When you’re wearing sleek, comfortable, matching workout clothes, you’re sure to stride into the gym with an extra boost of confidence and motivation – even before you hit the mat or machine. It’s easy to look good and feel good in what you’re wearing when you get started – but what about once you start to warm up? You want to make sure that your outfit is as functional as it is fashionable. Here are some tips for being comfortable enough to keep going even once you start to work up that well-earned sweat:

  1. Avoid pure cotton fabrics. Although you want to wear breathable fabrics, cotton and linen don’t dry as fast as mixed, breathable blends. These also commonly offer more stretch so that you can feel comfortable performing a wide range of motion. A small amount of cotton is always okay, but the main issue to avoid is having sweat absorbed into the material of your clothes and keeping you wet and chilly while you’re working out. Materials that wick sweat away from your skin and keep you as dry as possible include synthetic or mixed materials that are form-fitting but don’t cling.
  1. Wear the right undergarments. Ladies: A regular bra isn’t going to cut it for the gym. Be sure to invest in the correct type of support. Remember that you don’t want the sports bra to be too loose, so that you don’t have support, or too tight so that it might restrict your range of motion. Women with a more ample chest will want to look for wider straps. But there’s more it, too. Men and women should always wear underwear, even with leotards or spandex-type shorts – and especially with looser shorts. Socks are also an incredibly important part of the ensemble. Many sneaker socks are made to be worn discreetly (forget the fat, thick tube socks of decades past), but you’ll want to look for the kind that won’t slip off your heel. Specially designed socks can help your feet breathe and your shoes stay comfortable while also helping you maintain a correct stance while you work out. The right pair can also help you prevent athlete’s foot, blisters and corns. And no one wants any of that!

Check back next week for a few more ideas with Part 2 of Hot Workout Clothes.