The market is filled with countless women’s fitness apparel brands, but can our workout be just as successful without all the bells and whistles of this specially engineered clothing? Here are three things I consider when picking out a tee and tank for a workout at the gym. And, here’s a little spoiler alert: your favorite graphic t-shirt or tank may just have what it takes to do the heavy lifting.
Before I started Yummiewear, I had spent a long time in the fitness industry as a figure competitor and a NASM certified trainer. The idea of Yummiewear’s food-themed graphic tees was actually a brainchild of my former fitness career. After every workout, and particularly after every fitness competition, I craved the days that I could indulge in something sweet. I can’t imagine my life without my favorite junk foods and I know others will agree with this. If you’d like to read more about my journey check out my post right here.
Otherwise, join me here as I go over what you should consider when picking out a t-shirt or tank for your next workout. These tips apply to any t-shirt like your favorite graphic tee that you may already own or for one which you are currently shopping. Sometimes we just want to wear a shirt that speaks to our personality or speaks about what we like. Fun graphic t-shirts are a great way to show your voice.
Without a further ado here is what to consider…
A workout routine isn’t complete without arm day, and some tops are better than others for this day. Here’s what to look for.
Going sleeveless is a great option for working out. Options like racerback tank tops and muscle tanks are great for those intense arm days at the gym. Muscle tank tops, in particular, have nice deep arm holes that allow you to feel less restricted when lifting or doing various arm movements during a workout. Another great of option is a slouchy tank. Slouchy tanks also have wide arm holes. Unlike muscle tank tops though, they do tend to have thinner shoulder straps. This may be a draw back if you want your sports bra straps covered completely.
I always opt for the muscle tank. It offers great mobility and fit. Plus, I love the way my arms in them. This tank top style has a very flattering cut.
You can workout in your favorite graphic t-shirt, but keep in mind that the right fabric composition will maximize comfort (and your workout). Here’s what to look for.
Major fitness brands like Lulu Lemon and Athleta are amazing. I am a huge fan because their clothing is both fashionable and practical. However, they can be very expensive and sometimes it’s not financially possible to own a whole workout wardrobe of them. This is why I often wear graphic tees or tanks to the gym. You can express your sense of style and personality with them, but you have to keep in mind that some tops just fare better than others when it comes to sweat. Aside, from brand name, with these larger fitness apparel companies you are also paying premium for sweat and odor whisking technologies. However, not all is lost. That graphic t-shirt that you are planning to wear to the gym may have what it takes.
As I have mentioned, the material of your graphic t-shirt or tank is important. It will ensure comfort and help you stay focused during your workout. Cotton is wonderful, but it will soak up every last bit of your sweat. You don't need anything sticking to your skin when you are at the gym. So, breathable alone won't cut it. Instead you may want to consider t-shirts that have a poly viscose blend.
Polyester will do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to breaking a sweat. This is a moisture wicking material. Then add a little bit of viscous to it, and you’ll also get a really nice texture. Viscous adds a silky sheen to the material and feels just like it looks. It's also a light material. A poly viscose blend will give you a little bit of everything - the softness and lightness of cotton (viscose) and moisture protection (polyester).
Loose fitting tank tops and t-shirts are great for working out, here’s why.
A loose fitting tank top or t-shirt can offer great comfort. Similarly to how you want to keep your clothing as dry as possible when you workout, a looser fit will further ensure that moisture stays off your body. Consider wearing a flowy fit like a boxy t-shirt if you want sleeves, or a slouchy tank if you want to go sleeveless. These shirts won't sit on you body if they become wet with sweat. Further the flowiness will naturally promote air flow. You can always cinch your top at the hips with a cute french tuck or knot if you’d like it to fit more snuggly above your hips. Also, if you are looking for a shorter flowy tee then a boxy cut is a great way to go.
I personally like to switch it up between tighter tops and looser ones. My body doesn’t always feel amazing. For instance, some days I am more bloated than others and a loose fitting t-shirt and tank can give me the extra wiggle room I need.
Women have a lot of options when it comes to fitness tanks and t-shirts. The market is busy coming up with better technologies and styles, but ultimately what you feel comfortable in is a personal choice. Much of what we wear just needs to provide comfort for the task at hand without creating a distraction. In other words, while you workout you don’t want to be concerned about changing out of your t-shirt because it is drenched. You want to stay focused on your routine, and complete it without pause.