There are many sound reasons to start a Pilates class; the activity is one that builds agility, balance, and strength, with a strong focus on the core. One reason many people avoid the idea of starting up a class is an uncertainty about what, precisely, should be worn to Pilates. This guide will help both men and women choose what to wear to Pilates, both mat and Reformer types.
Why Does the Difference Matter?
In both kinds of Pilates, you will want your clothes to be fairly form-fitting. The main reason for this, in both kinds of Pilates, is that the instructor needs to see nuances in the way you are holding stances. Baggy clothes can conceal small mis-adjustments that may add up to discomfort over time spent doing exercises. Close-fitting clothing is even more essential in Reformer Pilates, however. The machinery used can be a danger for catching loose folds of clothing as well as long hair that is unrestrained or dangling jewelry left on. You will also be moving faster than in mat Pilates. Know which type of class you are going to and prepare accordingly.
Do You Wear Shoes for Pilates?
Pilates tends to be performed either with bare feet or in socks. For all of our classes, we recommend all participants to wear socks with a sole grip. This is to avoid injuries due to slipping while in between moves or while holding a position. The wrong socks can have you slipping all over the place, while the right ones can help your body’s posture and balance as you maintain stances. In mat Pilates, it is just as common to go barefoot, but in Reformer Pilates, some instructors insist on Pilates socks with gripping soles.
What Women Need for Pilates
Most women will want a bra designed for sports or for yoga. Pilates is not a high-impact sport, but a sports bra ensures that discomfort is not experienced during rapid shifts of position. A low-impact sports bra will definitely suffice. A specific yoga bra can also work. Whichever way you choose, you should find that the level of support you need is provided, where a fashion bra would give discomfort and lack the necessary structure. Leggings are also popular for Pilates workout wear, as are tank tops and other form-fitting shirts that are designed for flexibility and comfort.
What Men Need for Pilates
Like women, men need form-fitting clothing when taking a Pilates class. Bagginess should be avoided in all items of Pilates active wear. Compression leggings or pants meant for yoga will suffice nicely for the lower half of the body. For the top, some men prefer layering, topping with a cozy hoodie, while others simply go with a slim-fit t-shirt or tank top. Add socks as needed, and you are ready to go.
Will Yoga Clothes Work for Pilates?
There is a lot of overlap between the categories of yoga and Pilates workout wear. The key difference lies in the general looseness of yoga clothing. Yoga is a bit more forgiving in its positions and poses, where Pilates leans heavily on the core and certain muscle groups. It is vital for instructors to be able to see where small adjustments need to be made in Pilates classes or lessons, so that little bit of extra form-fitting fabric characteristic is invaluable.
What to wear to Pilates class can be a stymying question at first glance, but with a little information about the activity, preparing for the lesson is simple. Some close-fitting leggings and a long top that will move with the body, as well as a potential pair of gripping socks, are all that is needed. Avoid shorts, as these might ride up in some positions. Opt for comfort and close fit and you cannot go too far wrong.