What’s trending in workout clothes?

Bright, colorful leggings are always a fashion statement (in a good way).

Bright, colorful leggings are always a fashion statement (in a good way).

Running buddies. Post-workout rewards. Affirmations. Race commitments. Motivation to stay in shape comes in many forms, and bribing yourself with new workout gear is one of the oldest (and most effective) tricks in the book. Since most fashion retailers have added or expanded into an athletic or “athleisure” brands, there are a vast amount of workout pieces to wade through in the fashion marketplace. Here’s what’s trending in workout clothes for 2016!

Wondering what to wear for that month of training leading up to your first 5K race? A tank top with a flattering cut and stylish design will instantly motivate you to get up and go. When you are out shopping, there are a couple basic features to consider when looking for a great, all-round performance top. First of all, you will want a moisture-wicking top (avoid 100% cotton shirts, as the material holds on to sweat instead of wicking it away from your body). Secondly, tops that are looser around the waist, and snugger at the bust line, help to hide even the slightest midsection bulge.

In terms of design, brightly colored, moisture-wicking V-neck short-sleeve tops are stylish yet functional, and they offer enough coverage for high-impact workouts. Racer-back tops, or ones featuring wide, crisscrossed straps will prevent underarms from chafing while slimming shoulders and creating an instant design across your back. For yoga and Pilates workouts, choose a fitted top that hugs you in all the right places; you want one close enough to the skin that you can double-check your form and movements in the mirror.

If you are searching for a high-style number in the tank top department, some of the latest trends include: colorful strappy crop tops that tie around the mid-section, loose sleeveless graphic tanks thrown over a cami-bra, half-zip collared sweatshirts, and loose-fitting crop tops. For the most flattering looks, seek out tops that are either patterned or solid, have a nice neckline, and include a little extra length at the bottom to create a seamless silhouette.

Most exercises, like running or Pilates, require that your extremities be able to stretch, coil up, and then extend again. The last thing you want during an intense 3-hour yoga session is for your legs to feel too restricted or rigid. The key to finding comfortable, versatile workout pants is to seek out ones that have a higher waistline, are made from a moisture wicking fabric, and include an interior drawstring.

Worried about your muffin top popping out during downward dog? Look for capris or color-blocked pants that have a ruched waistline which will minimize your extra weight while flattering your backside at the same time. Soft leggings with fold-over waistlines create the same slimming effect and are perfect for yoga and Pilates. For petite women, cropped pants should hit just below the knee, and non-tapered styles will give your legs a longer appearance.

The most important thing is to make sure that you're matching!

The most important thing is to make sure that you’re matching!

Long gone are the days of basic black stretch pants. When you are shopping for stylish bottoms, look for bright colors and patterns in addition to attractive cuts. For example, lavender yoga pants and a floral tank top layered over a cami-bra would look darling during a yoga session. Neon is another workout-wardrobe craze. Neon pieces can make quite the visual splash, so be sure to balance out the brightness of your outfit with a few basics, such as a black or grey top. In addition to the neon trend, capris are cropping up these days in an array of vibrant colors, floral prints, and geographic patterns. Although some floral pants may strike gym-goers as reminiscent of a 90’s sitcom character’s teenage wardrobe, patterned leggings are becoming more popular and will likely liven up a bland workout routine.

There’s just one more step to assembling an on-trend workout wardrobe – accessorizing! Trade in your earrings and

rings for a wristband fitness tracker and a bright terry cloth sweat wrist band. Pull your hair up in a ponytail and keep your flyaways at bay with a braided non-slip headband. Lastly, slip on a pair of vibrant, lightweight and supportive sneakers, and then get moving!

After signing on the dotted line for a new gym membership, or renewing your commitment to a workout plan, it’s exciting to splurge on some stylish new duds for the active “new you.” The need for new gym clothes, shoes, and accessories might seem like another justification for a shopping spree, but your confidence (and energy) will be lifted when you show up at the gym donning the

Kristin Hauch-Melton

Kristin Hauch-Melton is a writer and communications consultant. She earned a degree in Communications and Business from University of North Florida, serves on the board for the Fayette Chamber of Commerce and lives in Peachtree City with her husband, horse, and dog.