I Cut My Workout Wardrobe to 8 Things (and It Cured My A.M. Anxiety) – M & S
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I Cut My Workout Wardrobe to 8 Things (and It Cured My A.M. Anxiety)


I've struggled over the past few years to become a morning workout person. Waking up early doesn't exactly come naturally to me, and all too easily I've fallen into the habit of snoozing my alarm only to frantically try to pull together an outfit and run out the door to spin or my next boxing class. I'm a naturally anxious person and sifting through stuffed drawers of random workout pieces I've accumulated over the years wasn't helping with the stress of making it out the door on time. In fact, it felt like getting dressed was actually holding me back.

So earlier this year I employed an idea we've discussed many times at Who What Wear: streamlining. My new workout capsule wardrobe would consist of a few key styles that I know I can mix and match easily and won't overcrowd my limited closet space. It turns out, there were a lot of pieces I'd accumulated but just wasn't wearing, so I decided to focus on eight items I considered essential, and let the rest go.

Since finally forcing myself to downsize, I've noticed that while I may have to do laundry more often, I'm less likely to stand in a 7 a.m. daze in front of my dresser trying to pull something together. I throw on what I need and get out of my apartment before I can talk myself out of my morning sweat session. Read on to see how I streamlined my workout wardrobe and to shop styles that I've kept around.

No brainer here, black leggings are the neutral of athleticwear. They go with everything, don't show sweat, and can easily work for errands or a lazy weekend if you don't feel like working out. I try to stick to styles with a higher waistband, which I think stays up better than lower-cut styles. 

Available in sizes 1X to 3X. 
Available in sizes XS to L. 
Available in sizes XS to L. 
Available in sizes S to XL. 
Available in sizes XS to L. 
Available in size 1X. 
Available in sizes 5 to 11.5. 
Available in sizes 6 to 11. 
Available in sizes XS to L. 
Available in sizes XS to XL. 
Available in sizes 1X to 4X. 
Available in sizes XS to XL. 
Available in sizes XS to L. 
Available in sizes 14 to 28. 
Available in sizes XS to S. 
Available in sizes 1X to 3X. 

Now you're ready to streamline your workout wardrobe too.

While many women prefer fitted tanks, for me the best top for working out is a beat-up tee. It doesn't ride up or bunch in uncomfortable ways, whether I'm in a particularly tricky yoga twist or punching it out in a boxing class.

While I pack my shorts away November through March, during warmer months, shorts are my go-to if I'm planning to go for a jog outside. While leggings have become the easy choice, I like the breathability of shorts come rising temps.

Obviously, you wouldn't get far without a solid pair of workout sneakers. For me, it all comes down to two styles: training and running. For anything at the gym, I opt for a more lightweight style. If I'm planning to do any running though, I need a pair with a bit more support.

For women, a good sports bra is crucial to any workout that requires well, moving. I prefer fitted styles with thick shoulder straps and a wide band across the bottom. 

This year, I've spent the winter going for outside runs (crazy, I know), so I've learned the importance of having a good jacket on hand. It should be breathable and sweat-wicking but also needs to keep you cozy. 

I find that wearing workout clothes that I feel cute in can be an added bit of motivation when I'm feeling particularly sluggish. This is where statement leggings come in. I tend to favor sporty striping, though prints and bold colors fit the bill too.

Last but not least, a workout wardrobe needs a sweatshirt. While you may not need it during class, when you're walking to and from any studio, it's important to have something to keep you from getting chilly. 

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