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A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Perfect Size in Activewear: Understanding Stretch, Fabric and More

  • 5 min read

Finding the perfect size in activewear can often feel like a workout itself! At Noosa Active, we want to help you take out some of the guess work. Don't sweat it, this buying guide is here to help you answer the question: "How do I know what size to purchase in activewear? How much does it stretch? What's a good fabric?" In short, knowing your measurements is key when purchasing the right size in activewear; as for stretch and fabric quality, these depend on factors such as material composition and garment design.

In our journey through this comprehensive guide, we'll break down everything there is to know about sizing, stretching capabilities of different fabrics and identifying high-quality materials for your workout gear. Let's get started!

Measuring Tape

Understanding Sizing Charts

Sizing can be tricky in activewear. Here's how to decode sizing charts:

  • Measure Yourself: Grab a tape measure and jot down your bust, waist, and hip measurements.

    • Bust: Measure around the fullest part.
    • Waist: Measure around the narrowest part.
    • Hips: Measure around the widest part.
  • Check Brand-Specific Chart: Many brands have their own size guides. Check them before buying anything.

  • Consider Fit of Clothing: Some clothes are meant to fit snugly while others should be loose fitting. Always consider this when choosing your size.
  1. Compression Wear - Choose a smaller size for a tight fit which can enhance performance.
  2. Relaxed Fit - Opt for your normal clothing size or even one larger if you prefer it baggy.

Remember, activewear that fits right not only looks better but also improves comfort during workouts!

Evaluating Stretchability

When it comes to activewear, knowing how much a fabric can stretch is key. Here are few pointers:

  • Elastane Content: Usually, the higher the elastane content in a fabric, the more it will stretch. Aim for 10-20% elastane for good elasticity.

  • Fabric Type: Fabrics like spandex and lycra are known for their high stretchability.

Here's a quick guide on common activewear fabrics and their stretch factor:

Fabric Stretch Factor
Cotton Low
Nylon Medium
Spandex/Lycra High
  1. Feel Test: Try stretching the fabric manually to see how well it responds.
  2. Recovery Rate: After being stretched, does the material bounce back to its original shape? A good recovery rate indicates quality elasticity.
  3. Durability Check: Over time and after multiple washes, cheap materials lose their elasticity quicker than high-quality ones.

Remember - finding activewear with the perfect amount of stretch will provide comfort while ensuring your outfit retains its shape during workouts!

Black Noosa Active Set

Choosing the Right Fabric

When it comes to activewear, fabric choice is key. Here are some points to consider:
  • Breathability: Opt for fabrics that allow your skin to breathe during intense workouts.

  • Moisture-wicking ability: This is a must-have feature in any good activewear as it helps keep you dry and comfortable.

  • Stretchability: The fabric should have enough elasticity to move with you without losing its shape over time.

Below are some of the top choices for activewear fabrics:

Fabric Breathable Moisture-Wicking Stretchy
Cotton Yes No Low
Nylon Yes Yes High
Polyester Yes Yes Moderate
  1. Cotton - While cotton is breathable and soft, it lacks moisture-wicking properties which can cause discomfort during sweaty workouts.

  2. Nylon - Known for its exceptional durability, breathability, and sweat-wicking capabilities. It also offers excellent stretch making it ideal for high-impact activities.

  3. Polyester - Another popular choice due to its strong fibres and resistance against shrinking and wrinkles. It's not as stretchy as nylon but still offers reasonable flexibility.

Remember that comfort should be your ultimate guide when choosing the right fabric!

Factors to Consider in Fit

When purchasing activewear, it's essential to consider the following factors regarding fit:

  • Size: Activewear tends to run small. Always check the brand's size chart before making a purchase.

  • Stretchiness: The fabric should have some give but shouldn't stretch out during your workout. If it does, that's a sign of poor quality.

Here are some key points when considering activewear fabrics:

  1. Look for materials like polyester or nylon; they're durable and sweat-wicking.
  2. Avoid cotton as it absorbs moisture and can become heavy during workouts.
  3. Some prefer natural fibres like bamboo, which is breathable and has anti-bacterial properties.
Material Pros Cons
Polyester/Nylon Durable, Sweat-Wicking Can retain odour over time
Cotton Soft & Comfortable Absorbs Moisture
Bamboo Breathable, Anti-Bacterial Properties Often More Expensive

Remember: Each person has their own preferences when it comes to activewear. What works best for one might not work well for another!

Body Type and Activewear Selection

When it comes to activewear, not all fits are created equal. It's crucial to understand your body type for a perfect fit.

1. Pear Shape

  • Opt for loose tops and fitted bottoms.
  • Prints work well on top but keep the bottom plain.

2. Apple Shape

  • Loose clothing works best.
  • Dark colours help with a slimming effect.

3. Rectangle Shape

  • Look out for clothes that create curves.
  • Crop tops can give an illusion of wider hips.

4. Hourglass Shape

  • Fitted Wear is your friend here.
  • Highlight those curves with belts or waistbands at midriff.
Body Type Top Style Bottom Style
Pear shape Loose-fitting, printed Fitted, plain
Apple shape Loose-fitting, dark tones Any style
Rectangle shape Curve creating pieces Crop tops
Hourglass shape Fitted wear Belted styles

The right fabric in activewear also plays a significant role:

  • Cotton: Breathable but absorbs moisture
  • Nylon: Lightweight & resists moisture
  • Polyester: Durable & wrinkle-resistant
  • Spandex: Stretches up to five times its length

Activewear sizing tends to vary by brand; always check their size guide before purchasing! Remember that activewear should stretch comfortably - if it restricts movement, go a size up!

You're now equipped with basic knowledge on choosing the right activewear based on your body type!

Tips for Trying on Activewear

When shopping for activewear, it's not just about the style. The fit and comfort are crucial to ensure you can move freely during your workouts. Here are some essential tips:

  • Check the Sizing Chart – Brands often have their own sizing chart, so always check this first.

  • Understand Stretchability – Some fabrics stretch more than others. For instance, spandex is highly flexible while cotton is less so.

  • Choose Breathable Fabrics – Opt for materials like nylon or polyester that wick sweat away from your skin.

Here’s a table to guide with fabric choices:

Fabric Pros Cons
Polyester Durable, lightweight, breathable and wrinkle-resistant. May retain odour over time.
Nylon Exceptionally strong and elastic; resists pilling; mildew resistant. Can be hot and non-breathable in warmer climates as it doesn't absorb moisture well.
Spandex (Lycra) High elasticity; retains shape even after stretching. May degrade over time due to washing and drying processes/heat exposure

Remember these numbers when trying out activewear:

  1. When testing flexibility of the fabric, aim for one that can stretch at least 5% but no more than 8%.
  2. Measure yourself correctly: chest/bust size should be measured under armpits around fullest part of bust while waist size refers to narrowest part above belly button yet below rib cage.
  3. Sizes tend to vary depending on brands - never assume your usual "medium" or "large" will fit perfectly across all brands!

With these pointers in mind, you'll find picking out the right activewear much easier! The team at Noosa Active are here to support you with sizing so please contact us for assistance. We offer free exchanges on size changes. Our size guide can be found here.

Wrapping It Up

Selecting the perfect activewear size and understanding fabric stretchability is no rocket science. You've now got all you need to make an informed purchase decision. Always remember, your comfort takes precedence when choosing sizes. Don't go too tight or too loose - find that sweet spot where movement feels free and easy.

As for fabrics, pay attention to breathability and quality over anything else. High-tech synthetic materials usually serve well in providing moisture-wicking properties while maintaining a good degree of stretchiness. We hope this helps you select from our range of beautiful activewear!