Good Gear: Women's gym-wear

It's not just a matter of getting fit - you want to look good, too. So, what is the chic keep-fit fanatic wearing this season?
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The Independent Online

It won't repair the ravages of the festive season all by itself, but there's nothing like investing in some stylish gym-gear to help you keep new year resolutions. The gym is where you are on public display, and if you're a flabby newcomer you will feel even more self-conscious and intimidated skulking around in baggy old shorts and frayed T-shirt while everyone else looks like Geri Halliwell.

The top you wear is in direct contact with your skin, and therefore it has to be as comfortable as possible. One that wicks sweat efficiently is a must, because otherwise you will feel damp and uncomfortable no matter how lean and fit you are, so go for something in a technical fabric like CoolMax or polyester. Bear in mind, though, that these synthetic tops tend to smell more than those in natural fibres such as cotton. When all the moisture that has been wicked away from your body has gone, all that is left in the material is the body odour. Tops like these need regular washing.

The sweatyBetty cami-top comes in snug-fitting Lycra but is lined with CoolMax. It's silky and feels wonderful next to the skin, though you can't wear a bra underneath and it won't offer enough support if you're larger-breasted. Be warned, too, that while CoolMax is great at wicking sweat away, insulation isn't its strong point. Invest in a fleecy-lined top to wear during warm-up and after cool-down; sweatyBetty do a range of zip-ups in fondant colours.

A less revealing alternative is Reebok's short-sleeved crop-top from their Dance range. It's made of a polyester/cotton mix so it wicks well, feels cool, and has a small amount of Elasthane for a sleeker fit. If you don't want to expose the gym to quite as much of the new you, then go for a longer-length top like their sleeveless one in polyester-cotton.

Reebok have a deserved reputation for attractive gym-gear that is also highly functional, and you can match up both these tops with high-cut shorts in a soft polyester jersey that perform well along with feeling ultra-comfortable. If you prefer something sportier, their nylon/Elasthane shorts are fantastically well-cut and comfortable, and will survive endless encounters with the washing machine without losing their shape. Reebok's high-waisted trackpants, also from the Dance range, are elegant but baggy enough to pull on over everything after working out. If you prefer working out in long pants, the Danskin kick flares perform well and look good.

For "mind and body" classes such as yoga, adidas have just introduced a range of gear including long, loose pants, cami top and long-sleeved shirt. In viscose/Elasthane, they come in fabulous, muted colours and are so silky and comfortable that you will never want to change .

Sweaty Betty cami top and Danskin kick flare bottoms
The kick flares perform well and look great.
For stockists: 0800 169 3889
Price: top £25, bottoms £60

Reebok Grey Vintage cropped top and Dance bottoms
Both contain a small amount of Elasthane.
For stockists: 0800 30 50 50
Price: top £21.99, bottoms £29.99

Reebok Yellow tank top and Vintage hipster shorts
The retro look – but they wick sweat away well.
For stockists: 0800 30 50 50
Price: top £24.99, shorts £19.99

Reebok Sport vest top and Hydromove seamless shorts
Well cut, comfortable and durable
For stockists: 0800 30 50 50
Price: top £21.99, shorts £21.99