Hit the gym: Stylish fitness gear for bodies of all shapes and sizes

Some fashion-forward pieces to wear for both night-time glamour and day-time yoga

Back row: Karen (L) wears dark-grey Alala top €85 from Skulpt in Powerscourt Centre; black and grey leggings €7 Primark. Bairbre (R) wears a light-grey top by Vimmia €95 from Skulpt; black and white leggings from Primark €7. Jane, in front is in Lole burgundy top €45 from Skulpt; Nike black leggings €45 from Lifestyle Sports

There’s no better month for workout motivation than January and this is traditionally when gym traffic increases.

Jane Shortall is a Dublin-based dance instructor, who developed a series of fitness “Confidance” classes. Dance, she says, burns fat, tones muscles and improves the cardiovascular system. Such movement, she continues, also increases brain function, concentration and releases endorphins – hormones which make us feel more alert.

Silk floral top and bottoms €56 each from J D Sports

If you are a member of a gym or were given a gift membership for Christmas, your first question might be about your workout wardrobe. Not all of us want to wear tight, figure-hugging synthetics, and not all of us are whisper slim, despite the brand images of aspirational shapes that are foisted on us. Hitting the gym in stylish clothes should be possible for all body shapes. Larger women may prefer dark colours when working out, says Shortall.

“I love to wear a second layer over tight leggings going to and from classes” says Shortall. Black velvet leggings by Adidas €45; green Armour tank top €30. Both from JD Sports.

Modern activewear is really shaping up in this regard, with technologically advanced seamless tops; raised waistbands which make legs look longer; the use of luxury fabrics such as velvets alongside lycra and mesh; and the borrowing of patterns and prints from high-fashion ready-to-wear pieces.

Red bodysuit by Sandro €96 from Brown Thomas. “I love this suit which can also be worn with sweatpants or jeans on a night out,” says Shortall

Bodysuits are often bought as much for night-time glamour as for day-time yoga, and leggings now supplant jeans as everyday wear with big sweaters.

Floral crop hoodie with matching bottoms by Silksilk 56 each at JD Sports in XS,S,M, L, and XL

Shorthall shows how a gym kit thrown on first thing in the morning can be both stylish and practical before you hit the barbells or follow her choreographed routines to the best of uplifting tunes, whether Sister Sledge or Beyoncé.

One of the best support bras for larger-breasted women: the Shock Absorber from Brown Thomas €51.
Sports bra €6.99 Aldi
Seamless fitness top €6.99 Aldi
Seamless capri pants €9.99 Aldi

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