Is there a particular dress code for Pilates clothes? Is there a Pilates uniform? What exactly is acceptable to wear when one is doing their Pilates workout? As the owner of a Pilates studio I get a lot of different questions every day and one of the most frequent questions from new clients is ?What do I wear??
The answer I give is very simple. Wear something you are comfortable moving and stretching in. Pilates clothes are similar to Yoga clothes, though I have a number of clients who also wear regular workout clothes.
I think the most important things to remember when getting garbed up for your session are:
Keep it comfortable
Keep it relatively body revealing
Keep your modesty intact
Pilates clothes should not be cut down to your navel. (I have seen this) No sheer stockings with underwear and a blouse. (This too?) And please wear underwear when wearing shorts. (Unfortunately seen this too. Shocking.)
Let?s be sensible. There are quite a few Pilates exercises where you are required to raise your legs, split your legs, and throw your legs over your head. Modesty people, please. I need to see your body, but not that part of your body.
Now, if you have ever seen a photograph of Joe Pilates you will think I am being prudish. I am reminded of two photos. One, he is outside in the dead of winter. Snow is on the ground and here he is, standing in the shortest pair of shorts I have ever seen on a man and nothing else. No shirt. No coat. He is by the way, over 70 years old in this photo and he looks great. If I had his body (and his confidence) I would flaunt it too. The other photo is of him in his studio, wearing his short shorts and tightly fitting turtleneck. Nothing else. His client is wearing a leotard and tights. She must have been a dancer.
You are not expected to dress like this! There are many wonderful websites that offer clothes for Pilates that are specifically labeled as such. Many are expensive. I?ll tell you the truth. Target stores have a wonderful fitness clothes section, all reasonably priced and just perfect to use as Pilates clothes.
One trend I have noticed is a call for organic or eco friendly clothing. I actually saw workout clothes made from cotton and soybean oil. I want to wear my clothes, not eat them. And I recently purchased a pair of yoga pants made from bamboo. They were $70.00 and they shrunk after the first washing. Bummer. But there are sites that will donate some profits to worthy environmentally conscious aid organizations. That is a pretty cool bonus.
As for our male clients, there are some Pilates clothes made especially for you, but I am hard pressed to see what is so special about them. A form fitting tee shirt and a pair of slim workout pants will be fine. And leave the athletic cup at home please. Boxer shorts too. You need a bit of support to keep parts in place, but Pilates is not a contact sport.
Whatever you choose to be your Pilates clothing, don?t sweat it! Be comfortable and reasonable. Your instructors need to see what your body is doing, and that is what really matters most.
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