Style Advice Q & A

Motivating Workout Clothes for Women 0ver 50

Hi Deborah, 

I’m 57 and just joined a gym, but my sweatpants and old T-shirt are dated, and they don’t make me feel excited about working out. I want something new but not too junior or skimpy. Can you suggest some motivating workout clothes for women over 50? Thanks, Jeni

Hi Jeni,

Good for you for starting a fitness program! It’s always tough at first, but cute workout clothes can lift your mood and energy, help you have a more effective workout, and inspire you to stick to it.

Here’s what to remember when shopping for motivating fitness clothes. I think you will love these new looks!

Workout - Purple
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Bright Colors Make it Easier to Work Out

Color is energy and has a psychological effect on the wearer. Bright colors pump you up and get you off the couch, while pastels and muted shades calm you down and make you want to relax.

A bit of color near your face, like pink or peach, is also a great way to look more youthful because our hair and skin begin to fade with age.

I suggest you save black for below the belt and throw on a bright top or one of the many other new spring color options. If you like wearing black head-to-toe, slip on a hoodie or an athletic jacket in a trending color and leave it unzipped to look slimmer.

Montone- all one color from head to toe, like this bright purple top and leggings, is trending. If that’s too bright and doesn’t make you feel right, add a neutral third piece like this taupe zip sweatshirt to tone things down.



This is a beautiful color, and I love the wrap-top style!

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Baggy isn’t Better!

No one looks good in big, baggy t-shirts or tank tops. The best workout clothes glide easily over your body and lay close to the body.

They can be loose as long as they are not baggy. A good sports bra provides extra support and will perk up your breasts, helping slightly oversized tops flow easily over your curves.  I prefer exercise tops that more closely follow my curves, so long as they don’t cling.

I also like to ensure they are made from moisture-wicking fabrics to keep me cool!

The nice thing about more fitted gym clothes is once you start losing pounds, you’ll notice it faster, and that’s motivating!

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The Perfect Pant Width Can Inspire

Skinny, leg-hugging workout pants like my favorite, Lululemon Align, are popular because they are like a second skin. However, any kind of skinny spandex legging or even tight joggers can make some feel gals self-conscious if they have a heavy bottom half.

So, instead, try a bootcut, flare workout leggings, or yoga pants to help balance wide hips and a wide bottom.

Bootcut leggings are trending right now and are becoming as popular as jeans. They’re a welcome change for all of us!

I like the ones with the high waistband to hold in a jelly belly. The ones with pockets are also handy because I walk in the mornings and I need to take my cell phone and house key with me. I like these Salutation Stash Flare pants from Athleta. 

purple workout top
Relaxed cropped styles are trending, like this sporty plum top. I love this lightweight, moisture-wicking workout top from Athleta. Many older women prefer a long-sleeved shirt with arm coverage to camouflage aging arms. This one is the perfect combo of style and comfort.

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Modern Styles & Colors Motivate

I’m the first to admit that workout clothes often fall to the bottom of my priority list. I’ve started to make it a point to treat myself to new women’s gym wear more than every few years, and I challenge you to do the same.

By keeping up with the latest colors and styles of workoutwear, you’ll feel modern and more excited about working out.

At the moment, bright, saturated pastels and classic neutrals are trending. Many new styles, like this hoodie, are so cute that you can wear them in the fitness studio and run errands.

Stay modern to stay motivated!

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Sneakers Can Make or Break an Outfit

Sneakers are constantly changing and are a fun way to show off your personality. Don’t be too conservative. Whether you like working out at a gym or you prefer hiking or to jog, have fun by choosing sweat-wicking footwear that is cool, modern, and maybe even a bit of a conversation starter!

Buy a few pairs of sneakers and switch them up with different types of activewear. They’re your best workout accessories.

The Rights Socks Keep You Cool

Finally, socks! Cotton socks don’t deal well with moisture unless they have some nylon in them—for example, these cotton/nylon Performance ankle Socks from Athleta. 

All-nylon and polyester and bamboo socks are more comfortable and do a better job of drawing moisture away from the skin and keeping your feet dry and cool. These nylon Power Stride ankle socks from Lululemon are bestsellers.

Ladies, I’m going to say it again! When you have the right clothes – comfortable workout wear that looks cute and makes you feel confident – your fitness journey suddenly seems doable. Check out these fitness essentials, and then, as  Nike says, Just Do It!

Are you a curvy gal looking for women’s fitness clothes? Then check out this post I did on Cute Plus Size Workout Clothes.

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26 thoughts on “Motivating Workout Clothes for Women 0ver 50

  1. I have been browsing your blog, Deborah. It’s true about bright colors giving you good energy. It’ll not only give you a positive vibe but will also help you relax during yoga time. That’s why I’m picky about what color I wear.

  2. Thanks for making it so easy and motivating to choose the perfect activewear for women. I have always believed that “Age is Just a number.” I agree with your points as colors give us energy, better fitting clothes help us exercise more efficiently and comfortably. I wI would keep these points in mind whenever I choose clothes for my workout.

  3. I’m sorry, but these clothing styles seem to be aimed at 20-40-year-olds. As an active woman in her 60s, it would be nice to have more appropriate choices.

  4. When it comes to sportswear or gym wear, the trend is shifting, as women want to be up to date with the latest fashion & at the same time, give utmost priority to leisure & comfort. I do not hesitate to spend a bit of money if it is for fitness.These suggestions help us fitness freaks, so thanks!

  5. Nice collection! These fitness clothes look fantastic and will be great to wear during my workout. I will give them a try. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I am the type of person that is highly influenced by what I wear. For some reason, it has never really occurred to me that I might be more motivated to work out if I had some great clothes, but a friend finally pointed this out to me. Bright colors are a great idea; sometimes, this is the only time you can pull them off. I’ll take your suggestions and look for the perfect clothes for me; thank you!

  7. This time of year, you can find exercise clothing on clearance racks. Target and Kmart have some great choices, and outgrowing a size won’t break the bank to replace at the low price point. But do spend money on good sneakers! Your feet being sore will have you avoiding the gym! That is where spending the extra money will pay off.

  8. Hi Deborah – this fall, I launched a new line of yoga/workout wear specifically engineered for Women Over 40. It minimizes the tummy and lifts the booty. I started it after finding that my yoga wear was a little too tight in the stomach after I hit menopause. was made to eliminate buying fitness clothes that don’t fit quite right. This line is cute and trendy but shaped to fit Women over 40. I hope you and your readers will check out
    PS- Big fan of your blog!
    Judy DiVincenzo, Still Sassy Sister

  9. This is a great post, Deborah.

    Putting thought into your workout attire helps to motivate you to go to the gym. A bonus to wearing fitted tops and pants/shorts is that they don’t gape or ride up when exercising. So, you can end up covering more skin with fitted clothes than oversized t-shirts and gaping shorts, not to mention avoid the frustration of constantly tugging on them to keep them down!

    Also, one needs to emphasize the slimming effect of the all-black silhouette! I always add a colorful headband and tennies.


  10. Thanks for this. I love working out, but I find It challenging to buy myself nice clothes, although I have been longing for Them for a long time. I am rather skinny, and I find it difficult to find pants that fit!
    Also, do NOT think of your body as the enemy or something that has to change, that way, you will never get the desired results!

  11. Agree with some of the other comments. Though fit, most women in our age group carry curves and love the ensembles, but I am not ready for spandex just yet.?. I would love to see your ideas for 12+ ladies. I know they would be awesome!

  12. Great tips. But …all the style pictures you posted are of thin women in workout outfits. How about pics of larger sizes – 14+? A pair of workout pants you have pictured might look great on the slimmer model but horrible on someone like myself (size 14 right now – but I am working on it) :-)

    And I will check out gym wraps.

    Have a blessed day!

  13. The clothes look nice, but I have to stick with the light-colored oversized T-shirt and black sweatpants as I am a thin, pear-shaped person. Yoga and flared pants may look ok if I lose another 10-15 pounds. I lack on top; anything fitted, plus mini love handles, would emphasize this awful body type.
    I may try to reduce dairy at first before eliminating it, as suggested by one of your posters, and I will do the same with sugar. I may not have arthritis yet, but I get post-exercmuscle muscle soreness and, at times, bones that can last up to a week, depending on how hot the workout was.

  14. I go to the gym almost everyday and can tell you there are a TON of clothing options. Most of the pants are fitted now like the ones in the picture above, but you can also find workout skorts, not unlike the tennis ones of old. They’re a little shorter now but are great for those summer and spring months. TJMaxx has GREAT prices, but if you also have a Burlington Coat Factory then be sure to check them out. I’ve had the best luck with them by far. WalMart has some cute stuff too, but you might see the same outfit on some others at the gym. :) I’ve gotten the majority of my pieces at Burlington, and hit a great sale at Gap (yes, Gap). They are pricey but with a sale it can be worth it.

    The important thing is that you’re working out — so find what you’re most comfortable in, get a few pieces to switch out, and get moving. :)

    1. My problem is finding the right underwear to go under my capris. I tried going without but noticed the dreaded cameltoe. I have looked online but have not had much luck. I haven’t gotten brave enough to try the thing yet.

      1. Hi PJ, I don’t know if a thing will help with cameltoe, but it will help with panty lines at the back. Try something a couple of times, and you will never think about it again. It’s like the first time you wear a bra. You think it will be a big deal and feel weird, but you get used to it immediately. As for cameltoe with exercise clothes, try a heavier pair of stretchy capris (some of the thin ones could be the problem), or maybe you are just pulling your pants up too high. You could Try a thin pad or check this out. They have made a camel toe fix. It is called the Zucchini Camel Toe guard. I have never tried it, but it looks pretty good:
        Best of luck!

    1. Hi Janie,
      As we mature…hopefully we gain more confidence and stop worrying so much!’s always good to see that others feel that way too! Love our community here where we can chat openly about these issues!

  15. These are GREAT tips. I think it is good for our morale to have some good looking workout clothes when we head to the gym. The only thing I would do different is to put shorts on the list. I prefer shorts for workouts as opposed over long pants. Nothing drives me crazier than pants sliding up my legs when I am doing leg lifts and such. And pants can get pretty warm if oyu are doing a good workout. If you try to look good at whatever size you are currently at, you will feel more like working out and you won’t be so inclined toward self-loathing when you look in the mirror at the gym.

    Don’t worry about what other people will think. As a general rule, people are so focused on their own workouts that they don’t notice you and don’t care what you look like. If you are heavy, they give you credit for getting your butt to the gym like they did before you. And if you are already buff, they give you credit for having the good sense to keep coming to the gym. My experience – and most of it was as a pudgy 40-to-50-something – is that the gym is actually a pretty safe environment. Once you get to know which piece of equipment to use, it is a really great place to go.
    So ditch the baggy T and sweats. Swing by Target or TJ Maxx or Winners (in Canada) and get yourself some reasonably priced workout gear. As you move down in size, toss it in the Goodwill bin and go buy some more. I found that treating myself to some new workout gear every 20 lbs was a nice reward.

    1. Hi Wanda,
      Thanks for your words of wisdom…especially the part about, “don’t worry about why other people think.” You are so right that people are not there to judge others, they are there to work out! We can certainly be hard on ourselves when it comes to looking in the mirror. But bottom line, a cute outfit will make anyone look and feel better! We heard that you lost a lot of weight recently…congratulations on that!!

    2. Hi Heather,
      Thanks for chiming in. Workout shorts can be a great option as well especially if you are doing hot yoga or live in a warm climate or just like to keep cool when working out! Thanks for sharing your shopping tips…all just perfect!

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