All about workout clothes: My top 10 pieces and where I buy my workout clothes

Hey, friends! How was your weekend? Mine was good and not super eventful, outside of a lot of group fitness. Let’s talk about workout clothes!

Remember when we all wore rolled-down cotton Soffe shorts and oversized t-shirts to exercise because we had no idea there was a better way? Yeah, I know. I literally can’t imagine getting sweaty in a big cotton t-shirt and trying to have full mobility now. Because the truth is this: Having the right gear and attire can help you be more successful in your workouts. And sometimes, getting new activewear that fits right and makes you feel good can be a great motivator to make you stick to your workouts too.

All about workout clothes: My top 10 pieces and where I buy my workout clothes

My top 10 pieces and where I buy my workout clothes by A Lady Goes West

Here’s what I usually look for in my staple everyday workout clothes …

  • Solid colors (most of the time)
  • Sweat wicking (of course)
  • For leggings: High-waisted
  • For tops: Form fitting or cropped (I don’t like long and loose, because it gets in the way)
  • Functional and comfortable

My top 10 pieces I wear over and over again

Here are my current favorites, and these are listed in the order of how much I like and/or wear each item …

#1 Zoned in leggings by Lululemon

These zoned in leggings are my VERY FAVORITE LEGGINGS EVER. I mean that. They are high-waisted, slightly shiny, compressive, sweat wicking, and they actually stay up during any workout. I wear them maybe twice a week, and I’ve had them for more than a year, and they are still looking quite new. In fact, as I’m writing this, I realize that I should probably order a second pair. So good. If you want to invest in ONE pair of leggings this year, I would vote for these. Shop these leggings here.

#2 Breeze by muscle tank by Lululemon 

This is a breezy workout tank, because there are tiny holes that keep you cool, without being too see through. I bought this top over the summer when we were in Vancouver, and I have worn it about once a week ever since then. It’s good for barre, for BODYATTACK, for BODYPUMP or basically any activity. Shop this breeze tank here.

#3 Dry cushion no-show socks by Nike

Have you ever worn cushioned socks? Once you try them, you’ll be hooked. I love these Nike cushioned socks and always wear them for BODYPUMP or BODYATTACK to have a little extra comfort in my shoes. Shop the socks here.

#4 Air bella training shoe by Nike

I stumbled upon this style shoe while strolling through DSW with Brady and Dave and was so impressed with the comfort level when I put them on my feet. These have been my go-to weightlifting and BODYPUMP shoes for quite a while. In fact, I may get some more of the exact same style. They are pretty good for cardio too, but mostly for weights. Shop these shoes here.

#5 Sculptknit leggings by Fabletics

I like these so much I have them in two colors, both black and red. I also have the matching bra and top, because I bought them as a set. These are some of the only leggings, other than my number-one zoned-in Lululemon leggings mentioned already, that totally stay up during BODYATTACK and other big movement workouts. Fabletics usually doesn’t keep items on the site for that long, but this particular style has been there a couple months, so I’d jump on them if you’re in need. They have a very different fabric, that’s thick, but breathable. The only downside is that even though these are considered high-rise, they don’t come quite as high as others, but they stay up, so it all evens out. Shop these leggings here.

#6 Live in leggings by Zella

These live in leggings are so comfortable, I’ve found myself wearing them even when I’m not planning to work out. They have the perfect high-waisted height, and the fabric is the perfect thickness. I have the navy blue ones, and they are an absolute staple for my workouts, mostly barre and POP Pilates and solo sessions, not so much for BODYATTACK. Shop these leggings here.

#7 Foothill tank by Athleta

I have this tank top in two colors and usually wear it once a week. What I like about this tank is that the fabric is great, it’s a solid color and you can tie it up in the back to make it as tight and short or long and loose as you want. It feels good to have a cinched-in waist, with some breathability too. I have white and green. Shop this tank here.

#8 Hyper focused sports bra by Athleta

This hyper focused sports bra is a very comfy and soft sports bra for low-impact exercise. It doesn’t provide a ton of support, but enough for activities like barre, Pilates, or yoga. The fabric is great, and there are removable pads too. Shop this sports bra here.

#9 Core fitness jacket by CALIA by Carrie Underwood

Who doesn’t love a simple black workout jacket? What I like most about this Calia one is that it’s longer in the back than the front, it has pockets and is just the right thickness. I wear it ALL the time. Shop this jacket here.

#10 Train to be tank by Lululemon

This is one of the newest items on the list. It’s a super light and airy crop-ish tank by Lululemon that I’ve been wearing for barre and POP Pilates and solo workouts. I love the feel and the fact that it’s a light pink color. Shop this tank here.

How to become a Les Mills group fitness instructor by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

(This picture shows two of my favorite pieces. The zoned in leggings and air bella sneakers.)

Where I buy most of my workout clothes

I do my workout clothes shopping both in person and online. Here are my current favorite brands …


I am member of Fabletics and usually get a new outfit from the site about every other month. Right now, it seems like most of what you see on Fabletics is two-piece outfits with leggings and a sports bra only. While that can seem off-putting to the average buyer, the good news is you can usually just purchase a separate tank to round out the outfit, if you prefer to have your mid-section covered. (Which I do, because I find that to be the most appropriate way to teach a group fitness class at my gym, ya know?)

What I like from Fabletics: The high-rise leggings, the colorful sports bras and the tank tops. While most of my staple workout pieces from Fabletics are no longer available on the site (they move through inventory a little faster than other brands), there are a few pieces that remain.

You can buy Fabletics online or at the brand’s retail stores (there are only a few, including one in Pleasanton in the Bay Area). And this is my referral link, so I get credits in my account when you sign-up from this link, so thanks for that.

Fabletics outfit - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

(This picture shows a full-on Fabletics outfit, with some old pieces and my current favorite sculptknit leggings.)


Yes, it’s expensive. But, yes, it’s good stuff. I love that Lululemon has a lot of solid colors, and I also love that I get an instructor discount there. I usually shop in the store so I can try things on. The one thing on my Lululemon shopping list that I haven’t bought yet is this sports bra. My current favorite sports bra is from Lululemon, but isn’t on the site any longer, so it’s not linked in this post, unfortunately. 

Zella by Nordstrom

I actually have quite a few things from Zella, which is only available at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. Quality stuff and very reasonably priced. It works best for barre, Pilates and solo workouts. I don’t wear it for BODYATTACK or high-intensity jumping work.


There is a lot of cute stuff at Athleta. We have a store near us, and I get an instructor discount, which is nice. The price is lower than Lululemon, and the functionality is pretty darn good. 

CALIA by Carrie Underwood

This is the only portion of the post where I haven’t purchased my clothing, but it’s gifted to me. I’ve been working with CALIA by Carrie Underwood as a partner for over a year, and I love the clothing. It’s feminine and functional, I wear a lot of it, and it’s very reasonably priced.

I get one new outfit a month to photograph and share, and I am constantly wearing the outfits to teach and work out after my photos are done. You can buy CALIA by Carrie Underwood online or at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

CALIA workout wear - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

(This picture shows a full CALIA by Carrie Underwood outfit that I recently received. And I love it!)

Closing thoughts and a couple brands I want to try …

I’ve heard great things about Alo Yoga and Outdoor Voices but haven’t purchased anything from those brands. They are on my list though.

Overall, I’m happy with my current workout wardrobe, but because I teach a lot of classes, I can never have too much. And hey, having new workout clothes certainly is a great way to get excited for your next sweat session.

By the way, in case you missed it, you may also be interested in this post … “My top 10 recent staple purchases that I wear over and over again,” which is all about non-workout clothes.

That’ll do it for today, my friends! Thank you for visiting the blog. Have an amazing start to your week!

P.S. There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase from any of the links, I receive a small commission. Thanks for your support. And please know that I only share with you what I really like.

Questions of the day

Where do you get most of your workout clothes?

How was your weekend?

Did you ever wear Soffe shorts? You bet I did …

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  1. I absolutely LOVE the Live In leggings from Zella! I got them on sale before I was willing to commit to Lululemon and I’m so glad I did. Such good quality!

    Lululemon has so many different styles I’m honestly struggling to remember which ones I have. I did get two compression pairs that are more for intense workouts. I also just got the Aligns and they’re soooo comfy!

    1. Hi Dom! I like the align pants for barre or cycling, but as comfy as they are — they DO NOT stay up for tough workouts hehe — but those zoned in tights do. I highly recommend them. And I’m so glad you’re a Zella fan too — can’t beat the price. Hope you had a great weekend, my friend!! 🙂 xoxox

  2. Soffe shorts! Oooh don’t take me back lol! We can just remember that technical fabrics weren’t that common back then 🙂 Can you imagine being an athlete in the 80s or 90s? All cotton or spandex only… eek! I am not a huge Lulu fan, I like their shorts a lot but didn’t like the leggings I did try, maybe it was just the type though… either way, I couldn’t handle the price tag for something I didn’t love. I’m a big Under Armour fan, I can usually find stuff on sale/clearance that I like.

    1. Hi Jessie! You definitely have to LOVE what you buy from Lululemon, because yes — it’s a lot. The stuff really lasts though, so that’s good. And you’re totally right about there weren’t good options for workout clothes back in the day — boy, we’ve come a long way. Happy Monday, my friend!

  3. My favorite is Lululemon & Nike! Lululemon is so expensive, so I usually find myself going to the outlets near my hometown. Aaah, I recently purchased a black pair of Lululemon leggings and sadly … I choose the wrong size -_- . Sizing is so tricky!

    1. Hi Kimberly! Ohhh yes, I HAVE to try on leggings before buying them! Agree with you there, and the sizing names at Lululemon is definitely different. I used to wear so much more Nike than I do now — but they still have great stuff! 🙂 Thanks for saying hi!

  4. So funny you said that about the Soffe shorts and baggy tees. I played competitive tennis for years and I even wore that to my practices! Now I cannot even IMAGINE. Give me form fitted and sleek these days!

    Love Lululemon bottoms so much.

    Thanks for all the suggestions!


    1. Hi Courtney! I’m pretty sure I was wearing Soffe shorts and big t-shirts when I ran on the treadmill in college too hahaa — ohhh the humanity. Wow times have changed! And I always wished I had played tennis … 🙂 Bet you were awesome. Do you ever play now?

      1. I remember your treadmill running days! You also rocked the curly hair on occasion back then. Can you believe we used to live together?! Doesn’t even seem real. I’m so sad I took that time for granted. We really are so similar in so many ways now.

        Unfortunately I do not play tennis anymore. I think I burnt myself out when I was younger. By the time I was in high school I was playing 5-7 days per week on 2-3 different teams and leagues. I really should pick it back up, but at this point I’m scared I will be embarrassed at how bad I’ve gotten. I don’t even have a racquet anymore!

        1. I agreeeeeeeee! Yes, my exercise was a 45-minute treadmill session four times a week in the apartment gym back then. That was it. Ick. hahaha And I totally think you need to get back out there to play tennis no matter how you perform — it could be such a fun addition. Maybe you’d meet some eligible dudes out there too. 🙂 xoxoxo hahaha

  5. I love the Zella joggers they are so comfy! I haven’t had a good experience shopping at Lululemon so I haven’t really wanted to try new things there. (they made a joke that I was too big for their sizing)

    1. Hi Alexa! That is terrible you had a bad time at Lululemon. I’m so sorry to hear that! 🙁 Plenty of other great places to shop, although it was likely a one-time thing! Hope all is well, friend!

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