When To Toss Your Workout Clothes

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Six Rules for Keeping Your Closet Clean

Flat Lay With Leggings And Running Shoes

Have you been impacted by the ‘shrinking closet’ phenomenon? Signs include multiple workout tank tops on one hanger, stretchy pants in every nook and cranny and sports bras overtaking your underwear drawer. If you just nodded yes then it’s probably time for you to ditch, replace and organize your activewear. Did you know workout clothes have an expiry date? You do now. Here’s a guide about what sweat styles to save and when to replace.

Disclaimer: This isn’t a ploy to get you to buy new leggings (although we have some great new styles here), wearing the right clothing that doesn’t hinder your workout and makes you feel confident is important.

Sports Bras

The fabric that holds your tatas in place while you’re sweating in spin class has a shorter lifespan than you might think. Replacing your sports bra every 6 months to one year is what major technical brands recommend. The elastic starts to give on even the best-made styles because it’s constantly being put to the test when you jump, run, pulse, box, etc. How do you know when it’s time to replace your sports bra? Watch for stretched straps and bands, areas that appear to be chafed, missing or faded tags and smell. A little gross but true, if your gear still has a stench after you wash it, toss it.

Running Shoes

Say no to shin splints, knee pain, back pain, foot pain and ankle pain. Yes these things can all happen because you’ve been rocking your treadmill workouts in your worn out runners. A good rule of thumb is to replace them every 3-6 months if you’re using them 5-6 times a week and annually if using them less than that.

Running shoes doing stairs

If you prefer to go by mileage, new shoes every 300-400 miles will do. Not sure if they need replacing? Ask the experts at your local running shoe store.

Styles with the Stains

This one is a little more obvious. The saying ‘look good, feel good’ has some truth to it. Think about a time you went to the gym in your favorite fashionable workout clothes. Then reflect on a time when you went in the only clean t-shirt you could find. You know, the one you bought in 2004 that even the hardest working detergent can’t get “clean”. Did you feel like a badass both times? Maybe a little more confident and ready to kick some butt in scenario 1? If it has stains, is piling, has faded or shredded tags chances are it’s time to replace it. *Note, before you throw in the towel, or tank, make sure you try using detergent that’s meant for technical fabrics.

If It Doesn’t Fit…

Then it’s not lit. Your workout clothes should feel non-existent. What we mean is, they shouldn’t be a distraction when you’re working out. It’s no fun constantly pulling your capris up and fussing with a loose bra or tank strap. If it’s too loose, let it go. Same goes for clothing that’s too tight. If your leggings are cutting off circulation at your ankles or you can’t perform full movements because your clothes are uncomfortably snug say goodbye to them and replace them with pieces that fit you just right.


Socks should feel like a second skin. If you notice holes, thinning or if they’re moving around separate from your foot in your running shoe it’s time to put them in the garbage. You don’t want to risk getting a blister or taking off your spin shoes next to that cute guy you’ve had your eye on…

Workout Capris and Leggings

Worn out pants can cause chafing, distraction and an accidental peek at your tooshie. Thinning in the bum or knees depending on the type of workouts you’re doing are an indicator that it’s time to snag yourself a new pair. If you notice the elasticity just isn’t what it used to be or that you’re having to cinch the drawstring tighter and tighter to hold them up, it’s time for a new pair of leggings. Selecting moisture-wicking styles for high sweat activities will also help preserve the life span of your bottoms.

Oil & Grain for HEMM

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1 comment

  • Holly Couillard: April 27, 2017

    Great post but maybe worth including that it is important to recycle your unwanted clothes responsibly. There are donation organizations or there are also companies willing to take unwanted clothes and dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way so they don’t end up sitting in a landfill for years…

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