Plus size workout clothes that are plus cool

March 17 | diezyn
I was hoping for more… dragon wings/flaming skulls/ruffles/epaulettes in my workout…
I was hoping for more… dragon wings/flaming skulls/ruffles/epaulettes in my workout. Photo from Amazon.
I'd love some help finding plus size exercise clothes that aren't the same old Boring Black Basics.

I go to the gym and I'm in a roller derby league, and I'd prefer to have something a bit more fun to wear! My shoes and skates are colourful, my headband has a funky pattern, and my yoga mat is adorable… but the only clothing options I've found in my size seem to be really bland. Thanks!

-Kathleen

When it comes to workout wear, I'm the type to wear a Team Building Exercise '99 shirt. As long as it fits and doesn't make me drown in sweat or anything, I'm fine with old tees and basketball shorts. But what if you want to look a little more glam while you're pumping iron? Or maybe you want some cooler options for roller derby? And what if you need them in plus sizes? Let's see what we can find.

Thrift stores

If you're like me and you don't mind working out in old tees, but you want them to look more awesome, consider heading over to your local thrift shop. Band tees, pop-culture references, and movie merchandise can make for more fun exercise wear. You can even cut them up and DIY some neat sleeveless or cropped pieces to wear over compression tanks without worrying about the cost.

Custom uniforms

If you're looking for clothing for roller derby, consider seeing if your team wants to put a custom order in for uniforms. Roller derby retailers are usually pretty great about accommodating all sizes, and they can have some bad-ass options to choose from. Glitter shorts for all!

Tausha tipped us off to DerbySkinz. They have a sweet collection of eye-popping plus sized tights.

Plus size sections of online stores

Oftentimes, retailers will have a better selection of plus size clothing in their online stores. This seems especially true for plus size fitness wear.

Amazon

Old faithful. Amazon has a whole section of plus size workout gear. Here are some choice cuts:

Available up to size 50G, this sports bra promises "no bounce." The black and pink looks pretty darn cute, too.
These bike shorts come in nine colours and are available up to size 40W!
These bike shorts come in nine colours and are available up to size 40W!
There's a whole bunch of neat leggings available up to size 22. They're a viscose-elastene blend, though, and I'm not sure how hot they'd be to work out in for long periods of time. But skull and crossbone leggings are enough to get me to try!
There's a whole bunch of neat leggings available up to size 22. They're a viscose-elastene blend, though, and I'm not sure how hot they'd be to work out in for long periods of time. But skull and crossbone leggings are enough to get me to try!

Zumba Fitness

Zumba Fitness has tops and bottoms in interesting styles and colours up to size XXL. Any of their pieces could totally do double duty for all of your other fitness routines.

This zumba top could totally do double duty for any of your other fitness routines.
Available in green or pink, this zumba top is flowy and fitted in all the right places.
These leggings come in blue, purple, or black.  Their nylon/spandex blend will keep you comfy.
These leggings come in blue, purple, or black. Their nylon/spandex blend will keep you comfy.

Sock Dreams

Offbeat Sponsor Sock Dreams has some kick-ass derby-specific socks. They also have an entire plus-sized sock section!

How about it, Homies? What are your go-to places for plus size workout gear?

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  1. jc penney, believe it or not! I was shocked (last year when I started actively looking for "real" workout clothes) to see hot pink and orange cheetah, neon green and black zebra & geometric patterns on plus size workout clothes.

    3 agree
  2. Check out Penningtons. It is a plus size Canadian company but I believe they ship to the US and they have a whole activewear section.

  3. Cult of California also has some really different work out clothes from size 8 – 30. They have a lot in the sale section right now too.

    1 agrees
  4. This was a nice idea, but those models are hardly plus-size, they look pretty toned and athletic to me…and everything is so skin tight! Anyone have any ideas that don't involve me looking like a sasuage half in it's casing?

    6 agree
    • This is true. It's incredibly difficult to find plus size workout clothes modelled by people over a certain size. I tried really hard to include pieces that are up to size 22, 40, 50G, and I noted those. If you click through you'll see that though the models aren't representative of the sizing (as is the case on most sites), the sizes do go up past size 16.

      That's also why I included the website where you can get basketball shorts and other baggy items (which is what I work out in) and also why I included the section on thrift shopping.

      That said, if anyone has any other links, just like the three other comments, this is the place to share them!

      2 agree
  5. Sock dreams is the bomb. I love that they usually give you how big around socks will stretch. Also a derby girl here and I gots me some big calves so those measurements are a LIFE SAVER. P.S. the "Bad ass" socks in their derby section were featured on one of our bout posters by accident! Also their plus size tights collection is pretty nice.

    PS The skully tights you posted above are totally in my amazon cart now! WOOT!

    2 agree
      • For the derbs (and looking cool at work under a dress on practice days).

        While a lot of tights like that breathe exactly zero and are a bit on the warm side, tights/leggings are essential to not having nasty rink rash all the time. For us larger bottomed ladies the options are a bit limited, and I just ripped the crotch out of my stretched-to-the-limit C3PO/R2D2 tights, so I was in the market.

        Oh another vendor to look at is Danskin, they have stuff up to 3 or 4X. I'm not finding a ton on their web site but have found some cute bottoms at WalMart in their brand. I'm a pear so I am really only familiar with plus size bottoms.

  6. Hey, any tips for more technical gear for outdoor sports (hiking, outdoor running, biking, winter sports, etc)? I used to see some plus size Pearl Izumi gear on Amazon and REI, but haven't had much luck lately.

    1 agrees
    • I'm putting out my tentacles on social media to see! I know that in the past I've been really let down by mainstream stores when I've looked for snow pants. Maybe I haven't been looking in the right places, though… Or maybe this is the job for another post entirely…

    • I have the bugaboo ski pants from columbia. They come in "extended sizes" which is like a 3x/24.

    • Cabela's http://www.cabelas.com actually has decent plus sized options, there gear is more geared towards hunting than just about anything else, but hunting is sort of like hiking with a gun, kind of.

      1 agrees
    • I buy most of my outdoor gear from Eddie Bauer because they come in sizes large enough to fit over my hips without being almost a foot too long in length for hiking clothes, base layers, and jeans. I get really excited when I'm in a city with one of their stores because they stock extended sized clothing to actually try on! Columbia works great if you have slimmer legs (their pants are usually too tight around the thigh/calf for me but their upf skirts are great) and their long-sleeved shirts are comfy. Both Columbia and REI coats fit surprisingly well with room for my arms to move as needed in the sleeves. REI butt pads for women are wider at the hips, as are Big Agnes sleeping bags. Koppen makes really warm pants for snowboarding/skiing that aren't too long.

      3 agree
    • I bought a MEC sleeping bag that was sized "wide" and it's actually comfortable enough to roll around in and not feel suffocated, I also bought my kayak with a wide cockpit opening. The gear is out there, it's just hard to find! My next mission is a climbing harness that can handle these thighs!

      1 agrees
  7. I recently started to sew my own workout clothes! The trick is to get the right fabric: wicking, stretchy and ideally cute. I noticed a small selection at my local Joann's, and the Fehr Trade blog has a good list of online resources: http://www.fehrtrade.com/article/748/where-to-buy-exercise-fabric-a-global-list

    Fehr Trade also has nice exercise patterns (sizes up to XL), as does Jalie (sizes up to 22). But I'm sure you could take any basic t-shirt pattern that fits and use wicking fabric to make it suitable for sweating.

    2 agree
    • This link is super awesome, thanks for sharing it! I have been trying to sew some of my own costumes for circus and it's been tough finding fun fabrics that can also take a beating.

      Of course now I can't believe I forgot about Spandex World. I used to walk by there on the way to work and it cracked me up every time.

  8. honestly Carrie, I'm likely to be found in an oversized tshirt from a decade ago. I'm also a fan of the black uniform because, y'know, slimming *eyeroll*. I've had good luck with Old Navy, but honestly my favourite pair of running pants were from the men's section at MEC. With Target now in Canada, my best sports bras have come from there, though I have friends who swear by the lululemon bras (though I think they're only good for the large-chested, slim types). My new favourite running shirt is from the Oatmeal with a picture of the Blerch on it haha and they have lots of sizes… if you're in to that webcomic thing 😉
    OH! Mark's has a good selection of stuff that goes up to at least XXL
    but for the most part, I can be found in men's gear… not always great for fitting the chest or hip areas, but at least those companies seem to think it's OK for men to have larger sizes, so it's where I've had the most success

    • Men's sections have always served me well, too! Your The Oatmeal shirt sounds fantastic and would totally motivate me to get to my workout 😀

      1 agrees
  9. Check out Derby Skinz for AWESOME plus size derby wear! http://www.derbyskinz.com/

    Now what I personally want, as a plus size pole dancer, are plus size booty shorts that aren't super low cut, have a crotch panel wide enough to cover my lady bits even when I'm in center splits, aren't see through, and don't have a camel-toe-forming seam up the center. Anyone?

    2 agree
  10. http://www.activewearusa.com has seriously AWESOME workout clothes. I got some of the margarita pants when I was 40 lbs heavier and they were snug, but not uncomfortable…great support and they look awesome. I still have the same pair 3+ years later, not pilled or worn out and they still fit, just not as snug. Totally worth the money.

    1 agrees
  11. Great post! Might you consider doing a similar post on plus size pajamas? (In that case it would more be looking for any options that seemed practical and comfortable. It seems to be really difficult these days!)

    2 agree
  12. Maurices.com just added a plus active section in the past week or so, and it will be growing! Lane Bryant used to carry Reebok online, and although they do not anymore, I love all my Reebok plus workout clothes, and its NEON! I would guess Reebok still makes plus even if LB isn't carrying it. I also like MovingComfort.com, although these colors are not so crazy.

  13. Junonia.com has a really nice selection of their own brand large size workout clothes.

  14. Redbubble has some really cute shirts – even some that are derby themed – and most (if not all) of the styles come in larger sizes. I really dig the fandom shirts!

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