Best Workout Clothes for Pilates in 2024

best pilates clothing

Choosing the right workout clothes for Pilates can enhance your performance and comfort during the session. Pilates requires clothing that allows for fluid motion and gives instructors a good view of your alignment. Prioritising fit, fabric, and your personal comfort will ensure that you can focus on your Pilates practice with total confidence. Here are our recommended essentials that you will need before your first Pilates class.

Essentials of Pilates Attire

When selecting attire for Pilates, comfort and functionality are paramount. Your clothing should allow for a full range of motion and should fit snugly to enable your instructor to observe and correct your alignment and form.

1. Pilates Pants and Leggings

Your Pilates pants and leggings should be form-fitting and flexible to ensure they move with your body. High-rise options, like the Lululemon Align High-Rise Pant 25", are a popular choice that look great with our Midnight Black grip socks. Look for soft, breathable materials that offer both compression and stretch.

lululemon Align™ High-Rise Pant 25"

Credit: Lululemon.

2. Supportive Tops and Sports Bras

Choose tops that stay in place as you move. A well-fitted sports bra, such as the Outdoor Voices FreeForm Sports Bra, is crucial for support. Layer with a comfy tank; for example, the Alo Yoga Cover Tank that remains snug without constricting movement.

Cover Tank - Black--0

Credit: Aloyoga.

3. Flexible Shorts

For warmer days or personal preference, flexible shorts like the Girlfriend Collective Workout Short provide a good alternative to leggings. Opt for shorts with moisture-wicking fabric like the Outdoor Voices TechSweat 6" Short to keep cool and comfortable.

4. Grip Socks

Maintain stability and avoid slipping at Pilates with non-slip grip socks. Brands like our own ALVY, NOIR offer Savvy Non-Slip Socks which are designed for Pilates, providing grip and also protecting your feet. Here are some of our best-sellers below.

4. Jackets and Wraps for Layering

Layering pieces like jackets and wraps are useful for warm-up and cool-down phases. Choose items that are easy to remove and provide added warmth without restricting your movement, allowing you to adjust to varying temperatures in the Pilates studio.

Popular Trends in Pilates Fashion

It wouldn't make sense if we didn't cover on the latest seasonal trends.

  • Eco-Friendly Apparel. You're likely noticing a surge in Pilates clothing made from sustainable materials. Brands are using organic cotton, bamboo, and recycled fabrics to create items that are not only comfortable and stylish but also better for the environment. These eco-friendly choices often come with certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), ensuring your fashion choices align with your environmental values.
  • Innovative Pilates Wear Technologies. With advances in textile technology, your Pilates attire now probably boasts features that enhance your workout experience. Look for high-waisted leggings with moisture-wicking capabilities, compression to support your muscles, and four-way stretch fabrics that move with your body. Outfits with antimicrobial properties are also popular, helping to reduce odours and keep you fresh during and after class.
  • Seasonal Styles and Patterns. Your Pilates outfits reflect the seasons, with various colours and patterns appearing throughout the year. In summer, you might find brighter colours and lighter materials, while winter could bring you leggings and tops in darker hues and heavier fabrics. Patterns range from abstract and floral in spring to geometric shapes that might dominate autumn collections. Keep an eye on season-specific collections for the latest trends.

What to Wear for Different Types of Pilates Classes

When selecting attire for Pilates, consider the class type as each may require different functionality from your clothing for optimal performance.

Mat Pilates

In Mat Pilates, you'll be on the floor most of the time, so choose form-fitting leggings or capris that stay in place while allowing full range of motion. For the upper body, a snug-fitting tank top or T-shirt will prevent it from falling over your head when you're in inversions.

Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates involves equipment, so close-fitting clothes are essential to avoid getting caught in the machine. Breathable high-rise leggings offer comfort and coverage, while a fitted sports bra and a stretchy tank top provide support without restricting movement. 

Thinking about buying a reformer? Here's our favourite Pilates reformers in Australia.

Contemporary Pilates Studios

At contemporary Pilates studios, where the atmosphere might be more fashion-forward, you can opt for the latest trends such as colour-blocked leggings and strappy-back sports bras. However, ensure they're still squat-proof and not see-through. Grip socks are often required to prevent slipping.

Remember to choose materials that offer breathability and moisture-wicking properties to keep you comfortable throughout your workout.

What Not to Wear to Pilates Class

When preparing for a Pilates class, your choice of clothing can impact your comfort and ability to perform exercises. While we've covered on what you SHOULD wear to your first Pilates class, here are key items to avoid:

  • Loose Clothing: Baggy t-shirts and pants might hinder your movements and make it difficult for instructors to correct your posture.
  • Restrictive Apparel: Overly tight clothing can limit your range of motion and affect your flexibility during exercises.
  • Jewellery: Necklaces, bracelets, and large earrings can catch on equipment or distract you during movements.
  • Regular Socks: Cotton or non-grip socks could cause slipping on equipment, posing a safety risk. Here's a comparison between grip socks and regular socks.
  • Thick Fabrics: Heavy materials can cause overheating and discomfort, disrupting your focus and performance.

Popular Pilates Activewear Brands

When you're on the hunt for quality Pilates clothing, it's crucial to consider brands that specialise in crafting gear that suits your movement needs. Below are some of the top brands renowned for their Pilates-friendly activewear:

  • Lululemon. Recognised for the Align High-Rise Pant, Lululemon offers leggings that provide both comfort and support, allowing for full range of motion during your Pilates session. 
  • Outdoor Voices. Their FreeForm Sports Bra is a fan favourite, designed to give you the right amount of support without sacrificing comfort during your workouts.
  • Alo Yoga. Well-known for their comfortable and stylish activewear, Alo Yoga's Cover Tank is a prime example of fashion meeting function in Pilates apparel.
  • Girlfriend Collective. This brand stands out for its commitment to sustainability and inclusive sizing. Their workout shorts are great if you prefer a shorter option for your Pilates classes. 
  • Zella. Zella leggings have a significant following due to their super high-waisted design and soft material that moves with your body.
  • Sweaty Betty. Sweaty Betty is an activewear brand praised by Pilates instructors and health editors alike, offering a range of gear tested and approved by professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

When gearing up for Pilates, choosing the right outfit can make a significant difference in your comfort and performance. Below are answers to common questions about dressing for Pilates, ensuring you're well-informed for your next session.

What are the top brands for Pilates attire?

Your Pilates wardrobe can be enhanced by several brands known for their quality and comfort. Brands like Lululemon, Zella, and Alo Yoga are highly regarded, offering leggings and tops that provide support and flexibility during workouts.

Which Pilates clothes are recommended for women in Australia?

In Australia, you'll want attire that's both breathable and form-fitting. Look for local brands such as Lorna Jane or Running Bare, which cater specifically to the Australian climate and are designed for activities like Pilates.

What should one wear to a Pilates reformer class?

For Pilates reformer classes, choose close-fitting clothing that allows instructors to observe your alignment and form. High-rise leggings and a comfortable, fitted tank top or t-shirt will ensure you're ready for the reformer.

Are leggings or shorts more suitable for Pilates sessions?

Leggings are generally more suitable for Pilates as they allow for a full range of motion and keep your muscles warm. However, if you're more comfortable in shorts, choose a fitted pair that isn't too loose to avoid any distractions during your session.

Can a sports bra be worn alone during Pilates classes?

Yes, a sports bra can be worn alone, especially if it's a high-coverage design that offers sufficient support. However, ensure it's suitable for the level of activity in Pilates and that you feel comfortable and secure throughout your workout.

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