Workout Clothes for Petite Plus Women

These long figure-hugging yoga pants are a big NONO.

For a couple of days I’ve been surfing the Internet looking for workout clothes for women.

Specifically, I was looking for workout clothes that would suit women who are built like me – women who are short and busty. 🙂


I have never been a great dresser like my younger sister Hanna, but I do like clothes and during the last 20+ years I’ve learned a thing or two about what not to wear.

The fact is I’m 5ft 1 inches (155cm) tall and weigh approximately 154lbs (70 kg), and most of the extra fat has been deposited on my upper body.

If you’re built like I am, you just can’t go and wear tight jeans that taper down and expect to look good – unless you like to look like an upside down bowling pin that is about to fall down…

That said, if I  didn’t have all that extra fat in my upper body I would probably be pretty well proportioned – but now I have that dreaded – and unhealthy – apple shape.

I chose the clothes in my collection based on  what I’ve learned from Susannah and Trinny and from my own observations. Also,  when I picked the clothes I tried to take into account the fact that you want to hide some disagreeable parts of  your anatomy like bat wings (I have huge ones) or spare tires.

A couple of rules for choosing workout clothes for women who are short and busty

  • No pants/bottoms that taper down – tight carrot-shaped, full-length pants are a big no-no
  • If you have “an ample bosom”, you need to wear tops that have open necklines – neck hugging thingies and turtle necks are out because they make your bosom look *huge”.

Below is a collection of tops, bottoms and other exercise clothes you want to use when you go to the gym or take a group class. Click on the product pictures to get more information about sizing and available colors.

Workout Tops


I especially love the Zella Short Sleeve Hoodie from Nordstrom. It’s perfect for women who have short arms and who want to cover their flabby underarms.

Workout pants / bottoms

Chaturanga pants from Athleta
X-training knee pants from Lucy

For workot bottoms I have two options.

The Chaturanga pants form Athleta or the capri length x-training knee pants from Lucy. The Chaturanga pants are perfect because they flare at the ankle, and balancing the top-heavy look.

In the beginning, I put an example of the worst possible workout pants for a short and busty woman. 🙂

Knee-length tight capris are ok, but those figure-hugging long yoga pants that I featured in the beginning of this post are a kiss of death.

If you throw in a pair of Nike free trainers, you have a perfect outfit for a workout. 🙂



  1. I love that hoodie as well Satu. At the moment I tend to wear huge baggy t-shirts, which I know aren’t very flattering, but I feel comfortable hiding my stomach, hips and chest! I wear leggings like the second ones, though really like the yoga ones (the flares).

    I’m a bit the same with you re pants even though I’m taller (5ft 10 1/2in or 178cm). I like pants and jeans that are flared or bootleg style. I feel like the width balances the rest of me a bit better!


  2. Satu says:

    Balance is the key! The pink short sleeved hoodie is my favorite too, I’d get it asap, but I’m still waiting for that sugar daddy 😉

  3. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! You have cute choices up there! I usually pick black capris because they hide underwear lines and sweat marks in not good places. I also wear black shirts with fun designs (found in teen men’s department) because they are also slimming in color and hide sweatiness, and they tuck in well. So even if I’m working hard, I still look fresh and clean.

    Other things I look for: I wear high necked t-shirts because of all exercises that could give a look down a shirt if I didn’t. I like cotton exercise clothes better than lycra because it feels more absorbent to me.

    At that point, I don’t worry much about how I look and just concentrate on doing great exercise. The key for me with exercise clothes: Do I feel comfortable doing my best exercise in them?

    🙂 Marion

    • Satu says:

      Ha, I do remember that it wasn’t that good an idea to wear a loose top for yoga. It had a tendency to “travel” esp in downward dogs and poses like that.

      I don’t much pay attention to what I wear when I do workouts because I do them at home, but I would love to have new clothes. I could kill for that Zella hoodie. 🙂

  4. Aimee says:

    My younger sister has great fashion sense too. I’m lucky I get to wear scrubs to work at the hospital because I am horrible at dressing myself. I am a classic pear shape (Anjou to be exact!), I’m bigger in the hips and I narrow at the waist. My upper body is average size.

    For so many years I hid myself behind baggy layers. I realize now that I only made myself look heavier. Little by little I’m learning what looks flattering on me. It’s nice not to hide myself so much anymore.

    I recently found an an incredible pair of workout pants from one of our big wholesale places. I bought 3 pairs! They are black capris with a slight flare at the bottom and a colored waist band. I think they look fine, but I’m all about the comfort and practicality. They have a hidden pocket on the waist big enough to carry my key and iPhone comfortably and they are super comfortable for any kind of workout. I wear them with a fitted tank top and a sports bra.

    Love that hoodie too!

    • Satu says:

      Hi Aimee! I had to google Anjou pear! I’m not quite sure what brand of apple I would be myself… I like to eat Royal Galas…. 🙂

      For some reason I tolerate my big belly better than my bat wings. I don’t ever wear sleeveless tops, but I don’t mind if my rolls showing a bit.

      It is great when you find workout or any clothes that fit very well. And I get really mad when they stop manufacturing your perfect bra or pants or anything

  5. megan says:

    I know for me and my body type, it is sometimes impossible for me to find workout equipment that fits me properly.

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