How To Dress For Pilates Class: A Beginner’s Guide To Workout Clothes

Have you signed up for your first Pilates class at the local gym but now you’re wondering what to wear? A T-shirt, shorts and sneakers seem the obvious solution but did you know wearing the correct workout clothes lets you get the most out of your reformer Pilates classes? Gym clothes give you more flexibility and allow you to exercise in comfort. 

Yes, the right workout gear keeps you safe while giving you the freedom to move your body unhindered through different postures or when using the Pilates reformer machine. Form-fitting workout clothes that don’t ride up are best for Pilates classes. What does this look like though and what should you avoid when picking gym clothes for your workout wardrobe?


What to Expect When Doing Pilates

Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that helps to build and strengthen your muscles while toning your body. It aims to improve flexibility and postural alignment as well as strengthen your core muscles. Whether you’re doing reformer or mat Pilates classes, your body will move through different postures such as bending, folding, and stretching. 

Equipment such as reformer machines and weights can be used to add extra resistance during exercise. These not only add variety to your workout routine but they make your body work harder too. 

Pilates is a great form of exercise for all ages, from youngsters to the elderly and is an ideal choice for people recovering from injuries.


Why You Need to Wear Gym Clothes to Pilates Classes

Wearing the right clothes not only gets you motivated to attend classes but also lets you exercise while feeling less restricted. Form-fitting workout clothes made with breathable, stretchy fabric allows your body to move easily through the different postures while allowing sweat to evaporate. 

To avoid exposing parts of your body during the class, gym clothes shouldn’t ride. They should fit properly for your body size so you can experience ultimate comfort and flexibility. 

Do avoid workout gear that’s too tight or loose. Oversized clothing becomes a tripping hazard or worse, causes serious injury if they get caught up in equipment such as the reformer machine. Avoid tassels or drawstrings at all costs!

How To Dress For Pilates Class: A Beginner’s Guide To Workout Clothes

How to Dress for Pilates Classes: 4 Items to Have in Your Workout Wardrobe


1. Fitted Tops

Baggy tops only make it difficult for your Pilates trainer to observe your body form when performing different postures. They can also get in the way when using gym equipment and increase your risk of an accident while exercising. Fitted tops made with breathable and stretchy material keep you safe and let you move easily while maintaining a good posture

Breathable or moisture-wicking fabric keeps you dry even when doing strenuous poses while keeping your body cool at the same time. 

Avoid tops with tie-ups or zips as they’ll make you uncomfortable when doing postures that require lying on your back or stomach. Look for tops with flat seams to reduce friction when working out. 


2. Stretchy Leggings or Shorts

Leggings or biker’s shorts with plenty of stretches give you the freedom to move your body easily. However, similar to fitted tops, your bottoms shouldn’t be loose so make sure they fit snugly without being overly tight. Avoid drawstrings or make sure they’re tied tightly and tucked into the top of your leggings or shorts. 

Your leggings or shorts should feel like a second skin and have flat seams to prevent irritation or friction when performing different movements. They must also provide sufficient coverage to prevent exposing yourself while moving.

If you prefer wearing gym shorts make sure they don’t ride up when doing lunges or squats. 


3. Low Impact Sports Bra

This one is for women doing Pilates classes! Wearing a low-impact sports bra supports your chest while you’re moving your body through various positions. Exercising without the right chest support could result in torn breast ligaments, damaged tissue and unnecessary pain. If you have a larger bust, choose a high-impact bra for stronger support.

When fitting a sports bra, ensure it’s not constricting but snug enough to protect your bust. The sports bra should be comfortable while giving you adequate support even when doing low-impact workouts. 


4. Grip Socks

Mat Pilates can be done barefoot but if you’re using the reformer machine it’s highly recommended to wear grip socks. This piece of workout gear protects your feet while giving additional stability when using the equipment. 

Grip socks are great if you battle with crampy or sweaty feet and can be worn when doing mat Pilates to prevent slippage. These non-slip socks come in toeless designs which give extra ventilation to prevent over-sweating if you’re doing a workout in a hot studio. 


Final Thoughts

Other items such as hair ties are useful but their necessity depends on your hairstyle.

Last tip: when at the gym, choosing comfort over fashion is preferable for flexibility and safety. Leave all jewellery at home and don’t wear make-up so you avoid looking like a sad clown or having skin breakouts at the end of a class!

With the right gym clothes, you’ll get so much more out of that first Pilates class!