At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

How Do I Choose the Best plus Size Activewear?

Kelly Ferguson
Kelly Ferguson

Having clothing that fits right can make the difference between an enjoyable, productive workout and a highly uncomfortable experience that will likely end long before it is beneficial. Plus size activewear clothing comes in a huge variety of fabrics, ranging from loose cotton to form-fitting, sweat-reducing materials. There is also a large choice of cuts and styles to suit every body type, and plenty of options to increase comfort while exercising.

If you enjoy other kinds of clothing with extra support, try looking for plus size activewear with supportive fabric, such as control top yoga pants or a tummy control tank top with a built-in bra. Many women who have reviewed items like this have claimed to be very happy with the products in the long run, saying that the extra support and control makes working out much easier and more enjoyable. Some even wear a tank top with a built-in bra on top of a sports bra for maximum control. Tighter fitting clothes may also reduce or eliminate discomfort from slipping straps and loose, chafing fabric in areas such as the underarms and thighs.

Plus size compression shorts.
Plus size compression shorts.

Plus size activewear pants usually have an elastic waistband for comfort and ease of use. Regular elastic waistbands are fine for most people, but some prefer to find pants with thick, wide elastic bands that cover more area on the abdomen. This helps prevent slipping and can also act as a form of control top, minimizing uncomfortable movement during exercise. You might also want to try out drawstring pants, which would allow you to adjust the sizing whenever needed for better comfort. Some plus size activewear pants use both an elastic band and a drawstring for optimum fit.

A plus size sports bra.
A plus size sports bra.

Many women who regularly buy plus size activewear recommend going for the well-known brands, claiming it is a “you get what you pay for” sort of experience. Some of the problems noted included elastic becoming stretched out, underwires in bras and tank tops poking through the material, and wear to the inner thighs of pant legs. Others are perfectly happy wearing less expensive items and simply replace the clothing if it gets worn or damaged. It may be worth paying a little bit more, however, to take advantage of fabrics and technologies that wick away sweat and keep the clothing comfortable for long periods of time.

Women who wear plus size clothing may find a greater selection online or through catalogs.
Women who wear plus size clothing may find a greater selection online or through catalogs.

One popular item of plus size activewear is a zip up hoodie or jacket. Many women recommend them for travel to and from the gym or for exercising outside. Getting a jacket with plenty of pockets also ensures that you will have space to put your cell phone, music player, keys, or any other item you may need to take with you to the gym or anywhere else you work out.

Discussion Comments


@pastanaga - I actually find plus size workout clothing easier to get in my size than other kinds of clothes because in most cases the fit isn't quite so crucial for it to work. The fabric is usually stretchy and loose anyway, so it's not that much of an issue. Buying other kinds of clothes is more of an issue because the fabric usually has much less give and is less forgiving of bulges and things like that.


@irontoenail - I find the best way to overcome that kind of problem is through networking. There are some really fantastic plus size womens' fashion blogs out there and they will try out different clothes and keep readers informed about how they fit and how they wear.

I actually get compliments all the time from my friends and family who want to know where I know how to find so many great websites and stores to buy plus sized clothes from (particularly active-wear which is incredibly difficult to find in plus sizes) and I have to tell them it's basically from following bloggers on Tumblr and Facebook and checking out the websites they recommend.

That's particularly true because in some cases the websites carry a wide range of sizes and I wouldn't know they had decent clothes in my size unless someone tipped me off.


Make sure that if you are going to pay more, that you will actually get what you pay for. I've noticed that a lot of brands don't seem to put nearly as much care into their plus size outfits and, in particular, don't design them with plus sized bodies in mind. They just scale up their other designs.

Which means that they haven't taken into account which parts of the fabric are going to receive the most wear and tear during use and how quickly a garment might need replacing.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Plus size compression shorts.
      By: nito
      Plus size compression shorts.
    • A plus size sports bra.
      By: Karen Roach
      A plus size sports bra.
    • Women who wear plus size clothing may find a greater selection online or through catalogs.
      By: Hugo Félix
      Women who wear plus size clothing may find a greater selection online or through catalogs.