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Expert Shopper Sports & Fitness

Best plus-size workout clothes

Which plus-size workout clothes are best?

Gone are the days when boring sweatpants and ripped T-shirts were go-to attire for workouts. These days, exercise gear can be just as fashionable, and functional, as everyday clothes.

The best workout clothes fit well, look great and keep you comfortable while you exercise, whether you’re lifting weights, running or hitting a boot-camp class. Finding them means being open-minded when it comes to trying on new styles and cuts.

Features of plus-size workout clothes


Most workout clothes are now made with cotton, polyester, spandex, elastane or rayon. While all are lightweight, soft and flexible, there are a few key differences among these materials.

Cotton blends become progressively softer in the wash, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin. However, they’re prone to fading and shrinking.

Most polyester leggings are blended with spandex, elastane or rayon. These blends offer more stretch and flexibility than most cotton blends. They won’t fade or shrink, but may lose their elasticity toward the end of their lifespans and become overstretched.

Wick-away material

This feature sweeps sweat and moisture away from the body, keeping wearers cool and dry. These pieces are typically lightweight and breathable. Additionally, many wick-away workout clothes also have odor-control properties or sun-protection ratings.


Many workout bottoms have pockets that are either hidden inside the waistband or on the sides of the leg.

Waistband pockets tend to be small, but they usually hold keys, cash or IDs. Side leg pockets are large enough to hold these items as well as smartphones. Those who listen to music through their phones during workouts gravitate toward these pants.


Workout shorts and leggings are available in several inseams, or lengths. Full-length styles, which reach the ankle on most wearers, remain the most common inseam length. Capri leggings are cut around the midcalf, while seven-eighths leggings usually fall just above the ankle. In shorts, inseams vary between 3 and 8 inches.

How to care for workout clothes

Most workout clothes are machine-washable. It’s best to wash them with bleach-free detergent and, if possible, forgo fabric softeners. Many workout clothes are made with stretchy materials, and fabric softener can cause their elasticity to break down.

The labels aon many workout clothes say they’re safe to put in the dryer. But exposure to high heat may affect clothes in more than one way. In addition to shrinking them, the heat in a dryer may deteriorate logos and cause stretch blends to warp. Instead, it’s better to line-dry workout clothes.

Best plus-size workout clothes

Best plus-size workout tops

Under Armour Plus-Size Tech Twist Tank Top

Sleeveless tops such as this keep wearers cool during intense, sweaty workouts. This tank is made with Under Armour’s signature moisture-wicking technology and has anti-odor technology that keeps microbes from growing.

Where to buy: Kohl's

Nike Essential Tunic

Longer T-shirts are ideal for those seeking a relaxed style that offers more coverage. The split sides allow for freer movement, and this shirt is made from a soft blend of polyester, cotton and rayon.

Where to buy: Amazon

Tek Gear Performance Core V-Neck T-Shirt

This is versatile and coordinates well with most workout shorts or leggings. It’s made with lightweight wick-away material, has a relaxed fit and comes in six colors.

Where to buy: Kohl's

Nike Club Fleece Hoodie 

This is a workout-gear layering essential. Simple and chic, the solid-colored hoodie is great to throw on over any tank or T-shirt. It features a drop-tail hem for extra coverage and style.

Where to buy: Kohl's 

Best plus-size workout bottoms

Adidas 3-Stripe Ankle Leggings

Wide-waist leggings offer light compression and shaping. These feature classic Adidas details and are made with a recycled blend of polyester and elastane.

Where to buy: Kohl's

Tek Gear Pocket High-Waisted Capri Legging

These have dual side pockets to hold smartphones. They're made with moisture-wicking material and feature mesh panels to boost cooling airflow. They have a wide, no-roll elastic waistband.

Where to buy: Kohl's

Stretch is Comfort Teamwear Bike Shorts

Bike shorts are as versatile as it gets when it comes to workout bottoms. This one is known for its soft, comfortable fit and high-quality construction. It’s available in dozens of colors and prints, including zebra and light pink.

Where to buy: Amazon

Champion Powerblend Jogger

These classic-style sweatpants are suitable for workout or casual wear. TMade with soft, organic cotton and anti-pilling fleece, they have a ribbed adjustable waistband and two side pockets.

Where to buy: Amazon

Best plus-size sports bras

Champion Vented Compression Sports Bra

If you’re looking for support and compression, this is a popular option. It’s made with wide gel-cushioned straps that provide optimal support across the back and chest. There’s also targeted ventilation for maximum breathability.

Where to buy: Amazon

Glamorise Sport No-Bounce Camisole Bra

This offers plenty of coverage while remaining breathable. The bottom cups are reinforced to lift and secure, while the upper portion of the bra has a broad support panel to reduce movement.

Where to buy: Kohl's 

Tek Gear Low-Impact Racerback Sports Bra

Low-impact sports bras are suitable for activities like walking, yoga and cycling. This one offers a comfortable, flexible fit with removable bra cups. The simple design has princess seams for contouring and support.

Where to buy: Kohl's

Nike Solid Indy Sports Bra 

This sports bra with a racerback design is ideal for those who do a mix of activities during their workouts. It has adjustable straps, as well as flat, smooth seams that won’t dig into skin. The bra is made with Nike’s Dri-Fit material, which pulls sweat away from the skin.

Where to buy: Dick's Sporting Goods

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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