What to Wear to Pilates (Attire & Accessories)

What to Wear to Pilates

Pilates combines the exercise of mind and body and is a great way to strengthen the core while putting a focus on overall well-being. The exercise was developed late into the 1900’s by Joseph Pilates, where the workout style gets its name. The German physical trainer wanted to put a focus on posture, balance, and flexibility.

The proper attire for Pilates includes sports bras, leggings or biker shorts, tank tops or t-shirts, and grip socks. Wearing socks that help you grip the ground or your mat, comfortable clothing that allows you to make flexible movements, and avoiding any clunky jewelry or accessories will help you find success in your Pilates practice.

As you begin developing your Pilates skills, you’ll find that certain items of clothing are more comfortable, flexible, or supportive than others. Whereas leggings may be better for some individuals, shorts may be a better option for others. This is the right place to start, as you search for the attire that is going to help you feel the most confident, strong, flexible, and prepared for Pilates.

What is the Proper Attire for Pilates?

Speaking of the proper attire for Pilates, there are certain items that might be best as you find your groove within this practice.

So, what can you wear to enhance your Pilates experience?

Clothing like sports bras, grip socks, leggings, tank tops or t-shirts that feel comfortable, and other activewear are ideal for Pilates work.

Think tank tops like this RBX Active Women’s Fashion Tank Top which is flowy but has a fun back detail. You can feel both comfortable and confident in your workout attire!

Do You Have to Wear Leggings to Pilates?

You don’t have to wear a specific type of pant for Pilates, though leggings are what is usually recommended, and preferred, by those who actively practice Pilates.

Whereas other types of pants such as shorts, tennis skirts, sweats, or joggers may ride up, shift around, or be too hot, leggings seem to work out as a very happy medium more often than not.

The Gym People Thick High Waist Yoga Pants with Pockets help to keep people aware of their movements during Pilates. The material is thick and firm and can help to remind you to keep those core muscles engaged, instead of letting loose and rushing through any movements.

Can I Wear Shorts to Pilates?

Yes! You can wear shorts or whatever pants make you most comfortable while practicing Pilates.

While shorts may show a little more of your bum off during certain movements, this can also be remedied by wearing shorts that are either longer (like biker shorts) or one that are baggy that you can put over a shorter, tighter pair.

This will likely make you (and your instructor) more comfortable, as you won’t be worrying about what you look like with your legs in the air and can focus on the movements of Pilates itself.

What Shoes to Wear for Pilates

When it comes to shoes and exercise, you might be used to searching for shoes that are the perfect balance of comfortable and supportive. When it comes to Pilates, this is one consideration you can leave at home!

You do not need any shoes for Pilates. Pilates is most often done barefoot, in the same way that yoga and other related movement-based exercise.

Do You Wear Sneakers for Pilates?

As Pilates is practiced barefoot, you do not wear sneakers to Pilates.

However, if you’re worried about your feet sliding around, we recommend that you try out some grip socks like these Tavi Nor Women’s Emma Non-Slip Socks that will help you to remain stable during your floor work.

What to Wear to Pilates in Summer

Now that you know what to generally wear for Pilates, having an idea of how you can modify your wardrobe for summer shouldn’t be much of a concern.

As tank tops are pretty standard practice, simply ditch the jacket you might have thrown on over top and head out the door!

Depending on your preference of shorts versus leggings, you can either stick to the shorts or find a mid-length legging that won’t go down to your ankles and will give your legs a bit of extra space to breathe.

In fact, maybe you’ll want to meet in the middle between leggings and shorts, in which case you can opt for biker shorts like these GAYHAY Biker Shorts.

Pilates Wear for Older Ladies

Older ladies may not be as big of fans of smaller tank tops or biker shorts, but some might not have any issue with them!

Pilates, and any workout attire, is ultimately about what makes the wearer most comfortable and able to complete their exercise.

Cosy Pro Women’s Short Sleeve Dri-FIT T-Shirts are comfortable, flexible, come in a pack of 5 different colors, and can be bought in many different sizes to fit your preference.

Really, sticking with the grippy socks, leggings, and a comfortable t-shirt or tank is as complex as this one gets!

Pilates Wear for Males

Has this seemed like we are directly all of our clothing tips toward women? Well no more!

Men will find that their attire for Pilates is quite similar, because Pilates clothing is more about allowing for the right kinds of movement than it is about fashion or anything else.

Non-slip socks, some gym shorts, and a comfortable Dri-FIT t-shirt are the essentials that men can also expect to wear to Pilates class.

The same as we said before, sweatpants may get too hot, or bunch up in a way that annoys you and distracts from your practice, but a pair of leggings like the Willit Men’s Active Yoga Pants can offer support, extra length, and comfort.

If you prefer, you can pair gym shorts with these yoga pants for a duo that is fit for any Pilates goer!

How to Wear Hair for Pilates

You should plan to pull up your long hair for Pilates, if you’ve got it. That way, your face won’t be covered as you move through the poses, and you won’t have to worry about hair in your eyes.

Those with short hair won’t have to think about this as much, but head bands are always a good bet for anyone looking to keep their eyes clear.

What to Bring to Pilates

When you go to Pilates, you won’t need to bring much more than yourself, some activewear, and a few additional items.

The first of these items is, as with most exercises, a water bottle. Pogo has a BPA-Free Plastic Water Bottle with a Chug Lid which can be a good way to grab a drink of water mid-exercise. You won’t have to worry about unscrewing any lids or leaving to hit the water fountain.

Next, you’ll need to bring a mat as you would if you were practicing yoga or another floor exercise. Using something like the STOTT PILATES Pilates Express Mat will help you feel stable and supported in the knowledge that you won’t be slipping on any hard floor (or practicing on one, either.)

What Not to Wear to Pilates

As we mentioned, there aren’t many things you explicitly have to wear or bring to Pilates, but there are some things you should avoid to make sure you have the best Pilates experience.

While you should not need one with leggings, shorts, or yoga pants anyway, keep in mind that a belt can get in the way of your movement and should not be worn for this practice.

The same goes for jewelry, shoes (even tennis shoes, yes), or baggy clothing. You may not be required to wear something specific, but you can’t expect to wear street clothes to the Pilates studio either.

When it comes to your hair, you know now that a headband and hair tie when needed can be a game-changer but what about your skin? You should always wash your face when possible before a Pilates session. Feeling your best is the goal but that won’t occur when you begin to break out from exercising with makeup on your face.

So, a happy medium it is- with activewear, bare feet or non-slip socks, hair pulled back, and a face that is free of makeup to give you the best outcome. Happy practicing!

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