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As a fitness enthusiast, regardless of your sport or performance level, you’ve probably put some time into thinking about what you wear to get your game on.

Considering Americans spend $40-50 billion a year on workout gear, gym memberships and other fitness related products, it’s not a surprise that fashion comes into question. We all want to look great in our Instagram photos; am I right #fitfam?

But, is your fitness fashion functional? Does it improve your performance or does it hold you back? In case you’re unsure, consider the following ideas to improve your style in all the right ways. 

Don’t Discount Shop

fashion fitness functionality

Sure, I’m a fan of sales and clearance racks, who isn’t? But, if that’s the only way you shop, your gear might hold you back.

Sometimes brands cost more because of the logo, that’s not a secret. But, sometimes certain brands cost more because they’re designed to hold up to your toughest workouts and to improve your performance. A low price doesn’t mean a lower quality all the time, but sometimes it does. Do some research and check reviews before any splurges.

Ask if it’s Meant to Last

Certain products simply can’t be built to last – running shoes, for example, are only designed to last 300-500 miles before they need to be replaced. But, other products can last longer when proper designs and materials are implemented.

Wonder if your gear is meant to last? Check out the brand. Do they offer a lifetime or lengthy warranty or guarantee? Will the brand remedy the situation if you’re displeased with your purchase? What promises do they make regarding their products?

Fitness fashion can be functional. It can improve performance! If you’re willing to spend the extra money on making sure you’re ready to perform, do your research and be ready for some trial and error throughout the process. Good luck fitness fashion hunting! 

Make Sure Your Electronics Work with You

fashion earbuds fitness

Fitness trackers, music players and other electronics can enhance performance. They can elevate your mood, track your progress and provide tips for improvement.

However, they can also hold you back. If bulky headsets (they might look great in photos) seem like a better investment than sport earbuds that are wireless and designed to move with you, you might be missing the bigger picture. If wires and giant screens are bouncing around during a workout, your focus might be pulled in the wrong direction.

The remedy? Check out wireless sport earbuds, lightweight GPS and fitness monitors and other wearables that allow your electronics to work with you. 

Fitted by a Pro

style in fitness fashion

It might be tempting to focus solely on style, especially on products like running shoes. But, sometimes function has to take the top priority.

When running shoes are a poor fit, they can hurt you. Injuries like shin splints, stress fractures and even knee and/or back trouble can result. So, what’s the right shoe? That’s where a professional opinion is needed. Each athlete has different feet and a different form – flat feet, high arches, neutral arches, a tendency to over pronate or over supinate; the list goes on.

Unsure of your fit? Head to your local running store for a fitting. An experienced employee should be able to watch you run and provide an opinion. Ask about return options before making the purchase. Once you find your fit, then the focus on style can begin.

Don’t Worry About Trends (Too Much)

Trends change; this has been the way of the fashion world for centuries. The fitness fashion world is no different. From yoga capris to jogging pants and every trend in between, you’ll see a little bit of everything.

Your best bet is to do what is tried and true to you. For many athletes, fitted clothing that is breathable and designed for the season is most popular. Baggy clothes or wearables that rub in the wrong places can lead to a less-than-ideal performance, not to mention, discomfort. Find style options that fit your functionality needs.

Functional fitness fashion doesn’t have to be a mystery. However, because of the cost, it should come into consideration. Take the time to consider your fitness goals – what are you hoping to achieve? What will help you reach your goals?

Take the time to research your options, to read online reviews and to think about your own comfort level. After that? By all means, snap, Insta and tweet away! Have fun, be fashionable, and most of all, focus on function!

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