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Plus Size/Inclusive Sizing Activewear Guide

Activewear has become hugely popular as it offers a stylish yet functional option no matter what your lifestyle is. 

With more size-inclusive activewear now available, we are taking a closer look at what that means, and how the designs are changing the game for those looking at plus-size activewear

In this guide, we will cover what makes plus-size activewear different, what to look for, and how to get the right fit. 


Table of contents 

What is activewear?

How is plus size activewear different?

How to find the perfect plus sized activewear

Shop plus size activewear at Rebel Sport

What is activewear?

Activewear is a type of clothing designed to be worn for a wide range of physical exercises. Unlike traditional sportswear which is made primarily for performance, activewear can easily be worn for both the gym or a stroll along the beach.

Typically made with comfortable stretchy fabric and designs that allow for free movement, the benefit of activewear is the comfort and style this type of clothing provides, which means you can wear it casually in everyday life. 

Whether you are working out, grabbing coffee, or hanging out with friends, activewear is now a go-to option for many people. 

How is plus size activewear different?

Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all designs, plus-size activewear is designed to cater to the needs of plus-sized individuals so that the wearer can feel comfortable and supported in the clothing. 

Design features often include wider waistbands to reduce skin pinching, strategic seaming for support, and thoughtful placement of compression panels.

As well as tailored designs, the fabric used to make plus-size activewear is carefully chosen to ensure the clothing offers performance and style. 

Opaque fabric is used to increase coverage when working out, along with blended materials that provide both stretch and support for comfort. 

Lightweight fabrics enhance breathability and make the clothing suitable for all-day wear.

How to find the perfect plus sized activewear

Though you may find plus-size workout clothes in the right tag size, not all designs are made equal. 

Activewear designs that have simply been made wider and longer won’t necessarily fit a plus-size body shape, so it’s important to choose activewear from a brand that has done its research. 

Whether you are looking to purchase online or are heading into a store to try some pieces on, we have some helpful advice on where to start and what to look for. 

How to find the perfect plus size tights

A poorly fitting pair of tights can make or break your workout, and they should certainly be more comfortable than a pair of jeans when worn casually. 

Whether you are doing lunges at the gym, or chasing the dog, the right pair of plus-size gym leggings can become your favourite pair of pants. 

Here is how to find the perfect pair of tights. 

Choose the right fabric and compression

When looking at tights, check the label to see what they are made from. Plus-size sportswear is often made with blended fabrics so you get the benefit from each type of material. 

Spandex is commonly used in womens tights and offers elasticity and strength. Other stretchy materials include lycra and nylon, which also help with compression

Materials that are often blended with the above varieties include polyester which is lightweight, dries quickly and retains its shape over time. You may also see cotton or bamboo used as well. 

Good quality fabrics will move with your body no matter what you are doing, and will also wash and wear well to last longer. 

Great options include Nike tights which are opaque, or Adidas tights that absorb moisture.

Look for waistband support

Not only is a wider waistband flattering for a plus-size shape, but it also prevents the tights from digging into the waist or hip area like a narrow band would.

A wide waistband can support your body while you workout by keeping you secure and comfortable. 

Think about length and style 

Plus size tights come in a range of styles, from running shorts to capris through to ⅞ length or full-length. 

Choosing a length comes down to personal preference, but it’s useful to consider what you will be using the tights for whether that be working out in the gym or wearing day-to-day. 

It’s a good idea to consider how warm you get when you are working out and whether you workout indoors or outdoors. 

Choosing plus-size clothing is certainly easier now with plenty of colours and patterns available to suit your personal style. 

How to find the perfect plus size sports bra

Along with activewear tights, a good sports bra is equally important to help you feel your best and keep you sufficiently cool when working out. 

Choosing the right sports bra size means you can do what you need to without any cutting in, your straps falling down or having concerns with support. 

Think about your workout

It’s a good idea to choose a sports bra that offers the appropriate support and comfort for your chosen activities. 

Something like running would require a high-impact sports bra, whereas a yoga class may only call for a low-impact sports bra.

A full-coverage sports bra can help to keep you supported better than low-cut versions. 

Make sure you get the right size for you

When choosing the right sports bra size you want to consider cup size and band size so you aren’t restricted when working out. 

Bralette-style sports bras typically come in letter sizing (e.g. L, XL) whereas traditional Bra style options offer more precise sizing (e.g. 18E). 

The underwire of a bra should support but not cut into the skin, the band should sit firm but not tight, and the cup should not gape or squash your chest. 

Handy tip! Getting a bra fitting is the best way to be sure of your size, but if you haven’t had one recently, take your bust and waist measurements then use the size guide tool online to find the best bra size match. 

Look at different strap options

Another key part of a plus-size sports bra is the straps. Adjustable straps offer you flexible support so you can tighten or loosen for comfort. Straps should lay firm on the shoulders, and should not dig in. 

Plus-size sports bras often have wider straps at the shoulder, and more coverage at the back to enhance support. 

Sports bras with a closure clasp offer even more flexibility depending on how firm you prefer the band to sit. 

Check out the Berlei sports bra range which offers wide bands, reinforced straps and binding for support. 

How to find the perfect plus size workout top

Whether you prefer a loose tee or a form-fitting singlet, the fit of a plus-size workout top is another important element. 

Choose the right style

Plus-size workout tops come in many different styles from singlets to t-shirts or long-sleeve tops, so it’s important to pick a style that works with your lifestyle. 

If you are heading to something like a pilates class, you may find it easier to choose a close-fitting top that doesn’t restrict your arms or drag on the floor, whereas a walk outside in a cool breeze might call for a long-sleeved top. 

It’s also worth considering the type of tights you will be wearing, for example if you have high-waisted pants, you may want to pair that with a cropped top to minimise layers if you get warm easily. 

Activewear sets are a great option if you aren’t sure what to pair together or just don’t know what to wear to the gym

Choose the right fabric

The best fabric for a plus-size workout top is much the same as workout tights, with breathability and stretch being top priorities. A restrictive workout top can stop you from being able to move freely or cool down when you get warm. 

Moisture-wicking material can help to keep your skin dry and reduce the chances of skin irritation. A great option is a sweatproof top from Hine Collection

Shop plus size activewear at Rebel Sport

Whether you are wearing plus size gym gear for working out or just everyday life, we stock plus-size activewear made for plus-size bodies. Check out great brands like HINE activewear at Rebel Sport. Shop with us in-store or online.