• Sat. May 18th, 2024

How to Choose Performance Wear

ByLucille Wood

Feb 11, 2017

Originally designed for athletes and the military, performance wear is finding a spot in the everyday workout wardrobe for kids and adults. It also does well for other sports, primarily fishing and hiking. Versatile pieces come in an array of hues, sizes, and styles. However, discovering the best pieces takes learning about garment design, the proper fabrics to choose, and whether it has extras, such as Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPV) or anti-microbial properties. Brands differ among their lines in fabrics, design, and often sizes so knowing what to look for and finding the best fit, along with quality, can be a tough task.


Popular fabrics used today are from natural, synthetic, or blended fibers. Cotton, Wool, Bamboo, Acrylic, Nylon, and more. Fabric is more than the outer shell of clothing. Performance needs to wear nicely, withstand movement (often repetitive but not always), different or changing elements, and withstand a lot of sweat. Look for a natural and synthetic blend for performance wear. While cotton fabrics give the utmost comfort, they don’t wick moisture away from the body and fibers will hold it instead. This leaves the garment sagging and heavy on the skin. Durable synthetics dry fast; however, alone, they do not flow with the body or feel nice against the skin. Choosing a blend of natural and synthetic fibers gives the wearer long-lasting comfort, durability, and the garment will keep the skin drier for longer.


Fit is a combination of personal taste and the requirements of the sport or activity. Overall, pick a piece that will move with the body and is neither too small nor large that it hinders mobility or stops the garment from performing its function. Also, for outdoor activities, closer fits help to keep out pesky bugs. While unusual, it is worth noting that safety should always come first. This includes, but isn’t limited to, long sleeves that fall past the wrists, sleeves that fall to the elbows when hands are up, shorts/pants that require constant hiking, or the garment falling from the shoulders.


Performance wear is suitable to wear alone or in layers for colder days or climates. Short or long sleeve performance tees, collared polo, or button ups: styles exist for every taste. What will work best for one person, though, might not be suited for another person’s taste or activity. Like fit, take the activity into consideration, but safety, weather, and temperature will matter when deciding on a style too.

Extra features

Styles and brands will vary .Some have additional features that wearers will find beneficial or convenient. Anyone who participates in exercise and sports can benefit from performance wear. The last thing anyone wants to worry about is being uncomfortable in their clothing or sit around in heavy wet clothes for hours. Instead, focus on what matters and not whether clothing will fail to do its job.