There are lots of schools of thought around what exactly you need when it comes to exercise. The fitness industry is full of people trying to sell, and it can start to feel like you not only have to have a tonne of stuff, but also that the stuff is going to cost you the world. Of course you don't really need a tonne of stuff to work out. In fact some would argue that all you need are some old daps and a t-shirt your Gran brought you back from Spain, and if that works for you then that's great (I mean, I've been known to do yoga in the buff...super cheap). Naked yoga aside, most of the time I like to be comfortable when I workout, and for me what I wear makes a difference. Sweat-wicking fabrics keep me cool and (mostly) chafe free, gear that's well cut and stretchy moves with me comfortably and, importantly, I feel good in what I'm wearing.
Over the years I've tried all sorts of kit - high end kit, budget kit and everything in-between, and I've come to realise you don't need a lot, you just need the right stuff. What's more the right stuff isn't necessarily expensive and, as long as you're choosy, there's great kit available at nearly all price points.
Now don't get me wrong, I still have standards, and sometimes cheap really is nasty, but you can definitely find some gems out there. Over the summer I've been getting more acquainted with what Mountain Warehouse has to offer, and I've been really impressed. More and more outdoor companies are getting in to fitness kit, which makes sense because a lot of training goes in to big adventures! What they're coming up with is generally pretty impressive, fusing the tech they use in their performance outdoor kit with styles more appropriate to athletic training that are flattering, durable and crucially versatile, so you don't need as much kit because what you have does more. Take Mountain Warehouse's technical t-shirts - they use sweat wicking IsoCool fabrics to make sure you stay cool and fresh, are quick drying, soft to touch (none of that nasty polyester feel here) and are really flattering, in short the perfect tee for running, yoga, the gym or even travelling. Oh, and they come in under £20. Likewise their super soft tights are just the thing for yoga or lounging (I have run in them, but grey is never a great colour for running) and are less than £30. A few well chosen pieces from the range and you'll have a complete workout wardrobe that will take you from run, to class to the mat, look good and (importantly) wash well.
So, what's in my capsule workout wardrobe? Well I'm still working on narrowing the collection down, but if you're starting out I reckon one pair of long tights, one pair of capri tights, shorts, a couple of vests (I'm really into looser vests at the moment), a couple of t-shirts and maybe a half-zip top. A decent sports bra is a must, and I'd throw in a lighter support yoga bra, plus some socks. One pair of trainers should see you through everything and if you're planning on running a lot outside think about getting a jacket. If you're really pushed on budget go for a t-shirt and capri tights, those'll see you through anything!
What are your fit kit essentials, and where do you buy them?
**Mountain Warehouse kindly gifted me some kit, however all opinions are my own**