Closet Tour: Activewear

I’ve written about my bags, my jewelry and my dresses in the past, but now it’s time to dive in to my approach to activewear.

First, before we begin: there were no pink running spandex when I was in high school, or anything colorful or patterned. So that’s the great tragedy of this post.

Moving on.

minimalist activewear

How I use activewear

I’m going to be candid: I don’t work out every day, but when I do…it’s not that intense. I tend towards cardio and yoga, so my approach might not work for you if you’re constantly doing high-intensity exercise.

That being said, I still think it’s easy to keep things fairly simple.

I re-wear stuff, depending on the level of activity. Especially since I don’t go to a gym where I’m close to a lot of other people. Is that gross? Well, it works for me!

I like to imagine that I’ll just rinse stuff out in the shower when I’m done exercising and hang it in the bathroom for the next day’s use, but I usually don’t get to that step. But I figure that would be a nice solution for someone who exercises frequently and wants to keep laundry to a minimum.

I also have quite a few things that have several purposes, although it doesn’t always serve my best interests: I use my shorts and t-shirts as loungewear and sometimes PJs. Though there’s a big problem with that – when I put on the shorts, I relate that to curling up in bed with some tea instead of hitting the pavement for a run.

Someday I’ll have more of a defined line between my activewear and loungewear, but for now here’s what I have.

A minimalist’s activewear

I keep a lot more shirts on hand than any other things since those are often the sweatiest. I also love leggings because they got me through years of fall and winter runs in Indiana, and still are great for chilly days (hah) here in Los Angeles.

Plus, you look like you know what you’re doing fitness-wise when you wear them.

What I have:

  • 1 pair running shoes
  • 2 tank tops
  • 5 t-shirts
  • 1 long sleeve
  • 5 sports bras
  • 3 leggings
  • 1 pair yoga pants
  • 4 soffe shorts

The shorts have puffy paint on them from high school (the oldest pair is eleven years old). My cross country coach called me “Floyd” because I liked pink so much, although at the time I had never heard a single Pink Floyd song. That’s why they all say Floyd.

The thing about workout clothes

Here’s something I love about this type of clothing – while the trendy stuff is really cute, at the end of the day it’s all about function. Does it provide your body the protection it needs while you are exercising?

I’m going to hazard a guess here and say that the average piece of activewear item that I own is seven years old. Some I got last year, and some (like those shorts and that yellow long sleeve shirt) are over ten years old.

Most are from when I was a cross country runner 8-12 years ago. Ugh, don’t remind me.

They still function like new! So when you are in the market for workout clothes, do some research and find quality items that will collect your sweat through thick and thin for the next decade.

The only thing I am sure to change out regularly are my running shoes – every year or two if I’m not running frequently, and every six months or so if I’m really on top of my running game.

What are your workout must-haves?

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8 thoughts on “Closet Tour: Activewear

  1. The tops I wear as pyjamas also function as loungewear and workout wear! I don’t like purchasing something just because it’s activewear… A t-shirt works well for many purposes. 🙂 I also re-wear leggings and tops that I use for walks and yoga. If they don’t smell and didn’t get sweaty, I don’t think it’s gross to use them again!

    • Yay for multipurpose things! I do have some issues sometimes with my mind confusing when it’s time to workout and when it’s time to lounge because of my multipurpose things, though – do you ever have that issue?

      Glad to have another voice in agreement about re-wearing things!

      Thanks for sharing, Jessica!

  2. I recently went with a minimalist approach to my workout wear- I got rid of anything that didn’t fit or feel comfortable and have been slowly replacing all my cheap buys with higher quality pieces that I know will last years. I currently have 1 pair of leggings, 1 pair of yoga pants (7+ years old – I love em!), 1 pair of capris, 1 pair of shorts, two tank tops, and 4 sports bras. (It’s difficult to find decent bras for my size, so I stock up on those!) Getting dressed for yoga has been so much easier lately, I just grab whichever pair of pants the weather calls for, one of my tank tops, and top it off with a loose shirt or sweatshirt from my closet. Also, I used to feel self conscious about re-wearing the same clothes to two yoga classes in a row, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. As long as nothing is stinky, there’s nothing wrong with that!

    • That’s a great approach! I think that getting rid of the things that just don’t work anymore is so important because I want to feel great when I put on my workout gear. My mother-in-law got me new leggings for Christmas (my last new pair was 12 years ago) and I have been wearing them multiple times a week…they’re so comfortable.

      I think getting over that initial anxiety of re-wearing things is so helpful. It has saved me from wasting water and the venture down to the scary laundry in the basement many times.

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. Interesting…this doesn’t seem minimal to me at all! But it can be totally relative – you do you 🙂
    But I’m also not someone who works out regularly. When it isn’t winter, I try to go for a bike ride a couple times a week (and sometimes bike to work, but at 5 miles its sort of far). Thankfully my workday isn’t spent sitting at a desk, so I count that as being very low-impact active. *shrug*
    I have:
    – 1 pair gym shorts
    – 1 pair leggings (used as an extra layer of warmth under jeans in the winter!)
    – 1 sports bra
    – 3 t-shirts that too worn to wear anywhere but working out or as pajamas
    I’ll wear them more than once (especially the shorts/leggings) before laundry day. I figure its fine; I’m going to be gross and sweaty soon, and I’ll shower and put clean things on after.

    • It’s definitely relative! It will look different for everyone 🙂

      I think a couple of the reasons I have the items I do is that I usually end up wearing workout clothes more often than regular clothes and that I don’t have laundry in my apartment (it’s a coin-operated machine downstairs in the scariest basement of all time).

      Nice on the non-desk job! I feel like that’s so rare nowadays! I am so glad that I’m hearing from other people who re-wear things. I would have to go to the scary basement all the time if it weren’t for re-wearing things.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing!

  4. Workout clothes are the biggest part of my wardrobe! Partly for sentimental reasons, partly because of the wide range of weather in Indiana, partly bc I have not come to terms with not having cross country 2 a day workouts every day, and mostly bc we don’t have a washer or dryer, so we tend to do laundry about once a month. The laundry being a regular thing would really help me cut down, but it’s the sentimental part that is the hardest. Any tips on getting rid of team and race shirts?

    • Hah! I think it’s totally understandable, and I feel like if I’m not wearing a dress I end up wearing workout clothes, and I have a hunch that you are fairly similar. And that Indiana weather!

      As you can see, the only Dwenger shirt I kept was the neon yellow one specifically because I use it when I run at night for visibility. It was tough, but I ended up (prepare yourself) just donating the other race/team shirts. I figured someone else could use them more often than I got the chance to. They were taking up so much space, and also I would wear them as both pajamas and running shirts, which ultimately ended up with me feeling sluggish every time I wore them.

      I haven’t been able to get rid of the puffy painted shorts yet though because they’re so custom to me and us as high-schoolers. Some days it’s a little embarrassing…

      I think at the end of the day I didn’t see getting rid of the things as forgetting or denying the past, but as a happy moving-forward. Because ultimately, I know that no matter what happens to the shirts, I know I can always pick right up with my cross country girls 🙂 Sorry, I think I’m a little sentimental today! And I miss you!

      Thanks for reading and commenting Mads 🙂

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