This is what you need to be wearing to Pilates

Not sure what to wear to your mat or Reformer Pilates class? We asked the experts – and the answer was unequivocal. 

You might think that a Pilates class is somewhere you can wear any old activewear – but don’t let the low-impact vibe of this year’s workout du jour fool you. The precision of movement that Pilates requires, coupled with the limb-lengthening movements means you need clothes with lots of stretch, but also that let’s see what you’re doing!

Someone knows this all to well is Kirsten King, the founder and head instructor at Sydney-based Fluidform Pilates and Fluidform at Home. She backed our theory up, saying “It is important to be able to see muscles activating while practising Pilates so form-hugging is best. Leggings and a tank or fitted tee work well.”

And her personal workout uniform? “My Pilates wardrobe is functional and polished and consists of a lot of lululemon and P.E Nation.”

So that’s a firm N-O to oversized tees, jogging shorts, and anything that isn’t at least 95% Lyrca.

To help get your Pilates gear in the game, we’ve found the best tights and tanks that will have you looking like a studio pro – even if it’s your first class.

Here’s our edit of the most functional, and fashionable, co-ordinating sets around.

What: Print It Up crop and legging set ($178 at Nimble)

Why: Sydney-based Nimble is known for their extra comfy leggings and high-cut styles that never dig in. This pretty print makes a nice change from the sporty motifs you often see in the studio.

What: More Body Crop ($79, at More Body) and More Body leggings ($129, at More Body)

Why: Created by qualified instructor and ex-corporate executive Melinda O’Rourke, More Body is specifically made for the Pilates studio. The label uses recycled and eco-fabrics, and every piece is designed to flatter the female form.

What: Double block tank ($99, at P.E Nation) and Alpine leggings ($149 at P.E Nation)

Why: Co-founder Pip Edwards is a keen Pilates-goer herself, so we know she would have put this set through the wringer. The side-stripe detailing helps to visually lengthen legs, and the tank can we worn tied at the back when you need to see that core engage, or undone if you prefer more coverage post-workout.

What: Vaara Crop ($125 at Mode Sportif) and Vaara leggings ($161 at Mode Sportif)

Why: Pilates is the perfect workout for more sophisticated sportswear, and this Vaara set balances understated styling with functional features like quick-dry fabric and a higher cut neckline to keep you covered, even when doing inversions.

What: Free To Be crop ($69 at lululemon) and Train Times short ($69 at lululemon)

Why: Lululemon invests heavily in their technology – meaning the fabrics they use are top-rate for allowing movement, keeping you cool and making you look good. A bike short is a great option for Pilates during the warmer months.

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