I was so excited to put together my favorite apparel and accessories for running in the warm weather until I realized something kind of crucial which may or may not hinder my ability to make recommendations…
We are all so different.
Not only are our bodies completely different in terms of size, we are structured differently in that my legs may be shorter than yours and your torso may be shorter than mine even if we are the same height and weight.
And, to complicate things even more, finding the right fit isn’t the only issue we have.
Important athletic apparel requirements:
Will the pants stay up when you run?
Will the shorts stick to your legs or even worse, do your legs stick together because the length at which the shorts hit your leg when you move is bad?
Will the shirt stay in place when you pick up the pace or will it ride up?
Do the socks bunch in your sneakers?
Are the socks too thick or too thin for your sneakers?
Does the built-in bra offer enough support and if not, is there room under your top for another sports bra underneath?
Is the material see-through? Does it wash well?
Are there pockets for jelly beans, GU packets, your keys and license?
It’s not easy to find the perfect workout gear. In fact, I had an easier time putting together the winter weather workout essentials posts than this post for warm weather necessities.
Finding winter layers is less challenging for me than finding the right fit for shorts and even for tank tops.
I haven’t bought much of anything new for this season and it may just happen that I stick with some of my favorites from last year.
With that said, here are the few things I have come across worth checking out:
New Multi-Strap Tank from GapFit:
Not only does this Multi-Strap tank fit really well and have a built-in bra (with removable padding!) it looks good too, especially because of the pretty straps in the back.
I always go a size up in GapFit tops because I find their clothing will shrink should I put it in the dryer. GapFit tops normally don’t thrill me because they never have a built-in bra or at least not a bra with padding but this one meets all of my requirements so I bought two – one in the black and one in a charcoal gray. It’s now on sale too!
The pants in the photo are GapFit GFast crops but I don’t recommend them because they slide down as soon as I try to run, however, maybe they would work for you.
I am really picky when it comes to what I wear on my lower half.
I don’t like any of the shorts I have tried on for this season. Even the Lulu shorts don’t thrill me. They meet my requirements for pockets and a good waistband that won’t slide down but there is something about the fit of the leg that bothers me.
My new Gap tank goes well with my favorite Lulu skirt so I have a feeling shorts may not enter my wardrobe. I have no issue rotating the two skirts I already have with my favorite running crops all summer and saving some money.
I don’t mess with a good thing. These Gap socks are the best. I just bought another round because I can never have enough. Never too thick or thin, these Gap Performance Athletic Ankle socks are super soft, stay in place as well as stay dry and the tab in the back always protects my heel from rubbing against my sneaker, regardless of which pair I have on my feet.
A visor makes a huge difference when running in the summer sun. Not only does it give you added protection from the harmful rays but it keeps the sun from beating down on your face.
I am sticking with my Juicy visor from last summer but I did see cute visors at Lulu Lemon last week worth checking out.
Along with a visor, a good moisture-wicking headband is necessary as well. As I mentioned recently in a previous post, a good wide headband will help keep the hair from getting too sweaty in the event you want to get away without shampooing after a workout.
I really like the Lulu Lemon Fly Away Tamer headbands because they stay in place and are loose enough to forget you have something around your head. They also fit well under the visor.
Lulu came out this year with Sweat Cuffs which are sweat-wicking wristbands designed to hold your key/candy/whatever-else-you-can- fit in case you don’t require mandatory pockets in your clothing like me.
My favorite CamelBak water bottle with filter from last year broke and I need a new one!
I love the filter feature because it allows me to refill from anywhere and trust that the water will taste good.
I find that when I have a water bottle I love, I fill it up and take it with me wherever I go.
Hydration is crucial all year but especially now as we approach the summery temps, making sure you are sipping your water all day long as well as during workouts is mandatory.
I did a few posts last summer about the importance of picking the right sunscreen that not only offers broad spectrum protection but is free from harmful ingredients.
I love this sunscreen from SkinCeuticals. A little bit goes a long way and is perfect for running or the beach or wherever you are outdoors. It is a bit pricey compared to your drugstore brands but worth every penny.
I will focus more on sunscreen next week again for National Sunscreen Day.
I try to spend my money wisely. I figure out in advance which pieces mean the most to me in terms of comfort and fit and spend what I need to on those items.
For example, I don’t need to worry so much about the right sports bra like I stress about the right pants that won’t slide down or the shorts that I won’t feel moving and sticking to my legs when I run.
Once I have the mandatory pieces covered, I seek out deals from the following stores:
Target – Champion makes a majority of Target’s athletic apparel and seem to have many knock offs of the same cuts you see at Lulu and other stores.
Forever 21 – Their sports bras have been just fine for me, no complaints. Wash well and seem to be durable. Be careful with what you purchase though, only store credits are offered as refunds.
Old Navy Active – I haven’t bought anything yet but my friend does and loves whatever she has selected
Gap – Always runs a sale and offers many discounts and specials for Gap credit card holders. I always search the sale rack and buy items that I can put away for the following season. Note- I size up in tops and as small as possible in pants since they slide down.
Lulu Lemon We Made Too Much – All sales are final so make sure you know your size!
Remember, it’s not a fashion show. Of course we all like to look cute but it’s also okay to repeat your workout clothes in order to save some money for the clothes you wear the other 90% of your life.
I put together a handy checklist of our basic requirements that apply regardless of brand, style and fit to keep in mind while you are shopping.
If you have written your own workout essentials post recently, please share the link in the comments! Not only am I interested in what you are liking or not liking, I am pretty sure everyone else is curious too.
And, if you have a pair of running shorts you swear by or any other apparel, accessory or brand you love, please tell us in the comments as well.
I would love to put together another post based upon your responses to give us a broader idea of popular opinion regarding summer workout gear!
So tell us, what are you loving?
Share your links!
Which do you prefer, running in a skirt or shorts or pants?
27 thoughts on “Warm Weather Workout Essentials 2014”
Yay for warm weather summer clothes! I received a new batch of Saucony summer stuff a few weeks ago, and I LOVE it. I would definitely recommend Sauconys new line of apparel….and not just because they sponsor me, but they really are well thought out, with runners in mind!
Loving a lot of this, but you are right, we are all different! I am looking at those sweatbands you showed. I have been thinking about getting one for taking teh salt out my eyes!
I have a great Saucony jacket I bought in the fall for running and love it. Maybe I need to scope out the new summer stuff.
Meredith this is one of the best workout gear posts ever. You’ve got every detail covered.
Aw thank you. You have no idea what that means to me as it took me a really long time to organize this post!
Love this post! I heard people raving about Lulus speed shorts forever before I finally bought some – bad idea for my body. I have a small waist and big legs/butt. I’ve found that I really like the Lulu track shorts. They are good for runs and don’t show buttcrack when I do burpees – always a plus!
I think I have tried their track shorts last year and didn’t like them? Maybe I should try again. My lower half is wear I carry my curves and while they may still be a small size, finding the right shorts can be rough! I tried one pair of the lulu shorts this year with the thick waist band and fuller bottom but I still didn’t love. And, I can’t even go up a size because then they don’t lay right.
I want to get one of those sweat cuffs! Alex has been running a lot so I may try to find the man version for him 😉
I remember my dad having one of these wrist bands when he used to run. I bet they sell them in other stores. Lulu had solid and black so maybe he can wear that?
Wish I was a runner! I wonder what advice is out there for people who have never run…Ever.
I feel like I have a funny run, like I look so ridiculous!!! I’m in shape, just don’t look it in shorts, look fine in jeans. So maybe it’s time to try something new =)
Who cares how you look running, I am sure I look funny half the time with my stride and the other half with my mismatched clothes that I pull out of the laundry. At least you are out there, you know? I say give it a try if it is something you may be interested in and then you can join in with the figuring out what the heck to wear!
I really, really dig that Gap Fit Tank. I have a feeling that I wouldn’t care quite so much for the tan lines, but we’ll deal with that later 😀 Shorts-wise, right now I am LOVING the Athleta pulse shorts and also the Moving Comfort version of the shorts (I got some at a race expo and would live in them if I could). The MC ones have a little compartment on the interior of the wide waste band that is perfect for a key or some cash, and they also have a zip compartment on the back for bigger stuff.
Great round up of advice for hot weather gear!
I always wish I could run in a strapless top to avoid the tan lines. I should invent a running shirt for this!
I actually really love the Lulu shorts. But then again, I’m probably a lot less picky about my running gear than you are since I’m not really much of a hardcore runner. Snowboarding gear, on the other hand, I’m kind of anal about.
I may need to try the Lulu shorts again. Maybe I am being too picky?
I just went a little nuts at Gap because they had a 40% off sale for Credit Card holders and I needed some new pants. I picked up the GFast crops and eventually put them back because even with the sale, they would still be pretty steep. I have been having trouble finding pants for running that are both sweat-wicking and stay up…the search continues…
I did the 40% off sale too! It was so worth it for the tops and the socks. I really don’t love the Gfast crops at all. If you want my opinion, the Lulu pants that I wear are absolutely worth investing in. They work for me all year round. I know I shared the link but I believe they are the run inspire pants and I always have the pace pants (forget the exact names but they are on same page on the website)…Once you get one pair, keep checking for the sales because they do put them on sale at various times. They wash really well, never slide down, don’t fall apart and have all the right pockets for keys, license and fuel.
I have not found shorts that I like either !!! or when I do they have NO pockets.. cant. win. I have never tried Gap Fit so maybe I will try them next.. also looking for new tops lol I agree running in the summer is hard !!! I have so much winter gear..
I honestly don’t like the Gfast, they really slide for me but maybe they won’t for you. If you try them, go as small as possible to hopefully prevent them from moving around. One pair that I have does have a zippered back pocket but not front pocekts. I do like the new tank though from the Gap, definitely check it out.
It’s true, everyone is different. I NEED pockets when I run outside on my clothing so I need certain shorts. 🙂 And I don’t like running in anything but shorts/skirts when it’s this hot outside. As for tanks, I’ll throw on anything moisture wicking. I am fairly certain I’ll be hated – but I literally buy everything from Lulu. Love their socks, bottoms, tanks, tops – all of it. 🙂
I am totally with you. Overall, I prefer Lulu everything. The pockets, the fit and the durability make it worth it.
I’m laughing because I read that part about saving money for the clothes we were the other 90% of our lives and said – same stuff!!! (maybe not all the time but the majority of the time it is workout stuff unless I have a showing/meeting with a client)
I love Target’s workout line!
Mer- GREAT post! so helpful. It’s because of you that I now prefer running in a skirt over any shorts. that lulu skirt- the best and so cute.
new tank i purchased from lulu that i have been a tad obsessed with:
definitely going to try out that gap tank. I find their pants do not stay up!
Get the Gap tank before it sells out – it is on sale.
I like to splurge on under armour capris. They are plenty long for my 6’1″ frame. Their heat gear is perfect for the summertime.
I like Target’s champion sports bras, but I don’t need a lot of support due to a smaller chest.
Sounds about right – I can wear any sports bra since I am smaller as well. We are lucky in that respect to not have to struggle with finding the right one, I hear that is a big issue!
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