right for the job) top that is a ‘proper’ sports top.  They’re much better when you get hot for all sorts of reasons.  My current two favourites are Nike running tops which come in all colours, neck shapes and different sleeves and Gap’s Breathe tops, GapFit Breath Topwhich are longer.

I happen to like a v neck, which is flattering and keeps you cool, and short sleeves, but there are so many different versions to choose from.  Go up half a size if in doubt (if you’re between a 10 and a 12 go for a M rather than an S) as too tight can look unflattering.

Both Gap and Nike (of course) do sleeveless versions as well.  I like fitted, the other gym going member of my family (female) likes her tops loose.  Your choice…..

Sports Socks

Sports SocksYou may think this is the least important item but that early morning when you’re getting ready to to on a run/to the gym and you’re on a time constraint and you can only find two unmatched socks, haven’t we all been there? 

You need plenty of pairs, of a decent quality.  I like the ones that barely show in my trainers.  You can buy expensive cushioned trainer socks or very cheap.  I’d go for somewhere in the middle as the cheap versions really don’t last.


These are my ten all time favourites for fitness, gym or otherwise.  Everyone has their own, but if you’re starting out, or you want to upgrade from everyday trainers and t-shirts to something a bit more gym-worthy you could do worse then take a look here, and none of these are ‘designer’ nor at designer prices.

Fitness clothing that suits you and makes you feel good can help as an incentive.  It’s not necessary to spend a fortune although you can. And it’s soooo comfortable.