Pilates Class: What to Wear!

When my friend invited me to my very first Pilates class the first thing I asked was “What do I wear?” I mean, I probably should have asked: “what is Pilates?” Or, “why am I doing this?” But, as a competitive runner, I knew what to wear for cardio, I knew what to wear to the gym to lift weights. But, I honestly had no idea what to wear to Pilates. I mean, I hadn’t even been to a Yoga class at this point! So, after my friend laughed out loud at me she sweetly smiled and said: “whatever you would wear to yoga class silly!”

  • Author: lesley.logan
  • May 17, 2018
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When my friend invited me to my very first Pilates class the first thing I asked was “What do I wear?” I mean, I probably should have asked: “what is Pilates?” Or, “why am I doing this?” But, as a competitive runner, I knew what to wear for cardio, I knew what to wear to the gym to lift weights. But, I honestly had no idea what to wear to Pilates. I mean, I hadn’t even been to a Yoga class at this point! So, after my friend laughed out loud at me she sweetly smiled and said: “whatever you would wear to yoga class silly!”

Now, I really can’t remember if I rolled my eyes at her physically or just in my own head. I mean, I didn’t even know what to wear to Yoga so how would that help me. And, this was over ten years ago so the abundance of workout attire for all the different kinds of exercise regimens was nowhere near today’s range of options.

Today, there is workout attire that you don’t even work out in! There are clothes specific to dance, yoga, Pilates, weightlifting, cross fit, boxing, spin, running and more. Why? Because, not only does it matter how you look, hahaha just kidding, not only does it matter how you feel in your workout clothes they need to help you do the workout you are attending.

Yes, clothes matter. No, you don’t need to buy the most expensive lulus or the newest Stella McCartney. But, you need to be able to do Pilates in whatever you are wearing without worrying about adjusting your clothes, embarrassing see-through moments, showing more than you want or worse, your clothing getting caught on equipment. And, your teacher needs to be able to see your body. Before you worry about having to get a leotard I’m not saying it has to be tight fitting. But, some of those fabulous yoga pants, that even as I write this I am comfortably wearing, are simply too baggy for a Pilates workout.

See, in Pilates, your legs are sometimes up, down, split wide, crossed, bent, straight and everywhere in between. If your pants are baggy they will fall down your legs, shorts too tight they will keep you from being able to open your legs or sit cross-legged.

So, what do you where to Pilates? Are shorts better than pants or should you go barefoot or wear socks? Here are some tips for outfitting yourself to enjoy your Pilates practice:

Men: Shorts are fine, but I don’t recommend basketball shorts. They tend to be too baggy and so when legs go up or overhead they show more than you may want to show or that your teacher wants to see. Also, the waistband is often not secure enough and well, we all know what that can mean.

My male clients often wear compression shorts under their workout shorts so that they can move their legs in all directions and also not feel overexposed.

Tanks or T-shirts are all fine. When you put your clothes on can you easily squat? Round forward? Open and close your arms? LIft your arms overhead? These simple moves will let you know if your clothes are going to work out with your or against you.

Ladies: Function before Fashion! I too love to look like I can go from workout to dinner but most of my workout gear is better to teach in than to Snake in! So, my go-to’s for being able to go from workout to work or to drinks are the Takara pant by Carbon38 (ps it pays to be friends so use LESLEYLOGAN50 to save some $$). This shiny-ish pant comes in almost every color you would want and pair it with boots or tennis shoes and you are good to move and to work.

For tops, I really like to make sure that my shirt isn’t too baggy. So, I enjoy these tops here and tie them on the side (not the back it gets in the way) or tuck them in a bit.

For you Feet: I am mostly barefoot but my clients tend to wear socks. Here’s the deal, if you look at old pics of Joseph Pilates studio they are wearing little socks. And, socks are definitely more sanitary. But! They must have the stickies! My favorites are Toesox! I personally love the Bella’s with the cut-offs. But, any sock with a grip on the bottom will due. Your feet are essential in life and in Pilates. They help you connect to the equipment and while we do have sticky pads for those who show up with regular socks you will feel the difference when you go without or with some grip socks!

Lastly, if you really want to make sure your clothing is en pointe than nerd out with me and other Pilates lovers! Yep, Pilates Nerd, a haven for Pilates gear that shows just how much you heart Pilates.

What will you wear to your next Pilates class? Still needing advice or not sure? Tag me in a picture on Instagram or Facebook of you taking a class online with me or at your favorite Pilates space and I’ll help you out!

xx~LL

By lesley.logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers.
Enjoying Lesley's teaching style? Willing to travel? Explore the world while maintaining your practice by joining Lesley on a Pilates retreat.

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SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

GATHER ROUND

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

We gather good things in circles…friends, flowers, pie! So let’s get our circles on! In this week’s Mat and Reformer classes we’ll be focusing on how the size and shape of circular work changes how we feel an exercise. We’ll even be adding some circular movements along the way! You won’t need any extra props and please, have your box for the Reformer class.

See you in class,
Tami

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, box and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

ROW ROW ROW YOUR BOAT

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

This week we will focus on all things Rowing! How do the other exercises help our rowing series and how does rowing influence the others! Finding the arm/back connection throughout the class is how we will Row Row Row Our Boat to the finish line!

Light hand weights needed for the Mat class!

See you in class,
Mindi

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light hand weights and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    STAND BY ME

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    The key to longevity is being able to get down to the ground and up again with as little assistance as possible. In this weeks class we are going to focus on how to stand in your feet no matter where they are in space.

    On the Mat we will have a playful ending that Joseph Pilates would do!

    The Reformer we’ll end challenging ourselves standing on our carriage. (Options to do the exercises off the Reformer too!)

    No props needed.

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    LOOK MA, NO HANDS!

    Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

    We’re going to focus on the muscles that help us get up/down to a chair, toilet, in/out of a car, and to the ground without the use of our hands to help.

    As we age, we can lose strength, flexibility, mobility in these leg and core muscles which results in us using our arms and hands to get up and down.

    Let’s keep these bodies as young as we can by practicing getting up and down with only our legs, our center, and our strong back.

    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac/Tower: Reformer box
    Mat: Theraband
    Chair: No props needed

    See ya in class,

    xx-LL 💋

    HANG 10

    ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

    Grip strength as well as upper body strength plays an important role in so many different exercises throughout the mat and all apparatus. Our grip can influence the connection from our wrists - to our arms - to our back. And building strength in our chest and upper back can help us connect more to our center in every exercise.

    All month long we’ll explore the feeling, the strength, and the position of our hands and upper body to see how our exercises change with a little extra focus. We’ll also play with ways to gain more strength and awareness in our chest and upper back to create even more connections to the exercises.

    Props:
    Chair - short pole* and a foam roller for balance
    *A thicker pole or roll down bar size might feel nice, but no worries you’ll find your connections no matter what you have on hand!
    Mat: a pole
    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac: No props needed

    See ya in class,
    xx-LL 💋

    I LOVE ROCK & ROLL UP

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Finding some love for Roll Up and Open Leg Rocker isn't easy! But, these two exercises unlock the potential for so many other exercises. And what we don't like we often need. So, let's dive into what we need to rock our Roll Ups and Open leg Rockers and see how that changes the rest of our practice in the meantime.

    Mat: Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband
    Reformer: have your shortbox pole near by

    xx~LL

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, short box and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.