Beauty and Style

Buying the perfect new workout pants

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yoga boatSo you’ve made the decision to purchase new workout gear and part of your clothing hunt is for a new pair of training pants. I’m already jealous, buying fitness clothing is my favourite pasttime!

You would think this is a pretty easy thing to do, but there are actually a fair amount of factors to take into consideration. I’ve bought many types of workout pants over the years for use as a personal trainer, gym exerciser, yogini, ice skater and rower, so I’d like to think I am fairly qualified to give some advice on this topic.

Here’s a guide to help you find that perfect pair of workout pants…

The bend over test

At some point in the future you will bend over in these pants and you want to make sure that when you do, they don’t go see-through. This can happen due to the thickness of fabric, the type of fabric, or the fit (if you buy gear that’s a bit too small, the fabric will be pulled tighter when it stretches).

Turn your back to the changing mirror, bend over and check out your assets. If you can see your undies, it’s time to move on and try on a different pair of pants. It’s also good to check if the pants have extra reinforcement in the crotch area as this feature may help prevent camel toe.

The road test

You’re buying these pants for a reason – whether it’s for the gym, a particular sport, or just walking in the park, do your best to try and replicate the movements you’ll be doing while you’re trying on the pants.

You may feel like a dick doing this in the shop, but some fabrics stretch better than others and you want to make sure the pants will do what you need them to.

Also, while you’re thinking about the activities you will be doing, give a thought to how that affects whether you want them to be tights, loose-fitting, three-quarter, light fabric to keep you cool, or heavier fabric to keep you warm. It’s easy to get carried away in store and leave with a great pair of pants that aren’t suited to the activities you want them for.

The wardrobe match

What are you going to wear your pants with? There are some amazing new colours and patterns out there verging on magnificent artwork – especially in the world of yoga pants – but if all the workout tops in your current wardrobe are similarly patterened, you might have trouble figuring out what to match with your lower half.

Plain colours may seem boring, but they do have the benefit of matching better plus will usually have the added benefit that you can also wear them as casual streetwear so you’ll get more use out of them.

What’s your budget?

Spending $100+ on a pair of workout pants may seem a bit over the top, but typically you do get what you pay for. I have a trusty pair of Lululemon pants that I bought around four years ago and despite frequent trips to the gym, training competitively in rowing (regularly getting them doused in salt water in all seasons), training for ice skating and wearing them throughout my pregnancy, they feel and look almost as good as the day I bought them.

On the other hand, if you have a small budget there are still some great clothes out there that will do the job – I’m a fan of Kmart and Cotton On Body as their styles are on-trend but the clothes don’t cost the earth and have decent lasting power.

What are your workout pants-buying tips? Do you have any favourite brands? Comment below!

Image / NZ Real Health

Ange is a personal trainer, figure skating coach, wife, mother-of-one, and yoga instructor based in Auckland, New Zealand.