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How to Make Expensive Fitness Clothes Last

Best Practices: Extend the Life of Your Workout Wear

You splurged on $70 capris, but since they make such a difference in the way you feel during workouts, you'll never go back to cheapo clothes again. Because you've shelled out a lot of dough for these items, it's best to know how to take care of your workout clothes so they'll last. Always check the label or the brand's website for care instructions, and to answer a few common concerns about washing wicking-wear, we spoke to a few of our fave brands to get the skinny on the matter.

Go With Cold
We spoke with Zobha, Lululemon, and SmartWool, and they all agree: wash your technical and wool workout garments in cold water. No need to hand wash either! Just drop your clothes into the machine. But Lululemon adds "avoid washing with fluffy clothing (i.e. big cotton sweatshirts)" so your favorite leggings don't end up with a bunch of unwanted lint as decoration.

Say No to Bleach and Fabric Softeners
Bleach does not play nice with technical fabrics, so these brands say to avoid it. When it comes to your woolens, SmartWool recommends avoiding fabric softeners "because they coat the merino wool fibers and reduce the fibers' ability to naturally manage moisture and regulate your body temperature."

To Tumble Dry or Not
When it comes to drying your gear, all these brands agree: it's perfectly acceptable to tumble dry your clothes on low. Lululemon does provide the caveat that "hanging to dry will help prolong the life of the garment." I find using the dryer helps lessen the stink factor that affects some of my workout wear. Plus it saves time — I hate when I grab a pair of air-drying capris for my morning workout and they're still damp.

If you have more questions on washing your fave pieces of gear, read up on how to wash workout clothes for more tips.

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