Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Monday, 8 February 2016

The Affordable High Street Gym Gear That You Will Actually Want

The Affordable High Street Gym Gear That You Will Actually Want

The Debrief: Good value gym gear, because exercise isn't just for January

It’s February now, so you’re probably sick of all the articles which make you feel bad about the fact you’re not going to the gym, encourage you to sign up for classes you can’t really afford and tell you to buy gym gear which costs more than you would spend on going out clothes.

But, because exercise is really good for you and our health matters beyond Dry January, we thought we’d give you a run down of the best gym gear on the high street that you can actually afford. This one’s for you if, like me, you were the girl who dreaded PE at school because the thought of your boobs jiggling around under your aertex shirt in front of all the boys, while they giggled, made you feel sick. It’s also for you if, like me, you’re not naturally sporty and having some nice stuff to wear while you jump around makes the whole thing slightly more appealing.

There’s a heavy focus here on sports bras which are actually good and don’t cost £50. There’s also an emphasis on gym gear that’s quite nice, so you won’t mind staying in to go for a coffee/breakfast/lunch/dinner with your mates afterwards because, let’s face it, finding the time to workout is hard and often we sacrifice exercise in favour of catching up with pals over food/booze. And, I’ve picked out things that will fold up really small so lugging around your gym gear isn’t going to put your back out.

So, come a little closer reader, I want to let you into a secret…are you ready? Sports Direct. That’s right. I said Sports Direct.  

1.    The One That You Could Probably Also Wear To A Throwback Garage Night 

Sports Direct is your new go to for gym gear. They have stuff from all the big sportswear brands, but it’s a lot cheaper than going to buy them in their own branded stores. So this one’s for you if you want to buy a big brand but don’t want to pay full price. Here’s a really great Nike sports bra/cropped top, which actually straps everything down. The leggings are also Nike: plain black which is flattering when you’re feeling exposed. The hoodie is actually for a boy aged 13-14, that’s right it’s from the kid’s section and that makes it super cheap. 

Hoodie, £17.50 (down from £24.99), Bra £19.99 (from £27.99), Leggings £20.00 (down from £27.99)

2.    The Cheap But Really Good One 

Next up, Primark. They’ve just launched a brand new workout range and it’s really good. These leggings have a zip pocket at the back which is great for putting your keys/bank card in if you’re running. And, unlike some much more expensive, traditional sportswear brands, this pocket is stitched, not glued in. So, it won’t fall out when you wash them, which will be often because you sweat at the gym. The bra has a nice back and is supportive. The top is lightweight; breathable and long sleeved so you can keep cool without letting it all hang out. This is just one outfit, but it's definitely worth getting yourself over the Primark because the range is really extensive.

Primark stuff isn’t online but the top was £7.00, the leggings are £7.00 and the bra was £4.00

3.   The Wildcard

When was the last time you went to Matalan? They’ve also just started doing gym gear and it’s pretty great. Black leggings again; these are really high waisted which is great because when you’re moving about it’s nice to feel snug, The top is just a simple, plain grey tee that’s just oversized enough, but not so big it’s going to flap about. The lightweight padded jacket will keep you warm if you’re running and actually looks pretty cool.

Jacket, £25.00, T-shirt £6.00, Leggings £9.00 

4.    The Meshy One That Makes You Look Like You’re In A Music Video, If That’s Your Thing... 

I will confess…I normally wear an old t-shirt to the gym with the same leggings that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. This was the year I decided to buy some new/proper stuff. I think I’ll probably still stick to black on black, but if you’re more adventurous than me Forever 21’s gym gear is actually pretty great. The sports bra is good, but maybe not quite as supportive as the others. The leggings feel breathable and, again high waisted. The hoodie isn’t my normal style but it’s really lightweight and would fold up super small – so great if, like me, you have to lug your kit around with you to and from work.  In terms of value for money, though, I’m not convinced. 

Hoodie, £24.00, Bra £9.00, Leggings £18.00  

5.    The One For People Who Don’t Like Gym Clothes

Next up, Topshop. Mainly because it's hard to walk past without going in. Ok, so this isn’t really very practical for your workout itself because the trackies are quite heavy so you’ll get really hot if you wear them. But, this could be the perfect cover up to throw on after a class where you’ve worn shorts or a yoga class where you’ve been in your bra. Obviously very few people enjoy wandering around in a pair of tiny shorts and crop top, so this oversized Adidas t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms will make sure you get home without being heckled.

T-shirt, £22.00, Trackies £29.00  

6.    The Fail Safe 

Gap has always done good workout wear. It’s not the cheapest of the bunch but it’s a safe bet. Their leggings are lightweight, breathable and high waisted. The bra is good, but, again perhaps not the most supportive. The top is actually really nifty – it’s nice and, again, just baggy enough. 

Leggings, £29.95, Bra £22.95, Top £19.95

Like this? You might also be interested in:

The best 'Ladylike' Clothes In Primark For When You're Definitely Not 'Ladylike'

We Try On All The Comfy Trans-Seasonal Clothes In Muji

We Try On All The Best Investment Pieces In Zara So You Don't Have To

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Tags: Changing Room Selfies