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You Asked For It | Manolo for the Big Girl

You Asked For It

Internet friend Sarah, from Fort Madison, Iowa, wrote:

I’ve recently begun seriously incorporating regular exercise into my routine.  I have workout clothes but, they are largely of the shapeless, tent like t-shirt variety.  Though I always feel fabulous after working out, motivating myself to hit the gym is hard enough in the first place; I’d like to feel fashionable while walking or doing aerobics.  Can you recommend any sellers of cute, plus-sized workout clothing?

Francesca says:

But of course I can!

If you wear size 1x or a small 2x, start with Athleta. Check the sizing charts carefully as they leave little wiggle room, literally. Gym/training clothes are here. Francesca likes their skorts.

For higher sizes, or simply more options, you can also try the cotton tanks or light shirts at Shop Avenue.com, Old Navy, or Roaman’s (who are currently having a “buy 2, get 1 free” sale on tanks, tees, shorts and capris!) Lane Bryant is selling sporty tops at 2 for $25.

Remember that an outfit does not have to be labeled as an exercise outfit to become your exercise outfit. Choose something cotton and light and fun for you to move in.

One might also try Woman Within, but Francesca finds their wares frumpy AND they turned us down for an affiliate partnership, so boo on them! However, one never knows and the important thing is that we all exercise and look superfabulous doing it!

Good luck!

PS Remember to wear sunscreen and a hat when you are walking in sunny climates!

9 Responses to “You Asked For It”

  1. mary martha June 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    There is a small but excellent selection at Lands End of plus size athletic wear. Also Junonia has a great selection of activewear.

  2. daisyj June 3, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    I did the just-wear-a-cotton-t thing for a while, and while it certainly works fine, now that I’m doing more vigorous workouts I find I really appreciate the stuff made of the sweat-wicking synthetics.

  3. M.K. Hobson June 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    I second Mary Martha who recommended Junonia — they’re my go-to for good activewear, despite that they’re a little pricey.

  4. Pinky June 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    Another line I love with plus sizes is made by a San Francisco company called One Step Ahead (not the baby products company). They don’t have a website, but you can find some of their things, like unitards and leotards, at:

    http://www.sandiegofit.com/newpage2.htm

    I’m very, very impressed with the quality of this line. The cotton they use is so soft and wears extremely well. I’ve had items for years that seem like they will last forever.

    Danskin also has plus sizes.

  5. Kelly June 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm #

    i’ve come across some great exercise-ish pieces while shopping at ross. that crazy discount store… t j maxx’s cousin. they have sections devoted to athletic apparel in the ladies section. never hurts to get something on the cheap.

  6. Gryph June 3, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    I get a lot of workout clothes at Old Navy, and a store called Catos. I have encountered them in Kentucky and New Mexico, but they are only in some states. There stuff is really reasonably priced, and I just bought two skorts there to workout in.

    As far as bras, check out Title 9.

  7. klee June 3, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    I find I don’t like anything in the traditional ‘athletic’ shops. They tend to be boxy and pastel (don’t even get me started on the whole capri trend, which looks good on NO ONE). Instead I’ve found great success with wearing a simple, empire cut cotton top and elastic waist pants. They’re comfy, and I can wear them running errands before going to the gym and not look too ‘gym’-y. INC has cute cotton stuff.

  8. Annie June 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    JUNONIA!!! It’s expensive stuff but top quality equal to Nike, Rebok etc’s best stuff. Worth the investment. I can’t say enough terrific things about their dual layer shorts which completely eliminate chafing and shorts riding up between your legs while exercising.

  9. Jane June 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    Pinky, thanks for the tip about One Step Ahead! They have some tops that are exactly what I’ve been looking for.
    I also recommend Old Navy — it’s worth trying on different styles of pants as there is some variation in size.
    I am *really* impressed with the quality of Land’s End stuff — wish they had more variety, though.
    As a belly dancer, I’ve found a number of vendors that make very cool (but often pricey) and fun stuff that can be worn for dance classes and (some) for yoga: http://www.magidahwear.com (up to at least a 22), http://www.sharifwear.com (many pants in XXL, about 18-20), Melodia Designs (search on eBay, XL will fit up to 18-20).