What To Wear To Pilates Reformer Class?

by Shafi Khan

There is nothing more frustrating than having your clothes be too loose or too tight for the Pilates reformer class you are attending. You want to wear something that will allow you to move and stretch without feeling constricted. This can be a bit of a challenge, especially if this is one of the first times taking Pilates classes.

If you have never tried Pilates before, it's important to know what type of clothing is acceptable for this exercise routine. Here are some tips about what to wear so that you don't have any wardrobe malfunctions during your next workout.

What To Wear To Pilates Reformer Class?

Though there are no strict rules about workout attire, there are a few tips and tricks we suggest following in order to make sure that your first experience at a reformer studio goes as smooth as possible.

1. Color combinations and fitting

There are many different color combinations of Pilates wear that you should avoid. First, it's important to note that white or very brightly colored clothing is not recommended for any type of Pilates class.

You should try to choose color combinations that look good together and at the same time, do not force you to take away from your experience at the reformer class.

Another combination to avoid is wearing very loose-fitting clothes and hoping to fix them during class. Chances are, you won't be able to reach the drawstring or zipper on your pants and you'll be forced to do a handstand just so that someone can assist you.

Also, don't wear too tight clothing. Pilates isn't about looking sexy; it's an exercise routine.

2. Type of attire

For women:

The ideal Pilates classes clothing combination for women is breathable, stretch leggings with a fitted comfortable crop top or singlet.

As for bras, it is best to avoid fashion bras that are not supportive enough. Low-impact sports bras or yoga bras are better options as they offer more support. Similarly, tights should be high-waisted, form-fitted, and super comfortable.

Also, avoid wearing singlets that have a knot in the back, or tights with back zip as you'll need to lie down and work out on your back and those will make it uncomfortable.

For men:

For men, comfortable fitted active shorts and a tank top or slim-fit t-shirt are the best combinations.

Avoid wearing overly baggy clothes such as shorts that drag along the floor or loose tank tops as they will make it difficult to do certain exercises.

Since you'll be sweating up quite soon, layering can be avoided - applicable for both men and women.

3. Accessories

Now that you're ready with an appropriate outfit for Pilates class, it's time to finish up the look with additional accessories that are functional and won't interfere with your comfort level.

Fitness tracker: It is a good idea to wear a fitness tracker that counts the steps and calories burned during your workout. Not only will it keep you motivated, but also show you your progress between Pilates classes and track how many days in a row you've gone to class.

Headbands: Wearing a headband is crucial as hair and sweat getting into your eyes and on your face can be really annoying.

Anti-slip socks: If you do not already own a pair of anti-slip socks, we highly recommend buying them as they will make it easier for you to stabilize yourself and avoid injury.

Water bottle: Drinking plenty of water, especially since you'll be sweating is essential as you don't want to feel dizzy and pass out. Make sure that your bottle is within reach as it will help you stay motivated and hydrated.

Fitness gloves: These are really helpful in protecting your palms on the reformer. We recommend buying them especially if you have sensitive skin.

What Not To Bring To A Pilates Reformer Class

In addition to knowing what to wear to Pilates reformer, it's important to know what isn't necessary to carry.

Shoes: Since Pilates is mostly a barefoot or socks-only activity, you don't need to wear shoes during class. However, remember to wear shoes on the way to class.

Hair ties: Leave them in the locker room, you won't need them either because Pilates focuses on body movements, not hairstyles.

Makeup: I know you'll be tempted but it is recommended that you leave your makeup bag at home as well – especially if it contains heavy foundations, powders, and creams.

Belts, zips, and buckles: It is highly advisable to avoid belts, zips, and buckles as you will need to lie down on your back and perform certain exercises. Also, these things can damage Pilates equipment.

Will Yoga Clothes Work for Pilates?

If you're a yoga enthusiast who wants to try Pilates but is hesitant about spending money on a new wardrobe, rest assured that most of your clothes will work with this exercise.

In Pilates reformer, it's important that for the instructor to see where small adjustments can be made. So, it's worth getting form-fitted fabric if you don't already have one.


Pilates is a great way to stay healthy and fit. It combines the elements of yoga, dance, gymnastics with traditional strength training for more functional movement patterns.

To perform Pilates correctly without injuring yourself, you need to wear comfortable clothes that look appropriate and have a proper fitting. If in doubt, make sure to call your instructor beforehand and discuss the outfit ideas.

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