We focus a lot on ‘regular’ clothing on 40+Style. However, for many of us, sport and fitness is an important part of our daily routine. Style shouldn’t step as soon as you enter the fitness room so today we will look at some great fitness clothes for women over 40.

If you feel good about what you’re wearing before you hit the gym, take to the courts, hop on your bike, go for a hike, or whatever your exercise of choice is, you’re much more likely to feel motivated once you start your workout.

What is the best clothing to workout in?

Workout clothes need to work hard. You need clothes that stretch, dry quickly, are comfortable, and that look great. Read on for our tips for choosing your next workout outfit.

Which clothing is better for exercise?

This will depend on your own style and where you are exercising. You can choose tank tops or t-shirts, long-sleeved tops, leggings, track pants, shorts, and skorts to suit your activity, the weather and whether you are working out in or outdoors.

Sylvia wearing a purple top and blackleggings | 40plusstyle.com

similar top, leggings and shoes

What is important in fitness clothes for women?

Below you will see what we find important in fitness clothes.

1. Fitness clothes need to be comfortable

This is very important as fitness clothes have a clear function. It’s hard to focus on your workout or yoga session when your clothes are too tight. Many inbuilt bras are too tight and uncomfortable. comfortable. So for tops with inbuilt bras think about going up a size or two. This will still give enough support while not being so tight that they prevent you from breathing properly.

Zella Twirl Crossover Back Tank | 40plusstyle.com

Zella Twirl Crossover Back Tank

2. Light fabrics that are specially created for sports are often better

Although we generally dislike synthetic fabrics, fabrics especially created for sports often perform better than cotton. They do a better job at keeping you cool. You want fabrics that wick moisture away from than becoming wet and heavy when you sweat.

ICTIVE Cross Backless Workout Top | 40plusstyle.com

ICTIVE Cross Backless Workout Top

3. Choose tops that match your climate

In warmer climates, you’ll want more open tops that allow air to circulate. In colder climates, choose more coverage.

For tennis clothes and other outdoor workouts, choose covered tops during the day to protect you from the sun, but you could choose tank tops when the sun goes down.

The Mippo workout top (below) is made from modal to keep you cool, with a bit of spandex to ensure it keeps its shape. The mesh back should keep you cool. It comes in a huge choice of colors, and reviewers say they love the fit and overall style. One said she has this top in three different shades.

Mippo Workout Top | 40plusstyle.com

Mippo Workout Top

Fitness clothes for women - Erica in an all-black outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Erica @ericabunker above (read her style interview here) opts for a black workout set with a subtle print.

Check out this similar top, leggings, shoes, smartwatch and earbuds.

If it’s very sunny where you are, choose a shirt that offers the same level of sun protection you get from your sun cream. The TACVASEN T-Shirt (below) features moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool, it comes in lots of colors and has a UPF 50+.

TACVASEN Sun Protection T-Shirt | 40plusstyle.com

TACVASEN Sun Protection T-Shirt

If it’s cold and you’re working out outdoors, then thermals are your answer. The BALEAF shirt (below) will keep you cozy while you exercise. Reviewers say it is perfect for adding warmth without extra bulk.

BALEAF Thermal Shirt | 40plusstyle.com

BALEAF Thermal Shirt

4. Mix and match as much with fitness clothes as your other clothes

Although we sometimes buy ‘sets’, we find it a lot more fun to buy tops and bottoms that we can mix and match with each other. Even if we do buy a set, we will often wear the top or bottom with something else.

If you’re just starting out, or getting back into, your fitness journey, you could always start by buying two or three full outfits. Then you will be able to create different combinations.

JOYMODE Workout Set | 40plusstyle.com

JOYMODE Workout Set

WodoWei Activewear Set | 40plusstyle.com

WodoWei Activewear Set

5. Pay special attention to your underwear!

Hugely important! If you wear pants in stretchy fabrics you can clearly see the outline of your panties. Choose super thin seamless underpants that are invisible and select some of the items we featured in this article on no show underwear. Although you can wear g-strings too, they often create very defined buttocks and I personally don’t like the look of that.

The Wealurre seamless underwear (below) promises a seamless look, even under leggings.

Wealurre Seamless No Show Underwear | 40plusstyle.com

Wealurre Seamless No Show Underwear

You’ll also need a good, supportive sports bra. The Heathyoga sports bras (below)are designed for high-impact sports and exercises.

Heathyoga High Impact Sports Bras

6. Think about the type of workout you’ll be doing.

You will need, for example, tightly-fitting clothes if you are doing yoga so that your top doesn’t ride up while doing the downward dog! But, you will have greater flexibility in what you wear if you are heading for a run or a brisk walk.

Pinspark Open Back Athletic Shirt | 40plusstyle.com

Pinspark Open Back Athletic Shirt

What to wear at fitness workouts? Here are some ideas for fitness clothes for women over 40! | 40plusstyle.com

You could also choose a dress like Claudia @beafitmom.nl above. Look out for one with inbuilt shorts, or wear a pair of short cycle shorts underneath.

Recreate her outfit with this similar tank top, skort, shoes and gym bag.

7. Make sure your pants are not sheer!

Leggings can be quite sheer and in clear light you can see everything. Be sure to choose a fabric that is not sheer to avoid this. The Satina leggings (below) have good reviews from women who say they are thin and lightweight, yet not see-through.

SATINA High Waisted Leggings | 40plusstyle.com

SATINA High Waisted Leggings

8. Durability

You may wish to spend more than you would on a pair of leggings for your workouts as your fitness clothing needs to retain its shape and have durability. You will be putting it through its paces as you bend, stretch or run, and you’ll also be washing it after every workout. So choose clothes you’re confident will wash well. The ODODOS tummy control leggings (below) are well-reviewed for their longevity.

ODODOS Tummy Control Leggings | 40plusstyle.com

ODODOS Tummy Control Leggings

Fitness clothes for women - Sylvia wearing a pink top and black leggings | 40plusstyle.com

similar top, leggings and shoes

You can opt for a looser style in pants or a choose a leggings style. In the past, I personally always opted for wider options until I recently embraced close-fitted leggings. Now I prefer the look of those and they are super practical for both yoga and fitness classes.

I like my neutrals just as much as brighter colors. If you normally don’t choose a bright color for your clothes, you may want to give it a go for your fitness class and have some fun with color!

Fitness clothes for women - Sylvia wears a yellow top and purple pants | 40plusstyle.com

similar top, pants and shoes

Fitness clothes for women - Sylvia wears a yellow top and black leggings | 40plusstyle.com

similar top, leggings and shoes

I never really match my shoes to my outfits as may be clear from these photos. I’m actually due for a new pair of trainers as I tend to use these for everything, both fitness and tennis which is a bit silly.

If you’re looking for sneakers for everyday casual wear rather than sportswear, you may also want to take a look at this piece on sneaker styles.

But I always make sure I feel good in the fitness clothes I wear and will mix and match as much as with my regular clothes. I suggest you do too!

What is the best brand of activewear?

Here are some of our favorite brands for workouts – chosen because they combine style with comfort and functionality. Don’t forget to tell us your own favorite brands in the comments below.

fitness clothes

Now, let’s look at some of our favorite fitness clothes in stores now, and how you can mix and match them all to create workout outfits for all your exercise sessions.

What top to wear to the gym?

If you have a pair of black leggings, you can change up your outfits by investing in a few fitness tops. So, let’s start our fitness capsule with your tops.


Choose classic t-shirts and tank tops, as well as looking out for tops that feature interesting detailing like twists, drapes and mesh.

Fitness tops for women | 40plusstyle.com

Zella Studio Luxe Asymmetric Support TankZella Perforated Crewneck T-ShirtVindery Quick-Dry ShirtZella Ruched Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Fitness clothes for women - Shauna wears a red top and leggings | 40plusstyle.com

Shauna @chicover50 above (read her style interview here) opts for a knotted top and leggings for her workout. A bright red shade is a great option for workouts as it’s a very motivational color.

Get her look with this similar tank top, leggings and shoes.

sports bras

No matter what kind of workout you’re doing, it’s vital you have a supportive bra. Look out for bras that offer high, low or medium impact support to suit the exercise you are doing.

Sports bras | 40plusstyle.com

Zella Reset Reflective Longline Sports BraGlamorise No-Bounce Camisole Sports BraWacoal Simone Seamless Underwire Sports BraBeyond Yoga Fresh Cutout Rib Crop Top

Jacket, longline sports bra, skort and sneakers | 40plusstyle.com

Zella Reset Reflective JacketBeyond Yoga Fresh Cutout Rib Crop TopZella Getaway Wrap Pocket SkortASICS GEL-Excite® 10 Running ShoesBellroy Lite DuffleFitbit Charge 6 Fitness Tracker

Fitness jackets, hoodies & sweatshirts

Depending on the weather where you are, you’ll want a warmer top or jacket for exercising outside, or just getting to and from the gym.

Fitness coats and jackets for women | 40plusstyle.com

Beyond Yoga Heather Rib Take a Hike PulloverZella Reset Reflective JacketZella Interval Hooded Utility JacketAviator Nation Ninja Hoodie

Hoodie, tee and and workout shorts | 40plusstyle.com

Aviator Nation Ninja HoodieZella Perforated Crewneck T-ShirtBeyond Yoga High Waist Biker ShortsNewton Running Kismet 9 ShoesKARRESLY Duffle Bag

Fitness pants, leggings and shorts

Your workout bottoms will depend on the sport you’re doing. Choose shorts or a skort for tennis or running, leggings for the gym and wider pants for yoga. Opt for plain shades or add a fun print.

Fitness clothes for women - leggings and shorts | 40plusstyle.com

Beyond Yoga Street Rib JoggersZella Reset Reflective Pocket LeggingsBeyond Yoga High Waist Biker ShortsVouri Clementine 2.0 Shorts

Fitness clothes for women - Dorrie in workout jacket and leggings | 40plusstyle.com

Dorrie @seniorstylebible above (read her style interview here)

Steal her look with this similar jacket, leggings and shoes.

dresses and skirts

You may usually opt for shorts or leggings, but dresses and skorts are great options for tennis or runnning. Look for built in shorts so you don’t show more than you want to while exercising.

Fitness clothes for women - dresses and skirts | 40plusstyle.com

Nike Bliss Dri-FIT Training Dressadidas Future Icons 3-Stripes Sleeveless DressZella Love All Polo DressZella Getaway Wrap Pocket Skort

Jacket and running dress | 40plusstyle.com

Zella Interval Hooded Utility JacketNike Bliss Dri-FIT Training DressSOREL Out N About™ III City SneakersHerschel Supply Co. Strand Duffle BagMadewell Broken In Organic Cotton Twill Baseball CapFitbit Charge 6 Fitness Tracker


Your shoe choice is always important. But it’s more important than ever that your shoes are comfortable when exercising. Choose sneakers especially designed for your sport of choice. Look out for arch support, cushioned insoles and soles that reduce impact.

Fitness clothes for women - shoes | 40plusstyle.com

SOREL Out N About™ III City SneakersNew Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v4 Running ShoesNewton Running Kismet 9 ShoesASICS GEL-Excite® 10 Running Shoes

Fitness clothes for women - Alison in a stylish golf outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Alison @wardrobe_oxygen above (read her style interview here) opts for a stylish golfing outfit of teal and white.

Recreate her outfit with this similar zip top, skort, shoes and visor.

Fitness accessories to go with your fitness clothes for women

Of course, if you’re heading out for a run, you won’t want to be carrying too much with you. But, a fitness tracker to monitor how far you’ve gone and a cap to keep the sun off your face will be good ideas. If you tend to go to the gym after work, you’ll want a gym bag to keep your exercise clothes, towel and shower gel in.

Take a look at these bags that will go perfectly with your fitness clothes for women. They all come in lots of different colors so you’re sure to find one that matches.

Fitness accessories for women | 40plusstyle.com

Bellroy Lite DuffleHerschel Supply Co. Strand Duffle BagKARRESLY Duffle BagMadewell Broken In Organic Cotton Twill Baseball CapFitbit Charge 6 Fitness Tracker

Zip hoodie, tank top and leggings | 40plusstyle.com

Beyond Yoga Heather Rib Take a Hike PulloverZella Studio Luxe Asymmetric Support TankZella Reset Reflective Pocket LeggingsASICS GEL-Excite® 10 Running ShoesKARRESLY Duffle BagMadewell Broken In Organic Cotton Twill Baseball CapFitbit Charge 6 Fitness Tracker

Your fitness clothes together in one capsule

Below, you can see the clothes and sneakers from above together in one capsule. You can put together many different combinations so your workout outfits look different each day.

Fitness workout capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

shop the fitness clothes above here:

Below is a past season workout capsule, but it may still give you inspiration if you are planning your workout outfits.

Fitness workout capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

Do you pay attention to your fitness clothes? What do you like to wear? What are your favorite brands for fitness clothes for women?

Continue reading:

  1. Stylish Workout Clothes For Women: How To Look Stylish While Getting Fit And Healthy In 2023
  2. What To Wear For Yoga: All The Best Yoga Outfits For Your Next Class
  3. Stylish Hiking Outfits For Women To Keep You Comfy On A Casual Stroll Or Longer Trek

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What to wear at fitness workouts? Here are some ideas for fitness clothes for women over 40! | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Claudia @beafitmom.nl


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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