Workout clothes & Self-portrait(s)

What do you wear when you workout?
(Speaking of, did you see? I finally posted my first workout video–I’m so excited for you to use & share!)
Sweatpants (ugg, I cringe at the word. I apologize if you do. please mend your ways.)? Shorts? Athletic gear? Cute sportswear?
Before I taught fitness classes, I don’t think I cared too much about what I wore. Holes in my pants? No problem. An old T-shirt from a race I ran 3 years ago. Sure.
Then I started teaching, and as a teacher, you are front and center for everyone to see and you have to wear something presentable, professional. I don’t like clothes that expose too much, but I do want to wear something that I can get really hot and sweaty in and not want to die of heat stroke. Also, I don’t want the clothes to get in my way.
After years of teaching and wearing workout clothes every day of the week except for Sundays, I’ve learned the importance of buying quality sportswear, clothes that you feel good in, that get you excited about exercise.
I was thinking about this because recently, I took a photography class through AltSummit.
They offer online classes. I took a class from Justin Hackworth, who does some breathtaking work. One of his suggestions was to do photography “workouts,” one of which included taking self-portraits.
Kind of a funny assignment–take pictures of yourself.
I realized I have very few pictures of myself, and only a handful of just me. Usually I’m the one taking the pictures, or if I’m in a picture I’m always with my husband or kids. I’m totally fine with that, I personally don’t want to look at pictures of myself, but this little assignment got me thinking of how I view myself, and got me to think of myself in a different way.
I took these self-portraits right before I filmed the video so of course I’m in my workout gear.
I enjoyed fiddling around with the aperture and shutter speed. The first photo isn’t overexposed.
(I’m a fan of pink. Can you tell?)

But these three are.

Whatever you decide to wear when you workout, it should be something that you can move around in, is form fitting (especially for things like yoga and Pilates where you’re doing a lot of bending over and lifting the legs, etc.), and stylish (so you’ll want to put those clothes on and work out!).

(I kind of like what overexposure does to the photos.)

If your like I was, ditch the old basketball shorts from seventh grade and get yourself something you’ll love to work out in. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and it doesn’t change everything (you’ll still have to exercise), but I think it makes a difference.

Question for you:
What do you wear when you exercise? Do you think clothes make a difference to your exercise sessions (whether they happen or not, or the intensity and duration of the exercise?)


  1. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on April 1, 2012 at 5:21 am said:

    Lfwfv: I think you should trademark that treadmill/desk idea. Ingenious! I've heard of a few other people doing this, but it's definitely not as widespread as it should be!I sure can appreciate your practical approach to things. I'm often torn in two directions–my desire for practical simplicity and my passion for color, beauty, and good design (and I won't complain about having to wear a high quality fabric either). Ahh, sometimes I wonder how I can have such diametrically opposed thoughts.Joya: Oh, lucky you, you live the country, that's such a blessing. And you're a kickboxing fan? More than anything (it IS a great calorie burn, but for me that's besides the point), I love the stress relief it provides. Something about kicking and punching in a non-violent way.& while cute workout clothes are by no means necessity, I think they can't hurt, and if you're like me, they prove to be just the motivation to kick your workout into gear, after all, you're dressing the part 🙂

  2. Joya
    on March 31, 2012 at 8:05 pm said:

    I am either walking on my lunch hour, hiking with the kids around home (we live in the country) or kickboxing in my basement. I honestly would love to have some cute workout clothes but I've never made it a priority to buy them. I don't think it would change how I work out, but it would add a fun element to it, and that's always a good thing. I may have to put some on my wish list..

  3. Anonymous
    on March 31, 2012 at 4:36 pm said:

    Right now, I mostly walk on my treadmill while I check my email and stuff (I have a special desk attached to my treadmill so i can type and read as i walk! Love it!). I honestly usually just wear an old T-shirt and not much else so i don't overheat. I am definitely someone who values comfort and practicality over style. I don't feel it affects my motivation at all. If i move my walk outdoors, i usually wear a tank-top or running T-shirt and some running shorts. Low-tech, looks acceptable, and keeps me cool and comfortable. lfwfv