Workout Clothes: How to Choose the Right Fabric?


You've been getting regular workouts, so why have you not lost weight? It may be because you choose the wrong fabrics for your workout clothes.

You see, just because a fabric is quick-drying, it doesn't mean that it is better to wear. Instead, you should keep these four clothing attributes in mind when buying your workout clothes.

The right workout clothes can help you stay comfortable and focused. You want your workouts to be fun rather than a source of frustration and stress. That's why it's important to choose the best fabric for your new workout clothes.

What type of clothing is best for working out?

When you pick out clothes to wear at the gym, your main considerations are the moisture management and breathability.

You know, you sweat a lot when you work out. It's a fact. Your body is using energy to keep you running or jumping or lifting or whatever else it is that you're doing and that energy comes in the form of heat.

That heat needs somewhere to go! It can't just stick around inside your body like some gross little parasite. So out it goes through your skin and into the air around you.

The moisture in the air makes your body feel pretty icky as it's cooling down, so as soon as you're done exercising, you want to get those sweaty clothes off of you as quickly as possible.

That means finding clothing with breathable fabric that will allow air while keeping moisture out.

In the following sections, you will find information about the most common fabrics used in workout clothing.


No fabric is as versatile as polyester when it comes to workout gear. It can be used for leggings running shirts and jackets to athletic shoes.

Polyester is the most common material used in workout gear because of its versatility and ability to wick sweat away from your skin, keeping you cool, dry, and comfortable. It's also easy to clean and can be recycled.


If you've ever worn pantyhose, you know that nylon is a popular fabric. It's so popular that you probably don't even realize it when it's in use.

It might be in your workout clothes, like yoga pants or your pajamas. It might be in your leggings or tights, or maybe even in your socks.

Nylon is especially known for its ability to stretch and return to its original shape -- and it's pretty easy to care for.


Cotton is the most common fabric used in workout clothes. Most workout clothes are cotton because they are easy to find and make you feel cool in warm weather. But that means cotton doesn't hold up well when it gets wet and becomes heavy.

Many people don't like how cotton holds sweat close to the skin. If you want to try workout clothes made out of different fabrics (like spandex), definitely pick something that dries fast, like a synthetic mix or bamboo. That'll help keep you from smelling funky after a sweaty workout!

Merino wool

Wool is a fabric, so it's weird to talk about wool as a material for workout clothes. But wool itself is actually very versatile.

People generally think of wool as a cold-weather fabric that keeps you warm, and that's true—but that's not the only thing it can do. Woolen fabrics will even help you cool down if you're sweating too much.

So when you're wearing workout clothes made of Merino wool, they draw moisture out of your body instead of trapping it against your skin. This makes you feel cooler while you work out, so you can push yourself harder.

Bottom Line

It is also important to choose workout clothes that let your skin breathe. Cotton is one of the best fabrics for this as it allows you to sweat freely.

When choosing a workout attire, consider that functionality, comfort, and style all matter. Stay away from things like spaghetti straps and hard-to-carry heels.

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