I was so excited to put together my favorite apparel and accessories for running in the warm weather until I realized something kind of crucial which may or may not hinder my ability to make recommendations…
We are all so different.
Not only are our bodies completely different in terms of size, we are structured differently in that my legs may be shorter than yours and your torso may be shorter than mine even if we are the same height and weight.
And, to complicate things even more, finding the right fit isn’t the only issue we have.
Important athletic apparel requirements:
Will the pants stay up when you run?
Will the shorts stick to your legs or even worse, do your legs stick together because the length at which the shorts hit your leg when you move is bad?
Will the shirt stay in place when you pick up the pace or will it ride up?
Do the socks bunch in your sneakers?
Are the socks too thick or too thin for your sneakers?
Does the built-in bra offer enough support and if not, is there room under your top for another sports bra underneath?
Is the material see-through? Does it wash well?
Are there pockets for jelly beans, GU packets, your keys and license?
It’s not easy to find the perfect workout gear. In fact, I had an easier time putting together the winter weather workout essentials posts than this post for warm weather necessities.
Finding winter layers is less challenging for me than finding the right fit for shorts and even for tank tops.
I haven’t bought much of anything new for this season and it may just happen that I stick with some of my favorites from last year.
With that said, here are the few things I have come across worth checking out:
New Multi-Strap Tank from GapFit:
Not only does this Multi-Strap tank fit really well and have a built-in bra (with removable padding!) it looks good too, especially because of the pretty straps in the back.
I always go a size up in GapFit tops because I find their clothing will shrink should I put it in the dryer. GapFit tops normally don’t thrill me because they never have a built-in bra or at least not a bra with padding but this one meets all of my requirements so I bought two – one in the black and one in a charcoal gray. It’s now on sale too!
The pants in the photo are GapFit GFast crops but I don’t recommend them because they slide down as soon as I try to run, however, maybe they would work for you.
I am really picky when it comes to what I wear on my lower half.
I don’t like any of the shorts I have tried on for this season. Even the Lulu shorts don’t thrill me. They meet my requirements for pockets and a good waistband that won’t slide down but there is something about the fit of the leg that bothers me.
My new Gap tank goes well with my favorite Lulu skirt so I have a feeling shorts may not enter my wardrobe. I have no issue rotating the two skirts I already have with my favorite running crops all summer and saving some money.
I don’t mess with a good thing. These Gap socks are the best. I just bought another round because I can never have enough. Never too thick or thin, these Gap Performance Athletic Ankle socks are super soft, stay in place as well as stay dry and the tab in the back always protects my heel from rubbing against my sneaker, regardless of which pair I have on my feet.
A visor makes a huge difference when running in the summer sun. Not only does it give you added protection from the harmful rays but it keeps the sun from beating down on your face.
I am sticking with my Juicy visor from last summer but I did see cute visors at Lulu Lemon last week worth checking out.
Along with a visor, a good moisture-wicking headband is necessary as well. As I mentioned recently in a previous post, a good wide headband will help keep the hair from getting too sweaty in the event you want to get away without shampooing after a workout.
I really like the Lulu Lemon Fly Away Tamer headbands because they stay in place and are loose enough to forget you have something around your head. They also fit well under the visor.
Lulu came out this year with Sweat Cuffs which are sweat-wicking wristbands designed to hold your key/candy/whatever-else-you-can- fit in case you don’t require mandatory pockets in your clothing like me.
My favorite CamelBak water bottle with filter from last year broke and I need a new one!
I love the filter feature because it allows me to refill from anywhere and trust that the water will taste good.
I find that when I have a water bottle I love, I fill it up and take it with me wherever I go.
Hydration is crucial all year but especially now as we approach the summery temps, making sure you are sipping your water all day long as well as during workouts is mandatory.
I did a few posts last summer about the importance of picking the right sunscreen that not only offers broad spectrum protection but is free from harmful ingredients.
I love this sunscreen from SkinCeuticals. A little bit goes a long way and is perfect for running or the beach or wherever you are outdoors. It is a bit pricey compared to your drugstore brands but worth every penny.
I will focus more on sunscreen next week again for National Sunscreen Day.
I try to spend my money wisely. I figure out in advance which pieces mean the most to me in terms of comfort and fit and spend what I need to on those items.
For example, I don’t need to worry so much about the right sports bra like I stress about the right pants that won’t slide down or the shorts that I won’t feel moving and sticking to my legs when I run.
Once I have the mandatory pieces covered, I seek out deals from the following stores:
Target – Champion makes a majority of Target’s athletic apparel and seem to have many knock offs of the same cuts you see at Lulu and other stores.
Forever 21 – Their sports bras have been just fine for me, no complaints. Wash well and seem to be durable. Be careful with what you purchase though, only store credits are offered as refunds.
Old Navy Active – I haven’t bought anything yet but my friend does and loves whatever she has selected
Gap – Always runs a sale and offers many discounts and specials for Gap credit card holders. I always search the sale rack and buy items that I can put away for the following season. Note- I size up in tops and as small as possible in pants since they slide down.
Lulu Lemon We Made Too Much – All sales are final so make sure you know your size!
Remember, it’s not a fashion show. Of course we all like to look cute but it’s also okay to repeat your workout clothes in order to save some money for the clothes you wear the other 90% of your life.
I put together a handy checklist of our basic requirements that apply regardless of brand, style and fit to keep in mind while you are shopping.
If you have written your own workout essentials post recently, please share the link in the comments! Not only am I interested in what you are liking or not liking, I am pretty sure everyone else is curious too.
And, if you have a pair of running shorts you swear by or any other apparel, accessory or brand you love, please tell us in the comments as well.
I would love to put together another post based upon your responses to give us a broader idea of popular opinion regarding summer workout gear!
So tell us, what are you loving?
Share your links!
Which do you prefer, running in a skirt or shorts or pants?