Cute Workout Clothes That Aren’t Skin Tight: Part 1 (TOPS)

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Starting this one with a disclaimer. I am ALL about “You Do You and I’ll Do Me” when it comes to workout clothes. Tight, Loose, Fashionable, Utilitarian….I think the greater diversity of what we’re all wearing decreases the pressure for women to fit any one type of mold, right? More power to us all —working out in thong bikinis OR baggy sacks! End of disclaimer.

Personally, I’m not comfortable in head-to-toe tight workout clothes. I’ve worn leggings and long baggy tops that cover my tush for years, but I’m trying to break out of this rut with the introduction of sweatpants (I mean…January and February were MADE for sweatpants, right?) Making sweatpants look cute or at least put together is HARD, though! I realized very quickly that the way ALL of the Free People models make baggy sweatpants look super cute is to pair them with half tops or sports bras. Ugh — I’m not going to wear a half top. I’m TOTALLY for anyone and everyone else wearing half tops (hard and soft bodies alike), but half tops are not at all my style. 

So, I’m on a mission to find workout clothes that aren’t skintight, but still look cute and put together….and aren’t half tops. You might know by now, that I like to have things neatly categorized and grouped, so I’ll remain consistent to my reputation and divide my “Finding Good Workout Clothes That Aren’t Skin Tight Journey” into 2 posts with 6 ideas for each. Post 1: A round-up of cute tops that can be paired with baggy or looser pants. Post 2: A round-up of great baggy or looser pants that can be paired with tops from Post 1. Complete with dressing room selfies (Yikes! SO many Linzi’s…this is such a weird job!)

Let’s talk about tops first. In terms of cuteness with workout clothes that aren’t skin tight, I found it’s definitely (as Shana always says) all about proportions and balance. Taking sweat pants and pairing them with a bit of a tighter top, or a top with some type of interest, or a top that shows a little skin somewhere (doesn’t have to be the belly) helps. Here are some ideas: 

6 Cute Workout Tops That Aren’t Skin Tight

Anyone else NOT digging the skin-tight workout clothes trend?Join the club. We tried our fav loose-fitting exercise tops that perform & still look cute.

Knot It Up | Open Back Cuteness | Show Some Shoulder | A Crop Tank | A Good Graphic Tee | A Boxy Short Tee

Tops To Pair Your Favorite Joggers With…

Open Back Tops

Anyone else NOT digging the skin-tight workout clothes trend?Join the club. We tried our fav loose-fitting exercise tops that perform & still look cute.Left: Good American Black Backless Top | Alo Strappy Bra   
Right: Gap Open Back Tank | Gap Strappy Bra 

I have to say…I was a bit disappointed in the open back tops I ordered. I wanted to LOVE the Good American top, but it kept falling off of me. Maybe it would work if you had broader shoulders or bigger boobs? I LOVED the Alo bra, though. On the right is the open back tank from GAP — reasonably priced and easy to wear. I sized up to get a little more drape. If I was to do it over, I would have ordered this Lole, this Alala or this Carbon38 tank. More exciting for sure.

 

A Crop Tank

Anyone else NOT digging the skin-tight workout clothes trend?Join the club. We tried our fav loose-fitting exercise tops that perform & still look cute.Left: Athleta Crop Yellow Tank
Right: Athleta Ribbed White Tank

I loved both of these tanks. I kept the one on the left in this yellow and the black. It’s hard to find a top that is JUST the right length, and this one is it (for me). Short enough that it has a cropped look, but doesn’t show any belly. The tank on the right is more form-fitting than what I was looking for, but the cut was really good, so I brought it home anyway.

Tops You Can Knot (Or Not)

Anyone else NOT digging the skin-tight workout clothes trend?Join the club. We tried our fav loose-fitting exercise tops that perform & still look cute.
Left: Gap Roll Sleeve Black Tee | Athleta Red Strappy Bra  Middle: Athleta Cloudlight Gray Tank   
Right: Gap Roll Sleeve Gray Tee | Athleta Red Strappy Bra


I was surprised that I liked this look as much as I did. And now that I’ve been scouring the internet and found so many other good tees to tie, I definitely want to get a few more that have a little more pizazz. I was completely happy with the ones above, though. The Athleta Cloudlight tank was perfect. Soft and easy to tie…also looked pretty good worn down. I was also really happy with the GapFit’s wider neck and the relaxed fit (also looked pretty good worn down — see pic in “glimpse of shoulder”). 

 

A Glimpse (Or More) Of Shoulder

Anyone else NOT digging the skin-tight workout clothes trend?Join the club. We tried our fav loose-fitting exercise tops that perform & still look cute.
Left:  Alo Black V Neck Tank |  Zella Strappy Bra | Navy Sneaks | Zella Joggers 
Middle: Gap Roll Sleeve Black Tee | Athleta Red Strappy Bra | Gray Sneaks |Gap Joggers   
Right: Athleta Pink Crop Sweatshirt | Strappy BraBlack Sneaks | Zella Joggers


Note that the Alo tank has a really low V neck (was a slight off the shoulder look for me) — good if you have a fun sports bra you want to peek out. I really liked the Zella bra underneath, but I warn you it took me a couple tries to figure out the straps. Easy GAP top and bra in the middle — it’s the same one that I had knotted in the tie shirts selfies. The pink Athleta crop sweatshirt on the right is one of my favorites, and I wear it a lot. It hangs off the shoulder, but not in an annoying way. It works. 

 

A Good Graphic Tee

I have no selfies here. I’m not a graphic tee gal. But for those of you who are..these would be great!

A Boxy Short Top

Anyone else NOT digging the skin-tight workout clothes trend?Join the club. We tried our fav loose-fitting exercise tops that perform & still look cute.
Left: Athleta Crop Pink Sweatshirt |  Strappy Bra
Right: Athleta White Sleeveless Hoodie | Athleta Track Pants


The pink sweatshirt is one of my favs, but the sleeveless hoodie grew on me as well. Athleta does such a good job with comfy soft sweatshirts. I do a full dance class in my pink one (without getting too overheated), so it’s not that heavy…or maybe I’m just not working out hard enough!

Just NOPE Category!

Anyone else NOT digging the skin-tight workout clothes trend?Join the club. We tried our fav loose-fitting exercise tops that perform & still look cute.Left: Way Too Short For Me Amazon Crop Tee  Right: Falling Off Of Me Good American Top

Definitely no! Enough said.

Please share your go-to workout tops that look good with joggers! Any other types of tops that work for you with sweatpants? Would LOVE your suggestions!! Stay tuned for Cute Workout Pants That Aren’t Skin Tight! It’s in the works.

-Linzi

16 COMMENTS

  1. Love this post! I usually wear leggings, but I’m not comfortable in tight top and tight bottom. These are great suggestions! And the gap top that you linked that ties in the back is awesome. I have it in black and wear it all the time! It’s a great length and looks cute with everything, not just to the gym!

    • Thank you so much, Elizabeth. You’re so kind to comment. I usually wear leggings too, but I have to say…I’m kind of in to the whole “easily pulling sweatpants on vs wrestling myself in to tight leggings” thing. And they’ve been a lot more comfortable to dance/workout in than I thought. Glad to hear you like the Gap top. I’ve always been really happy with Gap workout clothes.

  2. I can’t wait for part 2! I do okay with tops and leggings, but when it comes to sweatpants, I always end up feeling sloppy. So I would LOVE some suggestions of sweatpants that are cute, cozy and functional.

    • That’s the hard part about sweatpants, right? Unless of course you’re a Free People model…they never look sloppy. Ha! Hope the next post helps.

    • Oooooh. Good call. I’m 5’2, so I always have the opposite problem (especially with joggers that are hard to hem!) I’ll do my best to make note of length when I can.

    • Thanks, Marta. I’ve never really worked out in sweatpants until now. I found a couple pairs, though, that I’m excited about that are lightweight and not too hot for me. I’ll note those in the next post.

    • Thank you so much, Candace. I love that tank as well…it’s so good, but it’s almost totally sold out. Hopefully they will bring it back.

  3. I totally agree! Linzi takes into account so many things that I consider important when choosing what to wear–comfort, function, affordability–and gives practical advice for how to make those choices look more put together and stylish. I always look forward to reading one of her posts!

    • Okay, guys—how much did my Dad pay you all to say such nice things? 🙂 Thank you very much, Sam. Such kind words. Let me know if there are any other posts you’d like to see.

    • Oh no! I love that blue striped tank. I’ll let you know if I see it anywhere else. The pink is good, but not as good as the blue. Sorry about that.

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