What Should I Wear To My Pilates Class? (Don’t Panic We Have Got Your Back)

What Should I Wear To My Pilates Class? (Don’t Panic We Have Got Your Back)

When you’re going to your first Pilates class there are a lot of things that might be weighing on your mind.

From wondering if the class will be too difficult to whether you will like your instructor, there is a lot of uncertainty about starting a new exercise regime.

However, one thing that you shouldn’t spend time worrying about is what to wear.

In this article, we will discuss what you should wear to your Pilates class. We will look at the best types of clothes for both men and women and why these are the right choices.

What Type Of Clothing Should Be Worn In Pilates Class?

Before we get into specific items of clothing, there are some general pointers that everyone, regardless of gender, age, and ability should  keep in mind.


Any clothes that you wear in Pilates class should be comfortable. Don’t wear anything that has a scratchy material that is going to irritate you or become uncomfortable.

You should be able to go through your Pilates class without thinking about your clothes or needing to rearrange and touch them.

You want all of your concentration to be on your movements and not on your clothes.


Many Pilates positions will need you to open up your body and stretch your limbs.

This means that your clothes need to be flexible enough to move with you as you get into these positions instead of being too tight and holding you back.

Look for materials that are stretchy instead of those that are fitted and tight.


As well as having to stretch out your body, there are several Pilates positions that will require you to put your legs or back in the air.

When you choose your Pilates clothes, consider the effect that gravity is going to have on them as you move.

A baggy t-shirt is comfortable and won’t stop you from stretching out your arms, but it can also fall down and reveal your stomach and chest if certain Pilates positions.


To get the most out of your Pilates class, you will need to be holding the positions correctly and with the right posture.

Your instructor will check throughout the class and suggest corrections to your posture as and when they’re needed.

For your instructor to clearly see your form, they will need to be able to see the line of your body and where your limbs are.

This is another reason why it’s best to avoid baggy clothing.

Your instructor will not be able to access your symmetry or body alignment if they can’t see it so opt for clothing that is more form fitting.

To sum it up, the best Pilates clothing is comfortable, lightweight, breathable, form-fitting, and stretchy. Let’s now look at Pilates clothing in more detail.

What Should Women Wear In Pilates Class?

What Should I Wear To My Pilates Class (Don’t Panic We Have Got Your Back)

We’ll begin by looking at the best items of clothing for women to wear to Pilates class.


You can wear either sweatpants or leggings to Pilates class, but if you do opt for sweatpants just remember that they shouldn’t be too baggy.

Your instructor should still be able to clearly see your body alignment.

You should also avoid any sweatpants that have thick waistbands as these can dig into you or any with zippers, either at the waist or as pockets.

Leggings are always a good choice for Pilates class.

However, you will be placing your body into some interesting positions so make sure that your leggings are thick enough that they aren’t see-through.

For example, thin white leggings with colored underwear is not a good look! You can choose leggings in any color you wish, just ensure they are of a decent thickness.

Sports Bras

Although Pilates isn’t as physically demanding as some other types of exercise such as running, it is still recommended that you wear a sports bra.

A sports bra will support your breasts throughout the class and will prevent them from moving around as you work through the different positions.

Sports bras can also help to prevent the tissue damage, scarring, and stretching of ligaments that can occur when you exercise.

There are many different sports bras available and you will need the right one for your body type.


There are a wide variety of tops that you can wear to Pilates class, but they should all be form-fitting and flexible.

You can wear a t-shirt to class and even start the class with a sweatshirt on top until you get warmed up enough to take it off.

We would recommend avoiding any t-shirts that are low-cut and suggest a simple round-necked t-shirt.

If you prefer, you can also wear tank tops or crop tops.

What Should Men Wear In Pilates Class?

What Should I Wear To My Pilates Class? (Don’t Panic We Have Got Your Back)

Now let’s look at the best clothing for men to wear in Pilates class.


Most of the guidance for women’s pants also applies to men. If you choose to wear sweatpants, avoid baggy sweatpants that have thick waistbands and zipper fastenings.

Although most men prefer not to wear leggings, these are still an option for men too!

If you want to wear shorts to your Pilates class this is fine, just remember that you may put your legs into positions that will make baggy shorts ride up.

The best option would be to wear a tight-fitting pair of shorts underneath some shorts that are a little baggier.


T-shirts and tank tops are great options for men when it comes to Pilates.

Remember that your shirts shouldn’t be so baggy that they interfere with your movement or cover your body alignment from your instructor, however.

Look for shirts that fit your body neatly without being too tight.

Do You Wear Shoes In Pilates?

In general, shoes are not recommended for Pilates class.

Shoes can restrict the movement of your feet and as Pilates relies on flexible movement, this makes shoes unnecessary and something that should be avoided.

Shoes help protect and balance your feet but one of the aims of Pilates is to help your body learn how to balance and support itself, so wearing shoes can hinder your progress.

Most people do Pilates in bare feet but there are also occasions where you might want to wear socks.

You will need socks that have some grips on the bottom as regular socks will be too slippery and can cause you to fall and become injured.

When in a Mat Pilates class, socks are optional. However, if you attend a Reformer Pilates session, grip socks might be mandatory.

This is because Reformer Pilates makes you move faster so you will need the additional grip provided by the grip socks.

Final Thoughts

The key to choosing the correct clothing for your Pilates class is to choose clothing that is comfortable, breathable, form-fitting, and flexible.

Your instructor will need to see your body alignment so avoid any clothing that is too baggy.

You can wear grip socks for Mat Pilates class if you wish and these should always be worn in Reformer Pilates.