H & M
H & M
Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters

High Street Kit That’ll Make You Want To Work Out (But Won’t Break The Bank)

Author: Miranda Eason

Starting a new exercise regime can be daunting. On going to a new class/club/studio my first thought is will everyone else be super fast/flexible/strong? (Delete as appropriate depending on the type of exercise). Shortly followed by what should I wear? Which is a totally legit worry. Too tight, you restrict your movement. Not supportive enough, your boobs are gonna be bouncing around all over the place. Too baggy and you’ll end up tugging at your clothes all class instead of concentrating on what you’re supposed to be doing. And no one wants to buy loads of expensive kit and props they use once then never again.

Reader Rose got in touch a couple of weeks ago because she’s recently started doing yoga at her local gym. She wants to buy some new kit, but doesn’t want to spend loads and she’s feeling overwhelmed by choice. When it comes to clothes for a yoga class you certainly don’t need to spend a fortune on super-fancy technical kit. In fact, for a while at least, you could probably get away with a ordinary pair of leggings, a non-wired bra and a vest or t-shirt.

Personally I prefer to practice in a light to medium impact sports bra, a snug-fitting stretch vest that won’t ride up when I’m in a pose like downward dog, or fall down when I’m upside down in headstand, but will allow me to move freely, and a pair of leggings, capris or shorts, depending on how hot the day is. I also like to have an extra top to keep me warm during the warm up and in savasana at the end of class.

As more and more high street shops jump on the sportswear bandwagon it’s perfectly possible to kit yourself out without spending a fortune. Having recently joined ClassPlass (find out more here if you missed it), I’m getting through kit at a rate of knots and have been topping up my collection of pieces from the likes of Sweaty Betty and Lululemon with some high street finds. My favourite is H&M, but there are lots of other stores that are worth a look.


Brilliantly-priced pieces for running, tennis, yoga and any kind of class you can imagine all with a fashionable edge. Having recently bought a pair of leggings and a pair of capris which have gone into weekly rotation I can confirm that they are stretchy enough for yoga, stand up to a sweaty HIIT class, wash well and dry quickly.
You can browse the whole collection here.


Fun slogan T-shirts, striking patterned pieces and relaxed long sleeved warm up/down sweaters make up this fashion forward collection that runs the gamut from black and marl grey to full-on neon brights.
You can browse the whole collection here.


Great selection of kit that covers running, studio classes and yoga in black, grey, bold blues and soft pinks. Lots of the pieces do that sport to street thing very well and, even better, lots of the yoga pieces are currently in the sale.
You can browse the whole collection by following this link here and clicking through to sport.

Urban Outfitters

A surprisingly wide sportswear collection comprising big brands like Nike and UO’s own brand Without Walls, as well as cute accessories and fashion-forward props.
You can browse the whole collection here.

Also worth a look are Boden, boohoo and Forever 21. Previously RMS readers have recommended Kate Hudson’s Fabletics line and TKMaxx. Primark is also worth popping into next time you’re passing a store.

When it comes to yoga mats Gaiam are a good brand when you’re starting out as they’re very reasonably priced and they stand up to being used a couple of times a week. John Lewis stock a selection here. If you go full on yoga junkie in the future you can upgrade to a fancier mat.
I hope this all helps Rose and that you’re not feeling even more overwhelmed by choice right now. Anyone else found any great sources of well-priced kit? Do share below!

Born in Yorkshire. Lives in East London. California girl at heart.
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29 thoughts on “High Street Kit That’ll Make You Want To Work Out (But Won’t Break The Bank)

  1. H&M is my go-to for gym kit…not crazy Nike prices but just as, if not more, fashion forward…

    So much so that this conversation recently went down when I was trying to plan a going out outfit:

    ME: I have nothing to wear into town tomorrow night.

    HIM: Yes, you do, you looked great in what you wore yesterday.

    ME: What, where did I go yesterday?

    HIM: When you went the gym in those patterned leggings. Looked great to me. Can’t you just put heels and a leather jacket on with them.

    ME: Thank you but no…

    1. Haha, although I have to admit I have worn my yoga pants out with my wedge heeled Nikes and a leather jacket…

  2. I love the H&M range. I need some new gym kit so I check this all out in store. I usually get my gym kit from TK Max, obviously the stock varies from store to store but with so many different brands to try in one place I have always found it pretty easy to find well fitting kit there and it is often a bargain!

    1. I’m loving the H&M range so much I went into full on panic mode when I popped into the Regent Street store last week and I couldn’t see the sportswear section, turns out they’ve moved it and given it more space! Went home with the capris in the picture above and a pair of shorts I haven’t worn yet. Haven’t been lucky with TKMaxx in Westfield yet, but keep stopping by!

  3. Love finding good quality, reasonably priced sportswear so thanks for this post Miranda. I’ve only just discovered Bershka & love it. I can vouch for the Mango sportswear, I’ve bought a few pieces & the quality & fit are really good, plus I bought them in the sale so also got them at a bargain price … Bonus!

    I was in H&M buying some sportswear for my girls (the kids gear is REALLY cute), the shop assistant mentioned to me that her friend buys the kids 14+ size for herself as it fits & is cheaper. I’ve not tried it myself yet but might be worth a go if you’re on the petite side.

    1. Love Bershka too Grainne and think the Mango sportswear range, and Mango generally, is great quality wise, even better when if you snag a sale bargain. Ooh, I’ll have a look at the kidswear next time I’m in town, great tip – thank you!

  4. Love this – def going to check out H&M, I had no idea they did good sportswear!

    Can someone explain the fabletics deal to me? I went on the website and it said an outfit was £22 but then it said I had to sign up and pay £45 per month or something? Totally confused.

    1. It’s a monthly subscription and you choose a new outfit per month. I think the first month is half price to draw people in. I wasn’t impressed by the range and I do not get my ass to the gym any where near enough to need to buy a new outfit each month.

      1. Thanks for explaining Claire. I joined up but haven’t bought anything, I don’t like the way you seem to be forced into buying a whole outfit, I prefer to pick and mix and put my own outfit together and, like you say, who needs a whole new outfit every month?

    2. I’m a big fan of the H&M line Kate, love that I can treat myself to some shorts or a yoga top for less than a tenner! I don’t really understand the Fabletics thing either…

  5. Totally agree that H&M and TK Maxx (esp MPG brand) are reasonable. Primark also do a range of sportswear – cheap and cheerful, but not especially long lasting.

    1. The Primark sportswear line looks great Siobhan, they have a small edit in Selfridges I noticed when I was in there recently.

  6. Thanks so much Miranda. Lots of lovely options here. It’s my birthday next month so I will be adding some of these to my list! 🙂

  7. Can I also put a shout out to Gap? I discovered their gym range online and ordered a top which is fabulous! I had never considered them for sportswear before. Also, never tried, but Tesco had some cool-looking leggings in its sportswear range a little while ago, may also be worth a look for something a little less costly. x

    1. I totally forgot about Gap Annie, they have some really lovely pieces on site and lots are in the sale right now. Asda and Sainsbury’s are both closer to me than Tesco so haven’t seen their range, but sounds like it would definitely be worth checking out. x

  8. There is a girl at my gym and she always looks so HOT. I mean, she has a well fit bod but her get up is so… fresh.

    I am so going to raid the H&M offering so I can attempt to look equally as gym fabulous!

    1. I’m loving my H&M haul Becky. Also appreciate a well put together workout outfit, there was some excellent laying going on in the yoga class I was at this morning!

  9. I really rate Debenhams for their sports bra range (especially if you need a bit more support!) and their Pineapple dance leggings are great for running and yoga and are usually about £15.

    I love Sweaty Betty, and they have a sale at least twice a year which is well worth looking out for. Their yoga vests are awesome, and you can get them for as little as £5 which is a steal for the quality!

    I’m looking forward to getting back in to running when we get back to the UK in a few weeks, so will have to check out H&M for some inspiring kit!

    1. I’m not often in central London these days so rarely go to Debenhams but must start looking at their website. Agree, definitely worth waiting for Sweaty Betty sales, they often have quite big discounts from the first day of sale.

  10. Love H&M for sportswear and will now take a look at the other suggestions to mix it up.

    I did however have a very unfortunate purchase from M&S sports range – bought a pair of leggings and I noticed they were quite thin when I tried them on but went for it anyway. One wash later they were practically see-through! That said, I did buy a long sleeved yoga top from there and it came in very handy during winter pilates classes (and never went see-through!)

    1. Oh dear, did you take them back?! My worry when I workout in leggings that aren’t actually designed for sport is that they’ll be see-through or the seams will rip!

    1. Love it! I do have a sports bag, but it’s very heavy especially once I’ve loaded up with a yoga mat, towel and huge bottle of water!

  11. Seriously recommend Decathlon for purse friendly sportswear that is still (reasonably) stylish, but you can’t beat Nike Epic Lux capri leggings/tights for comfort and style. Love H&M too… Xx

    1. Some seriously good prices on the Decathlon site Sarah, thanks for recommending! I do love Nike sportswear, they have some excellent brightly coloured patterned tights in store at the movement. I have to make myself walk past when I’m in Westfield or I would spend a fortune in there! x

  12. Just started a new Zumba class. As I think Zumba is not only for work-out, but it also looks good if you do the dance moves right, I had to buy new sportswear so the dancing makes even more fun. I ordered online (it was free delivery 🙂 ) at H&M. I ordered a coral colored tank top and the tight grey capri pants. I hope they will be delivered soon 🙂

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