I’ve been so focused on the aesthetics of my workout clothes that I’ve never really taken a moment to learn what I should be looking for from a functionality standpoint. This especially horrifying because I run, take spinning class, burn out my muscles at barre, take yoga and basically wear fitness clothing even when I’m not going the gym.

I decided to look into performance after trying a new more luxurious line of athletic wear called Champion GEAR exclusively at Sports Authority — a far cry from the basic styles Champion is known for. I really like what I chose and thought through each piece’s purpose more than usual after learning these five tips below.

Find High-Performance Fabric that Wicks

Forget the cotton T-shirt. Cotton holds moisture close to the skin which is terribly unattractive and uncomfortable. Tough workouts need fabrics that wick moisture away from the body to keep you cool and comfortable. These fabrics — synthetics like polyester, nylon or lycra — also have a tendency to keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hotter weather.

Make Sure the Fit Is Good

I tried on a size small tank (my normal size) and it fit fine but luckily I grabbed a medium, too. It felt better to have a slightly looser fit and looked more or less the same. So, make sure that whatever you choose fits well and grab a couple of sizes to be sure. Jog in place with high knees in the dressing room. Bend over to make sure the material provides full coverage. Think about how you’ll use the outfit and move in that manner to be sure it doesn’t bunch up or feel uncomfortable.

Look for Special Features

If you run at night, make sure that you’re wearing something reflective. But, forget those ugly reflective stripes. My Champion GEAR pants here have little details that are reflective that you don’t actually notice them unless you look really, really closely.

Champion GEAR pants have built in reflectors for running but are comfortable enough to be used for yoga, too.

Do you need a pocket for your keys? Do you like to wear knee-high socks to barre class and want capris that don’t ride up? Gear is so sophisticated these days that odds are the things you need just might be included. Keep an eye out for them.

Can You Layer It?

I am often in my workout clothes from school drop-off to school pick-up. In between, I’ve exercised, worked, run errands and you name it. You will get more mileage out of your clothing if you can layer it. There might be perfectly-coordinated mix and match pieces or maybe you already own a sporty wrap you can wear after class on your way to the grocery store. Select pieces that can be coordinated with other pieces for all-day wear, basically.

Could You Wear it Normally?

Champion GEAR at Sports Authority is cute and comfortable enough to be worn around town, even when not working out.

La Jolla might be an affluent community but the truth is that we’re pretty casual here. Most people wear their workout gear out and about even if they’re not hitting the gym. I also wear stylish athletic wear when traveling and on the plane. The synthetic materials are easy to hand-wash and dry in a hotel, if you need to revive an outfit. It’s so nice that it is possible to be comfortable and cute in clothing designed for exercise, 365 days per year.

About Champion GEAR

I’m shopping quite a bit at Sports Authority lately now that my daughter is into sports (and the Balboa location is near my favorite Japanese market) so I’m happy to learn about this brand — which features every aspect I mentioned above — because they also sell athletic wear for men and kids.

All have exclusive seamless technology and a high tech, luxury feel at a great value. It’s all gain and no pain, especially on your wallet. I was surprised that two tops and a pair of pants cost almost the same as I normally spend on just one pair of pants.

When you look good and feel good in workout clothes, you’re more likely to motivated to class and give it your all. Right?

Katie Dillon headshot

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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