How To Give Your Activewear a Workout

By: Liz Mayers

Gilda Radner said, “I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn’t itch.” Funny lady!  For me, when it comes to activewear it also shouldn’t itch but is shouldn’t ride up, bind pull, scratch, chafe, rub, pinch, make noise, and it should be proportioned for my long torso!  I guess I expect a lot.

When shopping for activewear, put your tops and bottom through this workout and find out whether they’ll work for you.


Reach For Your Toes and Up To the Sky

Now, where has the bottom hem landed?  Where it started?  Or is it hiking up and you’re showing skin? Are you ok with what’s showing? If not, will you mind pulling it down all the time? That’s a personal pet peeve of mine. If you have a long torso finding tops long enough can be a challenge. There’s no easy solution when there’s not enough fabric.

So think about when you’re going to wear this top.  It may be perfect for walking, hiking, and running but not for biking, volleyball, or yoga.

Aside from coverage, let’s get back to the itching.  Does anything itch, scratch, or chafe?  If you’re not sure, reach and stretch again.  If something is pestering you, remember where you feel it, you’ll need to know for later.

Give Yourself a Big Hug 

Wrap your arms right around you. Is it tight, loose or just the way you need it across your back? Do you need to swing a racket or golf club, lift weights or move through a yoga practice? Mimic some of those moves too.  Are the arm holes comfortable or do they bind? 

Jump Up and Down 3 or 4 Times…

..if your top has a built in bra.  Are you happy with the support? It may seem obvious to do this, but I have tops sitting in a drawer because there’s not enough support to wear them on the treadmill.  And think about whether you’d be comfortable stopping at the grocery store on the way home or would you need a cover up.



In long pants, especially bootcut or wide legs, take a few normal strides. Pay attention to the hems. You should be able to walk smoothly.  The fabric from each leg shouldn’t catch the other or get caught under your heels.  When you’re tall, getting pants long enough is a challenge, so check the listing of tall workout pant retailers at Tall Clothing Mall.

 March in Place

Lifting your legs a few times will tell you a lot about how the fabric is going to move on your legs, your knees, and your behind.  What do you think?

Tops & Bottoms


 You know this move.  With your back to a mirror twist and check out the view of your derriere. You’ll know immediately whether you like what you see.  If you’re not comfortable now you’ll be repeating this move at home and well it’s a good bet you won’t wear these pants.

Try on lots of pants because there are many styling options that can change the whole look from wide waistbands, seams, and bands of color.

If you’re trying out a top, as you twist notice how it feels across your midsection.

Cool Down

Just breathe and stand for a bit and then sit for a bit.  How did the workout go?  Are these the pants or top for you?  If they are, there’s one last move you should do.


That’s right! Turn that garment inside out.  Did anything rub earlier?  If so look at those spots and all the seams and see whether you can find the spot.  Maybe

Did any tags rub?  Can you cut them out easily?

Now, read the washing instructions.  Some activewear fabrics require special attention.  You want to know now what you have to do to take care of your clothes.

Put all your activewear through this routine, and enjoy a comfortable workout!

Liz Mayers is 5’10” and last year launched elle mayers, an activewear line for tall women.  Please visit to see the new “Kick It Up Skirt” and the new 38″ inseam workout pants. Liz enjoys hearing from tall women about their activewear needs so please drop her a line at .

elle mayers women's tall activewear


Speak Your Mind