Most workout clothing is made from LYCRA® or a blend of cotton, elastane, polyester, spandex and nylon in varying percentages. These fibres give the fabric stretch, flexibility and “memory” – the ability to return to its original shape after stretching.
The best pants I’ve found currently on the market are from the Lululemon range. They’re expensive but they last and last and keep their appearance for years if you care for them correctly. Unlike cheaper workout pants, the fabric doesn’t “pill”. www.lululemon.com/sydney
Lorna Jane stores have a dazzling range of great tops in lots of fresh colours. Again, LJ’s gear is not cheap but the quality and variety are good. www.lornajane.com.au
The in-store experience at both these establishments is exemplary. They clearly train their staff well.
Taking care of your gear
You pay a good deal for your workout gear, so you want to keep it looking good for years. Here’s how:
• Hand wash (unless your washing machine has a delicate cycle) in cold to lukewarm water, straight after wearing. Don’t leave it sitting in the hamper for days!
• Use a wool mix-style detergent. You don’t need much – lots of suds are unnecessary.
• Do not use fabric softener on aerobic wear, as this coats the fabric and reduces the moisture wicking and quick-dry capabilities. If you accidently use it, don’t worry, as after a few more washes, the coating from the softener will wash off.
• Dry away from the sun. Ultra violet rays damage these fabrics so although they’ll take longer to dry (particularly in winter), always dry either inside, or outside in the shade.
• If, in time, your black gear begins to lose its blackness, try this: soak for a couple of hours in water with a little white vinegar added, then rinse in clean water. This will remove any soap or detergent build-up in the fabric.
• Save your “good” aerobic gear for class only. If you wear it as casual clothing, chances are you’ll wear out the derrière section from sitting or driving. You might not notice, but others will.
We’ve all been behind someone in class wearing pants so thin in the “seat” that it’s hard to know where to look during the squats!