Baby Girls Clothes Tips for Mommies

Baby girls clothes are so delightful to indulge over. Oftentimes, mommies find themselves buying more clothes for their babies rather than their own. However, if you are a first time mom or if this is your first baby girl, here are few tips regarding baby girls clothes that you should remember.

Dainty Dresses to Love

Who wouldn’t adore a baby wearing a nice dress? Babies look so cute when they are wearing a dress. Sure, babies can pull off any dress. But, it is important that you choose a comfortable dress they can wear in several hours. You should be looking for a no fuss dress with breathable cotton. Ruffles are a no-no, unless you want them to go grumpy for a couple of minutes. You might want to purchase one for special occasions, too. A great idea would be fluffy colors, or perhaps a floral dress with detachable ornaments like little diamonds or flowers. Also, you can look for dresses with matching accessories. There are long ball gowns with a pair of glass slippers or perhaps a tiara to finish it off.

Clothes for Warm Weather

If you want to prepare for the summer time, or if you are currently living in a tropical country, it is best that you check out the material and the design of the dress. Since it is for warm weather, you might want to stick to sleeveless or halter dresses with light color or prints. You might also want to check out dresses with beading or needlework. Just make sure that the stitches are covered by another layer of cloth as this might become itchy for your baby.

Outdoor Clothes for Babies

Babies love spending time outdoors. So, you might want to get baby girls clothes with stretch neckline or zipper that can extend to fit the baby’s head. In that way, if accidents happen, you can immediately change nappy. If you want a more playful approach, you can get a themed dress like the well-loved Hello Kitty or the adorable Barbie dress.

There is nothing like a day on the beach. So, make sure your baby is packed with a swimsuit. Ideally, you should purchase a cotton beach wear. And, for a more fashionable look, go for bold colors with contrasting patterns. It gives a nice edge to a plain day at the pool.

Sports Wear for Baby

Although babies aren’t into sports just yet, mommies love to dress their baby up with athletic attire. Don’t they look so cute with rubber shoes and jogging pants? Well, there are a lot of plain tees that can be mixed and matched with shorts of different colors.

Sleeping Baby Girls Clothes

As for sleeping clothes, they should be very comfortable in it. A soft cotton material is best for baby’s pajamas. Fashionable mommies can go for clothes with different colors.

While it is quite alluring to buy as much baby girls clothes as you can, it is advisable not to buy too much at a time. Keep in mind that your baby will eventually grow out of it. Otherwise, you will end up with tons of unused baby clothes.

Tips for Picking Out Children Clothing

A person shopping for children clothing should keep in mind, that kids have their own personal tastes. These tastes are not the same as the child’s mother or father, no matter how much mom wishes her child would wear something she thinks is absolutely darling.

This also means that the child’s tastes won’t be the same as the shoppers, so beware picking out an item of clothing for a child simply because you personally like it. If you are going shopping to pickup children clothing as a gift for a child you may want to take that child with you. He or she will be able to participate in the shopping process to ensure that they get clothing they’ll like and that they’ll wear on a regular basis. Plus, you are still giving a great gift to your niece, nephew or god child.

If it’s not possible to take the child with you when you are about to go shopping for that important gift of clothing, a second option is taking the parents or asking the parents about the child’s tastes. They are after all the secret bearers of their kid’s innermost yearnings and fashion desires.

Getting Children’s Clothing Information from Parents
A simple phone call and a mention that you’ll be planning on picking up a new shirt and pair of pants for the little one will be sufficient to get the parents talking. Before you hang up the phone you should have the child’s size, favorite color, favorite movies, sports or characters and clothing styles written down.

Some kids have allergies to certain fabrics. Make sure to confirm with the parents what kind of fabric they prefer and if there are any allergies to worry about. Some parents simply prefer a fabric because it’s easier to clean, such as cotton.

The child may also have a need for specialty items, like dress wear. You’ll be able to find out from the parents if the child you are shopping for needs a new tie, or classy shoes for a special occasion.

You can also keep in mind a few basic things about shopping for children clothing when you go. Kids are notorious for growth spurts. If it looks like the kid you are shopping for is due for a growth spurt soon you may want to purchase a size larger in clothing. This gives them a little room for growing and you know that your gift will last longer.

Kids also tend to get dirty. Heavy duty clothing like jeans are a great idea for the rough and tumble types and they are easy to clean. Cotton is an easy fabric to get clean of stains. White clothing and underwear can be safely bleached by parents without worrying about colors leaching from the fabric.

Above all when shopping for children clothing keep in mind the styles that you’ve seen the child wearing. They’ll appreciate the thought you put into your purchase and there’s half a chance that they’ll actually wear the clothing you buy them.

5 Top Tips to a better clothes price and great feedback

Do you sell clothes on Ebay, or would you like to? Everyone has clothes. Parents, dieters, declutterers and clotheaholics may find themselves with clothing that they have little use for. Selling them on Ebay may seem like a great idea but selling clothes can provide a number of challenges. Clothes are a typical “touch and feel” product and at first glance, it may seem difficult to sell clothes on-line. The biggest obstacle to selling clothes on-line is that customers can’t try them on and this can cause a lot of tension and disappointment if the item received is not what was expected but this article will help you sell clothes for a better price and get great feedback from your customers.

Clothing

It is often not profitable to sell used clothing on Ebay at all, but Meg’s Laws, below, will help you get the best price you can. There are a few exceptions to low clothing prices. These are for very high end clothing (designer) large “lots” of clothing, unusual designs, patterns or sizes and where you have an item that has very few others listed.

Meg’s Laws

Thousands of women buy evening wear, fun, sexy, Mother of the Bride or Groom, children’s, Church, extra small, tall, or plus-size clothing every day but when people shop for clothes, they like to feel the fabric and examine the details. This is what makes selling clothes on-line challenging. Selling clothing needs detailed pictures and at least some measurements. This increases the likelihood of clothes fitting better and looking better on your customer – which means fewer returns and more satisfied customers.

Meg’s Law #1 – Measure, measure, measure

No matter what size the clothes are marked, they will NOT fit someone who is, or who claims to be that size. There is no agreed sizing in the clothing industry. Chain store clothing has always been sized differently from one brand to another, that’s why you never know what size will actually fit. If you provide accurate measurements, the return rate on purchases will be lower and your customers will be happier because they are getting what they expect. Measure the size of the clothes, even the length and width, as well as describing the kind and quality of fabric. For instance, on women’s trousers, give the waist size and inside leg length as a minimum and say whether the waist is at the waist or below. Any real customer is going to need this information. If you are lucky, they will ask for it, if you haven’t already provided it but they may also just move onto the next item.

If you haven’t got a Measuring Tape you can print one out on Ebay

Ebay Measuring Tape

Ebay used to have tips on Getting the right fit and diagrams but these have now disappeared. The nearest I can find to what used to be available is at http://fashion.about.com/cs/7/l/blmeasure.htm

Meg’s Law # 2 – nothing beats a decent photo

Clothes are a typical “touch and feel” product and your selling description needs to be the next best thing to handling the item. Some sellers invest in (or borrow) a mannequin so the cut and style are visible. A picture of your next door neighbour (minus her head) wearing the outfit, unless she is a Super Model, does not flatter the outfit, nor does a folded item on a bedspread, nor a lopsided outfit hanging untidily from a hangar. Photographing each item is time consuming but vital if you want to sell. There is nothing wrong with photographing an entire lot of clothing in one or two pictures if you are selling a number of items. A picture is worth a thousand words, and you need at least one good one to sell your auction item. If the item has special detailing, take a close up of it. This can increase the price. Don’t say, “Excuse the photos, the camera wasn’t working”! Get it working or get a friend to take a decent picture for you. Pictures that are too dark or out of focus lose you customers and reduce the price you can get.

Meg’s Law # 3 – be accurate – check twice, write once

If you want to be a frequent Ebay seller, don’t risk your reputation over easily corrected mistakes. Most buyers will check the seller’s feedback before they buy something. If the item is “Like New”, then it’s fine to say so but don’t describe it as immaculate if it’s not – you’ll get very poor feedback. Don’t overuse the word “stunning” – buyers’ eyes glaze over when the same person uses this word for every item they are selling.

Meg’s Law # 4 – Don’t be Greedy

Second hand clothes don’t have a high resale value. Set your starting price at a reasonable amount. If your item is in demand, the bidding will drive the price up but if you start the price too high, you may not get anyone interested. Check out the prices for recent similar items.

Meg’s Law # 5 – Make the most of your Selling Points

If your piece of clothing is an expensive brand name, not only will people be searching for it regularly, some will have email alerts set up to let them know if an item in their size has been listed, so put the designer’s name in the title. Plus size items in the upper range of sizes do well, as they are hard to find in stores. For many women, finding plus-size clothes is difficult and time consuming – make their search easier and you’ll benefit with more sales at better prices.

Even though there are barriers to successfully selling clothes on-line, these 5 top tips will help you sell your clothes for higher prices and get good feedback.

Was this helpful?

If you like these tips, scroll to the bottom and mark this guide as helpful. If you don’t like them – please email and let me know why, so I can improve them and help us both get more out of the Ebay selling experience.

Top Tips for Buying Baby Clothes

Many people enjoy giving baby clothes as presents, but they usually buy the small sizes that won’t fit for long. Take advantage of this by not buying too many before your baby is born, then buy wisely to get the best value for money.

1. Always choose one size ahead of your baby’s actual age. Sizes can be on the small side and babies grow quickly. Most 6-month-old babies can wear clothes size 9–12 months, 1-year-olds wear size 2 and so on. But do take account of the season – lightweight summer clothes are no use in the winter, and vice versa.

2. When sales shopping, get clothes for the coming months. If your child is 9 months old in January, buy clothes for 18–24 months in anticipation of the following winter. In ‘expensive’ baby shops, head for the sale rails – there’s nearly always one in Baby Gap, and bargains of up to 50% off – sometimes more – can be had.

3. Be selective when buying up-market babywear. There’s little point in paying top price for vests, plain tops or tights, for example – just mix in cheaper labels with some branded goods and you’ll give the impression of full designer wear but pay a fraction of the cost.

4. If you are tempted by expensive clothing for your baby, consider whether it is good value for money. Trousers and practical dresses may be worn enough to justify the outlay, but avoid paying top price for an outfit for special occasions – it might only get one airing. See if you can borrow a special occasion outfit instead.

5. For some real bargains, go along to nearly new sales and secondhand babywear shops. Babies grow very quickly and favorite clothes are often outgrown long before they’re worn out. You can benefit from what other people have had to throw out; some items may still carry the original shop tag, indicating that they’ve never been worn.

Clothing Care Tips

Have your clothes cleaned frequently as soils and stains can become impossible to remove and will cause abrasionsclothing care tips on the fabric wearing out the fibers.

Discuss stains with your dry cleaner and point out light colored or invisible spills. Stains containing sugars can caramelize and turn brown with heat unless they flushed before dry cleaning.
Bring your garment in as soon as possible after staining occurs. Leaving soiled garments in hot cars can set stains.
Avoid letting your garments come in contact with products that contain alcohol such as perfumes, hair sprays, colognes, and lotions. These products can damage fabrics and dyes and sometimes don’t show up until after the cleaning process.
Allow deodorants and antiperspirants to dry before dressing. These products may harm fabrics and dyes. For men, remember to clean your hands before tying your tie. Oils or other products will discolor tie’s fine fabrics when cleaned.
Protect your clothing from excessive perspiration, use an under shirt or underarm shields because salts and chlorides can also compromise fabrics and dyes.
Protect your clothing from prolonged exposure to sunlight or strong artificial light as bright colors like blues and greens tend to fade in the sun.
Never try to remove a stain by rubbing with a cloth and water. If needed always BLOT, never rub a spot. Delicate fabrics like linen and silk will be easily damaged by rubbing.
Never iron or dry stained clothing, the heat will only set the stain.
Do not store your clothing in plastic bags, especially if they are natural fabrics like cotton, wool, linen and silk; they need to breathe.

5 Tips to Take Great Care of Kids Clothing

One of the ways that large families can stretch the household budget and save money on clothing is by maximizing hand-me-downs! Especially if you know a few tips on how to take great care of kids clothing so that the items still look nice by the time they make it into the 4th little person’s closet! Over the years I’ve become a master at making the most of hand-me-downs- and here’s what I’ve learned along the way:

1. Make It Easy for Kids to Keep Their Clothing Folded and Organized

If your kids are putting away their tees and shorts into over-stuffed drawers- the items themselves are taking a beating as they get pushed and pulled into place in the drawer. Things are getting wrinkled and stretched out- and this system makes it harder to rotate through what your child owns- so chances are, the same items are getting worn over and over again with other items on the bottom of the pile never seeing the light of day.

We find it much easier to use open closet shelving to hold most of the kids folded clothes rather than dresser drawers. Kids can see what they own, and can rotate through the entire pile more easily, and are more likely to put away their folded laundry in a neat and organized way which is kinder and gentler to the clothing. So yes- the way you store your clothing makes a big difference in how long it lasts!

2. Pack Away Off Season Clothing and “Clothing to Grow Into”

If you want to keep future items in good shape- it’s best to just take them out of the mix! Twice a year I spend some time with each child in his or her closet to sort through their wardrobes- putting away off-season clothing, removing items from their closet that no longer fit them, and going through the bin of clothing to grow into so we can add in the items that will now fit. I also make a list of items each child needs to get them through that season- because even with hand-me-downs, kids will still need some new items!

In fact, I kind of have a rule at my house that no child should wear a hand-me-down outfits on his or her birthday or for school pictures!

3. Make Smart Purchases

If you want it to last- you need to buy quality items. Do I spend a lot of money on clothing? Heck no! I buy name brand merchandise only when it is on sale for a significant discount, and I stock up on basics like solid colored tees and khaki shorts, jeans, and sweat pants when I can. I find that better made items (GAP, American Eagle, Polo, Tommy Hilfiger,) all hold up very well- lasting down to my 3rd or 4th wearer. Items that I purchase at Target, and Kohl’s will last a season or two- but rarely make it past the 2nd child.

However, some items are destined to be worn by one wearer and are therefore meant to purchased as inexpensively as possible- socks come to mind for sure. But also sweatpants for my boys. They cannot get through one winter without getting holes in the knees- so those never make it to the guy in line!

4. Wash Them Well

Treat stains immediately- or better yet- teach your kids how to do it! I keep stain pre-treater right on the shelf above the washing machine and my kids know that if they have spilled/dripped food or managed to slide right into a mud puddle at school- that this item does not go into their hamper. It should be placed on top of the washing machine so it can be stain treated right away.

5. Not Everything Should Be Handed Down

There are definitely things that are just not destined to be handed down. Underwear and socks come to mind for sure. But I also “tread lightly” when it comes to shoes. If a pair of shoes is an everyday pair of sneakers and a child grows out of them- those are rarely handed down unless for some reason they are in perfect condition. Shoes worn daily take on the footbed shape of the wearer and that makes them uncomfortable for anyone else. But dress shoes only worn a few times, snow boots, my girl’s fashion sandals only worn a few times are all perfectly fine to be worn later by a younger sib.

5 Mens Fashion Tips For Large Men

If you’re big and heavy and you wish to dress nicely without having to spend a lot on your wardrobe, consider these six amazing tips for dressing up with a bit of suave. Although they are basic and easy to handle, if you put all of them together, they can have a considerable effect on the way you look.

1. Minus the Belt and Switch to Suspenders

If you have a big round stomach, then belts would most certainly not work on you because of the shape of your tummy. The circular band of the stomach tapers would only make the belt slip. Just imagine fastening a belt on a basketball. Now, suspenders, on the other hand, eliminate the issue permanently and allow the trousers you are wearing to fall smoothly like a drape rather than clustering it up at the top.

2. Purchase Dress Shirts with Spread Collars

If you have a broad face, then your first priority is to make sure that your shirt’s collar matches your broadness. Brands today assign a 90o division between collar points as a ‘collar spread’. Collar spreads vary from brand to brand so make sure you find one that suits you. The benefit of wearing spread collars is that they add more proportion to your face. Plus, they also give you plenty of room to wear classy tie knots like the Windsor knot. Remember to always tie a big knot when wearing a tie because a big guy wearing tiny knotted tie looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

3. Switch to Wearing Hats

A hat can be worn with just about any outfit. That’s why they are considered a classy add-on and by wearing one with a good outfit, you’re displaying that you actually thought about what you should wear when you got up this morning and got dressed which implies that you are not a lazy person.

4. Try Some Bling On

For a big man, proportion is everything. So, the bigger you are, the larger your accessories should be. For example, instead of clipping a normal plastic ballpoint pen to your pocket, get a heavier fountain pen. If you are into watches, get one which is has a large dial. Big accessories add power to your presence.

5. Don’t Tuck Your Shirt In

A flat plane of shirt material over your belly attracts no attention as compared to a waistband complementing your bulge when you tuck in your shirt. So, in short, untucked shirts won’t accentuate your waistline. Consider getting your shirts tailored to your size and mass. Long-sleeved shirts which are designed with a collar do not need necessarily be tucked in, unless of course you are wearing one over a dress pant or a suit. But if you are wearing chinos or jeans, always keep your shirt out with your sleeves slightly over your wrists.
All in all, the fashion tips for a big man aren’t much different than it is for a normal sized individual. As a matter of fact, it all depends on your personality, your taste in clothing and your acceptance of your body.

3 Rules On Wearing Dress Shoes With Jeans

1. Make sure you are wearing the right type of jeans

jeans-dress-shoesThere are a million types of jeans out there. Well, maybe not that many – but a lot 🙂

While all jeans are casual there are some kinds that are dressier than others. Opt for the dressier variety.

Distressed jeans, jeans with holes, and jeans with a lighter wash are all ultra-casual and will NEVER go well with dress shoes.

Instead,opt for denim that fits well in the waist and the hips. Watch the length of the jeans and see to it that they are not too long and drag.

Find jeans that have a more tapered fit at the bottom. Boot cut jeans will not work with dress shoes.

Never go with a baggy fit but opt for a slim or regular cut.

As for color you will not go wrong with dark indigo jeans or even a black pair.

It may surprise you but colored denim – provided it is the right fit and length – can work with black or dark brown dress shoes.

The main thing to make sure of is that there is enough contrast between the shoes and the jeans so they do not appear to match exactly.

2. Wear the right type of dress shoes

It’s not just the jeans that play a part in making sure that your whole ensemble works.

It is equally important to be mindful of the dress shoes that you choose.

When picking out dress shoes select a pair that leans more on the casual side.

Oxford shoes are great dress shoes but they are on the more formal end of the spectrum and will therefore not work with jeans.

A better style to go with is the Blucher, Loafer or the Derby dress shoe style.

The shape, construction and vamp placement of these shoes lend a more casual vibe than compared to Oxfords.

Other options for shoes include monk straps, dessert boots, chukkas and slip-ons will work beautifully when paired with jeans.

3. Balance other elements of your outfit

Even though you’re wearing jeans – the fact you’ve thrown in dress shoes as your foundation means you need to elevate the whole look.

A t-shirt or sweatshirt just isn’t going to cut it 🙂

Balance out the look with a well-fitted collared button down or dress shirt.

Keep your accessories simple.

Consider completing your ensemble with a hat if you are confident that you can pull that off, and if wearing the above mentioned dress shirt consider a wool or woven necktie.

Make sure that every element that you bring in to your ensemble matches with your chosen dress shoe.

Warning – If you are a larger man be aware that dress shoes can make your feet appear smaller.

Tread carefully with the dress shoe and jean combination especially if you have a bigger midsection.

A solid solution would be to cover up the midsection with a beautifully cut sports jacket.

This can bring balance back into the outfit and prevent you from appearing disproportionate.

 

9 Tips For Dressing Sharp As A Young Man

Tip #1 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Dress Your Footwear Up

Starting from the ground up, appropriate-fitting footwear is the first step to dressing sharp.

A traditional school of thought that’s still alive and well claims you can judge a man by his shoes.

If you’ve never owned really good shoes before, brace yourself and get ready to pay a significant amount of money for well-made, classic footwear.

You may be shocked at the sticker price for well-crafted shoes, but the quality and comfort pay dividends down the road.

A good pair of dress shoes will last you years and stay good-looking with nothing more than some light cleaning and the occasional shine.

Quality leather footwear isn’t a luxury for the excessively rich — it’s a necessity for any man.

Tip #2 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Dress to Look Older

The way you dress is the way you are perceived.

If you’re still wearing clothes that scream “student days” you’re going to be treated like a boy with no experience in the real world.

Buck the trend, age your look a little, and get the respect you deserve from older men.

That means raiding your wardrobe and getting rid of the majority of your ultra-casual clothes: T-shirts, cargo pants, jean shorts, sweatshirts and sweatpants, baseball hats, and athletics.

Save a few for yardwork and exercise — but donate the rest of it to charity and start replacing it with dressier clothes that speak to your maturity.

Tip #3 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Ignore Fashion Trends.

Main-stream fashion trends change too fast to make useful wardrobe staples.

Most young men don’t have the budget to buy new pants every month or two — so stay away from pants that are only presentable during an “in” season.

Distressed or bleached jeans are a great example; several different designer labels briefly managed to sell the image on the public, and then the fad changed and left a lot of people with very expensive jeans too beat-up to wear in public.

Stick to classic clothing staples for the core of your wardobe and avoid anything that’s too far out on the cutting edge — even if you see something that makes it look good.

Tip #4 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Take Care of Your Clothing.

Generally speaking, being young means having less money to throw around.

If you’ve shelled out for a few pieces of good, quality clothing — a custom suit, a pair of expensive dress shoes, what have you — it’s worth a few bucks more to keep the clothes in good shape.

That means using good hangers for your suits, shoe trees for your shoes, and a little tender loving care with the washing machine.

Some of your clothes can come from thrift shops, if you’re lucky enough to have a reasonably common body type and some well-to-do neighborhoods nearby.

A few adjustments from a tailor can turn a five dollar thrift-store suit into your dress wardrobe staple. Just take care of it and protect your bigger investments with some proper maintenance.

Tip #5 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Have at Least One Good Suit in the Closet

No matter what your job is, you’re going to need a decent suit at some point.

If you’re in a field where you’re going to wear one regularly you should look for a variety of colors and styles; if you just need a single suit for infrequent dress occasions stick with a classic single-breasted, two-button suit in charcoal gray or navy blue.

If you’re buying off the rack take the time to have the suit adjusted.

A few department stores still offer the service, but you’ll more than likely need to find a tailor independently.

It’s worth the effort — sized suits are made to general measurements, and not all of them are going to be a perfect fit for you. A good tailor can make the small changes that take your suit from looking mediocre to perfect for you.

Tip #6 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Build from White and Blue Shirts

White and light blue cotton dress shirts are the backbone to a sharp wardrobe.

Much of this lies in the fact both of these colors make up approximately 90% of the dress shirts sold worldwide and that either color looks good on most complexions and body types.

Being so popular, these shirt fabrics are also available in a wide range of style and sizes anywhere int he world, making acquisition at a value price likely for the man on the lookout for sales and discounts.

Patterns can liven up the basic white and blue color palette, and there’s nothing wrong with branching out into some other colors as your personal style evolves. Just have a good core of white and blue dress shirts.

As long as you have one clean and hanging up in the closet, you’ll never be completely out of decent-looking things to wear.

Tip #7 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Own Dark Fitted Jeans & Know When to Wear Them

Jean styles are always changing: rips, tears, acid and bleach washing, distressed, stone washed, boot cut, wide leg, low rise, skinny; baggy.

Keep it simple with and stick to fitted jeans in a dark color, sans fading or rips.

You can wear them with a fitted T-shirt for a relaxed, casual look or dress them up with a buttoned shirt and a sport coat for a business-casual style.

Tip #8 for Sharp-Dressed Men: Look beyond Denim

Well cut and classically styled trousers will make you look a little sharper at social occasions than jeans.

They’re less common in a young crowd, so you’ll already be standing out, and a good pair of slacks has a drape and crease that looks much crisper than denim.

You can also get wool or cotton trousers much lighter than blue jeans, which is a blessing in any kind of warm weather.

Tip # 9 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Replace T-shirts with Polos and Sport Shirts

Wearing T-shirts to the gym or when you are performing house chores is fine.

But wearing T-shirts to social events or to work is a no-no, especially when the shirt is too big and made from a shoddy fabric advertising the company who gave it to you a decade ago.

A good polo in a simple, dark color is always presentable and always flattering if it’s fitted well.

You can also opt for buttoned short-sleeved shirts in the summer, ranging from Carhartt work shirts to seersucker dress shirts. If you do wear a T-shirt, make sure it’s new, clean, close-fitted and in a solid, dark color.

6 Things to Look for When Buying Exercise Apparel

A cool wind whipped around me as I crested the final hill along my running route. “Ah, relief!” I thought, pulling my dripping T-shirt away from my skin. This will cool me off. But instead of making me feel refreshed, the wind chilled me to the bone. “So much for a great workout,” I mumbled as I shivered the rest of the way home. I thought I had dressed properly for my run, but apparently I had missed something before heading out the door that morning.

Wearing the right clothing can make the difference between an enjoyable workout and an hour of misery. And investing in some stylish yet comfortable workout clothing is the perfect motivation to get you moving, whether you’re hitting the gym, heading for the hills or exercising in the comfort of your own home. I already had enough excuses not to exercise—my workout clothing didn’t need to be one more of them.

The big mistake I had made was wearing a cotton T-shirt for my workout. Instead, I should have worn a shirt designed to draw sweat away from the body and move it to the outer surface. These “wicking” clothes (also called technical or performance fabrics) are usually made of polyester and/or Lycra blends. They may cost more than your average cotton T-shirt, but they’ll also last longer and keep you comfortable.

Cotton is comfortable, but the more you sweat during exercise, the more perspiration it traps, weighing down your garment and clinging to your skin. In summer, that can prevent your body from cooling properly. In winter, wearing those damp clothes for a workout keeps you cold. Add a cold wind to the equation, and you’ll be chilled to the bone, just as I was.

Proper workout attire doesn’t stop with your shirt. Cotton socks can also trap moisture and cause blisters, while a polyester-blend sock may help prevent them. Shorts, gloves, hats, running tights, sports bras, workout pants—even underwear—are also available in performance fabrics.

I was ready to cross “discomfort due to clothing” off my exercise excuse list, so I went shopping. Here is what I looked for when purchasing my new exercise clothing.

Comfort
Avoid any rough fabrics that could chafe or irritate your skin during repetitive movement. Choose materials that let you move and don’t constrict you. Pay closer attention to fit than size, as some workout clothes tend to be smaller and more form fitting than regular clothes. Look for items that have a small percentage of spandex listed on the label. This allows for a greater range of motion during exercise and can provide a very comfortable fit without being skin-tight.

Wicking ability
If you’re going to be perspiring a lot, make sure your base layer will keep you dry and comfortable. Look for a polyester/ Lycra blend or another synthetic material. These materials keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer—even when wet—and dry quickly. If you prefer natural materials, wool and bamboo exercise shirts naturally wick away moisture, too.

Perfect fit
While you might be tempted to hide beneath baggy layers, you will feel more confident and sure of yourself if you wear an outfit that looks good on you and plays up your assets. If you feel good about yourself, you’ll be inclined to exercise more often. Clothing trends change for workout wear too, but the basics never go out of style. Add one or two more trendy pieces to your wardrobe (such as a performance T-shirt in this season’s “hot” color) but keep your classic black yoga pants that are timeless.

Layerable 
Your workout wardrobe should be versatile, carrying you from the hottest months to the coldest months (if you’ll be exercising outdoors). To avoid overspending during the changes of the seasons, keep this in mind when shopping, looking for items that can easily layer during cold months. Start with a moisture-wicking dry layer, such as a wicking T-shirt or tank top, then add a warmer layer such as a fleece pullover. Finish with a protective outer layer (for waterproofing and wind proofing) such as a windbreaker or a nylon shell. Shop during the off-season for the best deals.

Technologically advanced
Many new workout pieces feature anti-microbial treatments to combat odor, while others have built-in ultra-violet protection to fight the sun’s harmful rays. You can also buy glow-in-the-dark or luminescent jackets and running pants to help keep you visible if you exercise after dark. If you are a hiker concerned about Lyme disease, look for clothing that contains permethrin, a synthetic version of the natural insect repellent found in chrysanthemums.

Activity appropriate
Baggy pants aren’t feasible for cycling or Spinning, and flowing tops won’t keep you covered when you do downward dog in yoga class. Consider the activities you do most, and make sure the clothes you buy are comfortable and appropriate for that activity. Most people can’t go wrong with fitted workout Capri pants and a fitted performance top, but always try on clothes before you buy—and try a few of your signature workout moves in the dressing room to be sure.

The more frequently you exercise, the more important it is to wear the right kind of clothes. Aside from keeping you comfortable, dry and cool, the right outfit also makes you feel like a million bucks, so find pieces that flatter your figure so you can hit the gym in style.