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Gym Clothes: Top Features Yours Should Have

Gym Clothes: Top Features Yours Should Have

A lot goes into a successful workout, from proper fueling to a good stretch session and appropriate technique throughout your training. One thing that can be easily overlooked, however, is choosing the right gym wear.

Your gym clothes can work for much more than just your appearance. Picking thoughtfully designed activewear with functional features ensures there is as little to impede your gains as possible.

Today we’re going through our gym wear guide to set you up for max success with your workout clothes.

What Gym Clothes Are Essential for Women?

Let’s start with gear for the ladies. There are a few definite essentials you should add to your arsenal to be ready for anything your active lifestyle could throw your way, whether you’re a lifter or a pilates master.

Leggings and Bike Shorts

Who said your athletic clothing couldn’t be the comfiest clothing you own?

With modern innovations, the softest fabrics and most comfortable fits now have all your favorite activewear features too. Wear them to bed and head straight to yoga in the morning or take them from errands to brunch—we won’t blame you.

Keep a long and short pair handy for a wardrobe that can handle all seasons. Our Crop Pocket Leggings (yes, you read that right—pockets) are a perfect option for leggings, and a pair of Pocket Bike Shorts will round out your options.

Sports Bras

When it’s time for a top, one of the best options for activewear is a sports bra. Practically speaking, a good sports bra offers strong support while keeping you comfortable.

The other main strength of a sports bra is how well it styles with any other leisure, especially leggings. Pick up the Recess Sports Bra or a similar style to find your new go-to, and let the style inspiration fuel your workout.

Tanks and Tees

For more coverage than a sports bra or just for a style change, tanks and tees are the perfect alternatives in your workout outfits. 

Whether you’re feeling sleeves or total freedom, quality tops supplement your temperature regulation, leave your range of movement unhindered, and feel super soft on top of it all.

When the weather drops, make sure you also have a few jackets or sweatshirts in technical fabrics on hand to keep warm. 

Running Shorts

Running shorts are a must when it comes to your athletic apparel. Iconic for their lightweight design and unrestrictive feel, there’s a reason they’ve been popular for so long—with some innovation, of course.

Now, we’re taking running shorts to the next level by adding new features, including the all-important back zipper pocket.

What About Essentials for Men?

Men’s activewear has no lack of innovations, but the classics still reign when it comes to style. Let’s break down the men’s gym clothes you need to have.

T-Shirts and Long Sleeves

There are a few different types of tops to have in your gym wear lineup. Perhaps the most common, a time-tested classic in men’s workout clothes, is the t-shirt.

Supremely versatile, t-shirts find that perfect middle ground where you can wear them comfortably on nearly any occasion. Great for intense workouts or lightweight routines, indoors or out, a top like the Carrollton Fitness T-shirt is an obvious pick.

Long sleeve shirts are versatile too but are at their best when the weather starts to cool down (or if your gym really cranks their AC). The best part of a long sleeve is that you can adjust the sleeves by rolling them up if you find you want more or less coverage for a particular activity.

For even more warmth, you might want to consider investing in a quality hoodie as well. 

Running Tanks

Sometimes, the less coverage, the better. Let your skin soak up the sun (just don’t forget sunscreen) or turn heads in the gym with a stylis running tank

With the sleeveless design and breathable material, tanks are the perfect gym apparel for when you need to stay cool when the heat kicks up.

Training Shorts

A great pair of gym shorts is essential to your sportswear wardrobe. If you’re looking for something a little longer than the classic running shorts, training shorts are perfect. They give you a bit of extra length without restricting your mobility, making them a worthwhile purchase. 

Be sure to pick up a pair or two with lightweight, breathable material, four-way stretch capabilities, moisture-wicking, and anti-odor capabilities. The Recess 8” Training Short covers all those needs, plus it comes with a super handy interior anti-bounce phone pocket.

For cooler weather, athletes should invest in joggers with the perfect fit to keep their legs warm, whether they’re hitting the squat rack or heading out for a run. 

Running Shorts

A classic is usually a classic for a reason. The shorter design of the 5” running shorts has its own stylish charm while also offering the freest feeling and least restrictive design available.

The Recess 5” Running Short has all the same great features as the training shorts we mentioned above, redesigned in the classic 5” running short package.


There are a few popular styles of underwear for activewear, each with its own benefits. Consider the Boxer Brief if you’d prefer a middle ground between comfort and support or Boxers if you prefer a looser feel with a focus on comfort.

Whichever you choose, there’s no replacement for a quality pair of underwear, so always look out for the features we’ll go over below.

What Does Everyone Need?

A few pieces of any good gym wear arsenal cross boundaries across all who workout. Let’s talk about these briefly.

A Good Backpack

Hauling around a duffle bag can be inconvenient, and repurposing your work briefcase probably will not get the results you need. 

A quality gym bag will hold everything you could need for your outing, including a change of clothes, shoes, a water bottle, snacks, your tech, a towel, and more.

A Gaiter

Gaiters are incredibly versatile accessories that can be used as face masks, neck covers, headbands, or full headcovers. 

With the highest quality materials, a good gaiter such as the EcoSoft Face & Neck Gaiter promises incredible durability and usefulness for everyday life, even outside of workouts.


Keeping your feet comfortable and protected is a must, so pick up a few pairs of performance socks with intentional design and purposeful features. 

Ankle socks are a great go-to with any shorts, while crew socks excel with pants in colder weather or when chafing could be a concern.

What Features Should My Gym Clothes Have?

Now that we know what sorts of styles we’re looking for when putting together athleisure outfits, we can break down what features should be on our checklist before checkout.

Breathable, Hypoallergenic, and Soft

Soft and breathable gym clothes may not seem all that necessary—after all, you’ll be going through some intense activities, and you’re likely to feel uncomfortable from those. However, maximizing your comfort otherwise leaves your mind totally unimpeded so you can focus on overcoming the real challenges, and breathability is an essential factor in your garments.

Another important, though sometimes forgotten, factor is whether or not a fabric is hypoallergenic. Fabric allergies are reactions to the chemicals used to treat certain fabrics, fabrics that are especially common in lower quality gym wear.

Look for natural fabrics such as bamboo to ensure you and anyone you come in contact with can workout worry-free.

Moisture-Wicking and Odor-Resistant

What’s a workout if you’re not breaking a sweat? Pick clothes that can handle the heat with moisture-wicking and odor-resistant capabilities.

Sweat-wicking properties are critical during your workout, as it draws sweat from your body and releases it into the air, letting your body naturally regulate its temperature. 

Some styles might use chemical treatments to achieve moisture-wicking, but choosing high-quality fabric like bamboo means choosing chemical-free, without sacrificing performance.

Odor-resistance may not seem as relevant in the moment of a workout, but it shows its value over time. You’ll appreciate the superior longevity and added freshness that naturally odor-resistant fabrics can give.

Natural Sun Protection

Safety under the sun requires more than just sunscreen. UV rays are powerful enough to penetrate most clothes to some degree. The modern innovations that you’ll find in the best workout clothing, however, are equipped to protect you and your skin.

Thermal Regulating

Not only does your body need protection from the sun, but also from the heat it creates around itself. Without thermal regulating capacity, your clothes will trap heat and hinder your body’s natural processes. 

When you’re overheated, your performance starts to suffer, and it may even pose a health risk. It’s essential that your clothes help your body manage its temperature rather than getting in the way.

Good for Humanity (and the Environment!)

The best gym clothes don’t just work for you-- they work for the world and the rest of the people in it, too. Sustainable fashion is one great way you can contribute to the greater well-being while still improving your own life.


Choosing functional and responsible clothes for your workouts can be just as important as any other aspect of the routine. That’s why we’re always working to help you stay informed on the latest innovations and most important features in activewear. Let’s get your closet in tip-top shape!


Polyester Allergy: Symptoms, Treatment, and Alternatives | Healthline

Sun Safety: Skin Cancer | CDC

What is Sustainability? | UCLA

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