It’s 5:45am. Your alarm goes off. You groan – and immediately come up with every excuse imaginable as to why you should skip your morning workout and go back to sleep.
You’re tired. It’s still dark out. Your bed is soooo comfy. You just washed your hair. Your stomach kinda sorta hurts. You’re still sore from yesterday’s workout. You have nothing to wear. Did I mention how comfy your bed is?
We can’t eliminate all of these excuses, but there is one we can control for pretty easily: What we wear to work out. We’ve all got that one favorite top/sports bra/leggings combo that makes us feel like we can run faster, lift heavier, and actually belong at the gym.
What if I told you that you could feel that way every single time you worked out?
Introducing: The Workout Capsule Wardrobe. The goal is to figure out your favorite styles, then buy in bulk (and if your favorites are too pricey, opt for some of my knock-off versions below). My strategy: Stick to black leggings, neutral-colored tanks, and colorful sports bras for some fun. You can switch up the order (maybe you’d rather colorful leggings, neutral tops, black tops); the key is to make sure you stick to some pattern so that every shirt goes with every bra goes with every pair of leggings. No more thinking, no more excuses.
Save: H&M, $10
I maintain Nike makes the best basic sports bra in the business. These puppies hold their elasticity forever. They’ve also been around forever, which means you should never ever buy one full-price. I buy mine at TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack, where they’re usually $15-20 versus the normal $30-40 (I just saw this cutie at Nordstrom Rack for $17). I can’t fathom spending more than that on something that you can barely see.
If you happen to be a Bra Girl, however, you might feel differently. If that’s the case, H&M and even Amazon have sports bras that you’ll want to show off – and even training-wheel versions for wannabe Bra Girls like me.
Save: Amazon, 3 for $20
Guys. This OV tank is the softest shirt I have ever felt. And it fits me perfectly – not too tight, not too baggy. This is the shirt that launched my own workout capsule wardrobe because I bought it in every color available and have neglected all other tanks since.
That said, $55 is a lot for a tank. I recently discovered this knock-off version on Amazon, and while it's not quite as soft, you can't beat the price. Also, when you're sports bra shopping at your discount chain of choice, check out the tanks there for some steals.
Save: Old Navy Mid-Rise Leggings, $22
Leggings are very personal, so I won't even pretend to know that I can predict your favorites. These Lululemon ones are mine, but I'm constantly on the hunt for a cheaper version. I look for two factors: 1.) Mid- to high-waisted (just the thought of exercising in a low-waisted, muffin top-inducing pant makes me sweat), and 2.) Not see-through when you bend over (or ever). These Old Navy ones fit the bill, as do these ones from Athleta ($44) and H&M ($35). Oh, and those Outdoor Voices knock-offs from up top!