Workout Clothes You Can Wear to Work

Can you wear your workout gear to the office? These days, yes—you can. Thanks to a variety of brands that now design refined and stylish athletic apparel, you can now secretly wear your exercise clothes right to the office. Goodbye, gym bag.

Of course, the type of gear you can wear largely depends on your office environment. Will you be in a startup or business casual environment? If so, you're good to go. If you work in a more formal environment, you'll have to get a little more creative, but it's still possible.

Read on to find out how you can wear your exercise clothes to the workplace, including what to wear and where to buy workout clothes that fit into your office environment.

Try a Tunic Top

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Fortunately for fans of the gym, many brands have started making flowy, lightweight, tunic-like tops that function as workout wear but look nice outside of the gym, too. Consider options from prAna, Athleta, Lululemon, or Lucy, where you will be able to find high-tech, breathable options that can transition into a business casual environment.

While dressing for a workplace setting, it’s important to avoid athletic clothes with spandex, flashy prints or neon colors, or anything sheer, low-cut or too tight. Even if these styles might be trendy in athletic wear that’s geared to bring you from the gym to the street, remember that you’re still in a professional work environment, so you’ll want to look the part.

Look Polished in Prints

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When you’re shopping for pants that you can rock in your yoga, barre, or spin class but can also work in a professional setting, keep an eye out for prints that mimic the fabric used for traditional work pants or slacks. 

Accordingly, when you’re shopping for pants, avoid any vivid, wild patterns such as tribal, psychedelic, or animal prints, and instead opt for a more tailored look. For example, herringbone or tweed make two great options.

Throw On a Casual Blazer

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You can easily dress up your exercise outfits by throwing on a casual blazer. Of course, after gym time, you probably aren’t going to want to wear your business best.

As a good alternative, choose a comfortable blazer that’s breathable, stretchy, and won’t feel suffocating before, during or after your workout.

Consider Betabrand’s Work-it blazer, which the company makes out of a performance knit blend. The blazer has been designed to be more comfortable, wrinkle-free, and relaxed than its dressier counterparts.

Dress It up with Detail

For a more refined look, consider pieces with unique, office-wear-inspired details to add a classy touch. Details like a cowl neck, ruching, an asymmetrical hemline, interesting seaming or structure, as seen in the Athleta clothing line, will dress up your look without sacrificing fit or function.

Wear Your Yoga Pants Straight to Work

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From yoga class to a job interview, and from pilates to an office meeting, thanks to Betabrand yoga pants, it's now possible. Check out Betabrand's selection of Dress Pant Yoga Pants, available in both flare and skinny styles. Betabrand's pants are cut out of soft and stretchy performance knit that moves with you, while still retaining a dressy, tailored look.

Look Sleek in Fitted Long Sleeves

Another nice style involves a sleek, long-sleeved shirt or fitted sweatshirt. Look for fabrics that will perform well during your workouts, like french terry, lightweight knits, or a wicking Polyester/Spandex blend, but that will also look a little more refined than the average cotton top.

Where to Shop

Ready to buy? Check out these select brands for your best bets in gym clothing that you can wear to work.

  • Betabrand makes a good choice for great yoga-to-work pants and casual but office-appropriate tops and blazers.
  • Check out Lululemon for urban, stylish layering pieces, comfortable dresses and skirts, and sleek fitted shirts and hoodies.
  • Athleta is a good source for tunic tops and a varied selection of pants that will work both in the gym and in the meeting room.
  • Try prAna for pretty, high-performance blouses, breezy sweaters, and hoodies to take you from your yoga class to the office, and high-quality tanks suitable for layering under a casual blazer.
  • Lucy has a nice selection of tops that you could easily wear in a business-casual environment.
  • Shopping on a budget? Try Fabletics for low-cost, high-quality yoga wear. And, don't forget that more affordable stores like Target, Old Navy, Kohl's, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall's also carry a wide range of workout clothing that you can wear to work.