A new year brings a feeling of new beginnings, fresh starts, and just a chance to be better for ourselves. So, it’s no surprise that exercising more is a popular (if not THE most popular) resolution on people’s lists every year. Right now, you’re either still at the beginning of your new year fitness journey or it’s been reset for the millionth time. Getting into better shape and living an overall healthier lifestyle can be really hard, but I’ve found that when I feel good in my workout gear, the easier it is to start, no matter how many resets. Finding athletic clothes that look good on a petite body isn’t nearly as difficult as regular clothing, but there are still a few ways you can make the most out of your athletic wardrobe and I’m here to share some tips.
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Since athletic tops are always going to have some sort of stretch to their fabrication, you have much more flexibility with your choices. Fit will be easier overall, but you should pay close attention to length—this ties into both style and functionality. If you’re going for regular-size tops, look for cropped styles, even if they’re boxy. This allows for comfortable movement when working out and your legs will instantly look longer as the top meets the (common) high-waist style of any athletic bottom you're pairing it with.
Short Story Tip: If you're not a fan of cropped tops and prefer extra coverage of something longer, try to stick with more fitted styles. This ensures extra fabric doesn't get in the way while you're moving and if you go for a monochromatic look, you'll look longer and leaner.
Inseam “rules” we’ve talked about in previous posts still come into play when it comes to athletic wear—for leggings, you want to find something that hits at or a little above your ankle to prevent fabric from bunching at your ankles, which will shortens your legs. Can’t seem to find the right petite length in a style you like? Try out regular size cropped leggings! Because athletic leggings are made to fit like skin, cropped styles will usually maintain the needed tightness all the way down to the hem, making regular size cropped styles the perfect full-length pairs for so many petite gals!
Short Story Tip: For flares, which are common for yoga pant styles, find a pair that's about an inch above or skims the floor when you’re not wearing any shoes. You won’t be wearing heels to help with this (usually) longer silhouette and tripping over yourself during a workout session is a no-go, so finding the right length is key!
Luckily, finding the right size sports bras for your athletic wardrobe won’t be too bad since many of us stick to regular sizing when it comes to our bras, but having good support for “the girls” is incredibly important when working out—I've literally stopped 2 mins into one of my runs after I realized my sports bra didn't have enough support—yikes! If you’re finding that the arm holes on your sports bras are too big and don’t hold the girls in place, look for sports bras that have adjustable straps so that you can adjust the support as needed.
Short Story Tip: Pairing a longer sports bra style with bottoms in the same color is perfect for petites! You'll get the lengthening effect of a monochromatic look and the subtle peek of skin will accentuate your waist and balance out your proportions.
Everyone needs a good sweatshirt or hoodie when it comes to workout gear and the choices in this category are endless, be it fabrication, silhouette or style. So what looks best on a petite body? If you want a trendy oversized look, go for cropped styles again. Most athletic bottoms are high-waisted for functionality, so this the perfect time to balance out both volume and proportions. Just be sure to be mindful of sleeve length! Since you don’t want them getting in the way while working out, grab something with fitted cuffs to make sure they stay in place.
Short Story Tip: If you’d rather go for a longer hoodie or sweatshirt for extra (bum) coverage, pair it with leggings instead of looser/wider pant styles. Wearing a fitted sweatshirt that comes below your hips with flared yoga pants will throw off the balance, causing your legs to appear shorter than they actually are.
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*cover photo credit: Marisa Kay