What is Pilates?
Pilates is a workout that emphasizes controlled movements and breathwork to improve muscle strength, flexibility, and balance. Developed by its namesake, Joseph Pilates, in the early 20th century, the method involves a series of exercises performed on the mat or specialized equipment. These exercises target the deep muscles of the abdomen, lower back, hips, and thighs, collectively known as the "core" muscles, as well as the muscles of the upper body and limbs. By engaging these muscles in a deliberate manner, Pilates practitioners can improve their posture, coordination, and body awareness while enhancing their flexibility and overall physical fitness.
Importance of Proper Apparel for Pilates Class
Before you can reap the rewards of your Pilates practice, you need to figure out what to wear to class. It’s not as simple as throwing on your favorite sweatpants and calling it a day. A few things should be considered before you hit the mat. First, comfort is key. You don’t want to be fussing with your clothes throughout class or be distracted by how tight your leggings are around your waist. Make sure to choose clothes that allow you to move freely and stay comfortable and cool.
Types of Clothing to Wear to a Pilates Class
Tracking down good pair of Pilates pants or leggings is a great place to start. They’re stretchy, comfortable, and come in a variety of patterns and colors. Pair them with a low-impact sports bra, and a fitted tank top that allows you to move freely. Or, you can opt for a loose-fitting pilates top, but make sure it won’t get in the way of your movement.
Comfortable Clothing & Breathable fabrics
Since Pilates requires a lot of movement, choosing a breathable fabric to help wick sweat away and keep you cool is key. This will help you stay comfortable during your practice and prevent overheating. Go for Pilates pants or leggings that aren’t too tight, yet are form-fitting and have a good stretch to them. Leggings or Pilates pants are usually made of a combination of spandex and nylon, allowing for flexibility and moisture-wicking capabilities.
Pilates Shirts: Loose-fitting tops
If you choose a loose-fitting Pilates shirt, make sure it’s comfortable and doesn’t impede movement. The Free People Love Tank is a great choice, as it’s lightweight and comfortable, yet form-fitting at the waist. Another Pilates shirt that is also cropped, flexible, and moisture-wicking is the Beyond Yoga Focus Crop tank.
Pilates Leggings and Pants
Pilates leggings are available in multiple styles, sizes, fits, and colors. A key feature of Pilates leggings is the design of the waistband. Traditional elastic waistbands can be uncomfortable and restrictive during certain Pilates movements, so many Pilates-specific pants feature a wide, high-rise waistband that provides support and comfort without restricting movement. This design, found in the Nux Awakened legging, also helps to prevent the pants from slipping down during class. Some Pilates clothing is designed with additional features to enhance the practice, for example, some brands offer pants with stirrups that can be worn around the feet to provide additional stability and grip during practice.
Barefeet, Socks or Shoes
Some Pilates studios might require shoes. It’s worth finding out via their website before you head to class. Many other studios will leave it up to your preference: socks, shoes, or barefoot. If you want to go all out, you can buy special Pilates socks with grippy soles to help you maintain your balance during class.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Pilates Clothing
When choosing Pilates clothing, you’ll want to consider the material of the clothes and how flexible they are, the actual environment and temperature of the Pilates class you’ll be attending, and comfort and style. Depending on the time of year, you may also look into layering your pilates clothes.
Material & Flexibility
Look for clothing that is designed to be flexible and move with your body. Pilates involves a lot of stretching and movement, so you want clothing that will not restrict your range of motion. Choose clothing that fits well and is not too loose or too tight. Clothing that is too tight can restrict movement, while clothing that is too loose can get in the way or distract you during your Pilates practice. Consider clothing that provides support where you need it. For example, some Pilates leggings or tops have built-in bras or extra support around the waist to help you maintain proper form and alignment during exercises.
Pilates Environment & Temperature
Consider the climate and temperature of your Pilates studio or practice space. Is it a heated Pilates class? Pick Pilates clothing that is both suitable for the temperature of the practice space and for the weather outside and will keep you comfortable and dry during your practice.
Comfort & Style
While it’s important ot find Pilates clothing that is comfortable and allows you to move freely, you should choose clothing that makes you feel good and confident. While comfort and functionality are important, you should also consider your personal style and choose clothing that reflects your personality.
If you’re practicing Pilates in a cold climate, or during winter, layering will be important. You’ll want clothing that keeps you warm until class gets going, but that you can easily peel off once the movements start to heat up. You’ll also want to be able to layer back up after class to head home. The Beyond Yoga Do the Twist Pullover is an excellent option for layering.
Popular Pilates Brands
Beyond Yoga offers a range of Pilates clothing, including leggings, tops, and sports bras. Their clothing is designed to be comfortable and functional, with a focus on high-quality materials and a flattering fit.
Free People is another brand that specializes in women's athletic wear, including Pilates clothing. They offer a wide selection leggings, tops, and sports bras, among other Pilates clothes. Their clothing is designed to be comfortable, functional, and sustainable, with a focus on high-quality materials and ethical manufacturing practices.
These are just a few of the many Pilates clothing brands available. When choosing a brand, consider factors such as comfort, fit, style, and functionality, as well as any specific needs or preferences you may have.
Recommended Outfits for Pilates
Regardless of the brand's popularity, be sure to choose clothing that is well-made and durable. Pilates clothing can be an investment, so you want to ensure it will last through multiple uses and washes.
Classic Pilates Outfits
Classic Pilates outfits typically consist of form-fitting and comfortable clothing that allows for a full range of motion during exercises. Here are some classic Pilates outfits that are popular among practitioners:
Matching Pilates pants and a tank top is a classic Pilates outfit that provides a comfortable and streamlined look.
Capri leggings and a sports bra - Capri leggings are a great option for Pilates, as they provide coverage without being too hot or restrictive. Try the Mid Rise Pocketed Crop from Handful. A sports bra provides support and allows for full movement during exercises. Beyond Yoga’s In a Twist Bra is a great choice for moderate but ample support.
Trendy Pilates Outfits
Trendy Pilates outfits change over time as fashion trends come and go. However, some current Pilates outfit trends include cutouts and mesh details, which provide a fashionable and breathable element to your outfit. We like the Teeki Jimi Hot Pant’s trendy cutout leggings. Bold prints and patterns, such as animal prints or floral designs, are a current trend in Pilates clothing. Try the Kavala Cheetah Legging to add a fun and stylist element to your practice. Also, who doesn’t love a pair of Pilates pants with pockets?
Let us know what you're looking for in your next Pilates outfit. We'd love to know what you are looking for in a great Pilates outfit!
Leave a comment