Ready to try pilates for the first time or reacclimate yourself to the practice after a hiatus? Here, we break down what to wear—along with the fitness accessories that might come in handy.
What to Wear to Pilates
Consider your trusted workout tops great pilates clothes too—just try to avoid something overly flowy or anything that might limit your range of motion. Ideally, you select a top where form meets function—specific to your body type and comfort level. While you can certainly opt for a sports bra like these by Lululemon or Outdoor Voices, you can also pick something that feels more like a T-shirt or crop top. Kingswell is a fan of Alo Yoga’s options—this tank is perfect for layering over a bra style. Otherwise, Beyond Yoga’s racerback is a soft and versatile pick suitable for low-impact workouts.
“You don’t want anything too tight or low-waisted,” notes Kingswell. “It’s all about feeling comfortable.” While her personal go-to is Lululemon’s Align leggings for their high-waist, soft fabric, and stretchy fit, Tory Burch Sport’s legging is just as supportive, specifically for medium-to-high impact workouts. Not into a pant legging? Short styles are excellent for pilates, too. Girlfriend Collective’s biker shorts are compressive, lightweight, and designed not to ride up during your workout. Then, there is Year Of Ours’s ribbed style featuring a crossover waistband that’s a fun twist on classic activewear.
Jumpsuits & Unitards
Instead of activewear separates, you could select a onesie to workout in style. With the rise in fitness and lounge apparel in recent years, we’ve been seeing plenty of iterations of the workout unitard that emphasize comfortability with effective movement. Those who typically workout in a legging might opt for jumpsuits by FP Movement, which both crops right at the ankle. Then there are romper styles by Girlfriend Collective and Alo Yoga—biker-length options designed with buttery soft fabrics and a built-in bra. Basically, these take the guesswork out of exercise dressing. If you’re looking for something with more of a fashion moment, Eres more than fits the bill.
If you’re headed to a pilates studio or simply prefer not to workout barefoot, Carruthers recommends having a pair of grippy socks on hand. From Alo Yoga, Wander G, Pointe Studios, or Bombas, these ensure you won’t slip during your workout thanks to performance grips lining the bottom of comfortable, breathable fabrics.
What to Use During Pilates
Unable to head to the studio? Our experts say you can easily practice at home using just your body weight or with an assortment of fitness accessories to enhance your workout. “First, you should invest in a good mat,” says Carruthers. “This would preferably be something non-slip and thicker than your traditional yoga mat.” Then, she explains that to “add tension and resistance to some of the exercises,” incorporate weights, resistance bands, or pilates balls into your practice. No pressure here, though—oftentimes, your body weight is sufficient, particularly for beginners.
How Often Should You Do Pilates?
Both of our experts agree that pilates seamlessly complements other exercises too, for those not ready to part from a beloved cardio workout, weightlifting, or yoga. For an intensive workout, Kingswell recommends practicing pilates four to five times per week; otherwise, incorporating it two to three times is amazing for beginners. As for how long you can see results: “Within a week, people are starting to feel muscles they may not have felt before and it just gets deeper from there,” Kingswell explains. Per Carruthers, after 30 sessions, you can expect to literally feel that your body has increased mobility—or what she calls having a different body.