We've been testing fit kit for 8+ years - trust us, these are the only Pilates clothes worth your £££

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Best Pilates clothes: Ally Head doing Pilates
(Image credit: Ally Head)

One of the best things to come out of the rise in Pilates - aside from the posture, mental health and core strength benefits of Pilates, of course? The best Pilates clothes. With more people getting involved in the workout (Pilates was the most popular workout of 2023 with reservations for Pilates classes up 92%, according to ClassPass), there's been a huge rise in workout clothing designed for low-impact movement. 

You might think that a good sports bra is only necessary for running or high-impact activity. But that's not quite accurate, as finding a good sports bras for Pilates might be even more essential. Not only do you need support for Pilates, but you need to be free from restriction in the upper body for rotating, extending and bending. Studies show that some bras designed for yoga - which will likely be worn for Pilates-style, low-impact workouts too - can put too much pressure on the body, including some even reducing blood flow by over 47%. 

If you're wondering where to look for support, flexibility and style, don't panic. I'm a Health and Fitness Editor, fitness instructor and Pilates lover and I've gone through my fair share of Pilates clothes over the years. I'm here to recommend some of my favourite Pilates clothes for you, alongside Phoebe Georgiou, founder of Soul Body retreats, Rachel Lopez, senior instructor at BLOK, Valeza Bakolli, Junior Shopping Editor at Marie Claire UK, and Ally Head, Senior Health Editor at Marie Claire UK. Don't miss our guides to Pilates for beginners, the best Pilates exercises to try at home and the trending 28-day wall Pilates challenge, while you're here. 

Best Pilates clothes to shop now, chosen by pros

What we looked for in the best Pilates clothes

All fit kit you buy need to be sweat-wicking, supportive, and stay up during your sessions - there's nothing more distracting than having to hoick up your leggings or reposition your bra mid-move. 

That said, for Pilates clothes in particular, we looked for the following:

  • Sweat wicking: Was it breathable, and did it keep us a comfortable temperature through sweaty classes and flows?
  • Supportive: Did it keep everything in place, or did it roll down mid workout? Not just that, but was it supportive without cutting you in half?
  • Grip: A large part of most Pilates moves centres on the mat or Reformer bar. Making sure your feet can firmly grip your surface is key, and kit that makes this easier gets a yes from us.
  • Price point: Was it good value for money, and did the kit wash well?

How we tested the products in this round up

Here at Marie Claire UK, we personally test all of the kit recommendations before bringing them to you to make sure you don't waste money on items you'll have to take to charity in a few months. Every item below has been trialled during a Pilates class and most of them, other workouts too. We champion kit that supports you, makes you feel confident and that'll last the long run, too. For more on how we test, read here.

Best Sweaty Betty Pilates clothes

Best Pilates clothes: Sweaty Betty

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

1. Sweaty Betty Power Icon Bra

Reasons to buy

+
Four-way stretch
+
Sweat wicking
+
Supportive

Reasons to avoid

-
Likely to sell out.

What we thought when testing? "When it comes to being a curvy yoga and Pilates instructor and practitioner, I want to feel supported from the chest down - and I absolutely am in this bra," says Georgiou. Do note, though: this bra is in the sale so we say run, don't walk.

Best Pilates clothes: Sweaty Betty

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

2. Sweaty Betty Power Icon Leggings

Reasons to buy

+
Soft material 
+
Pockets
+
Flattering seams

Reasons to avoid

-
Mesh segments not to everyone's taste

What we thought when testing? "The material of these leggings is unmatched - so much so, it makes you feel confident practising," says Georgiou. 

Best Pilates clothes: Sweaty Betty

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

3. Sweaty Betty Super Soft Strappy Back Bra

Reasons to buy

+
Super soft
+
Bright colours
+
Adjustable straps
+
Multiple strap options

Reasons to avoid

-
Some reviews say it may bag under the arms
-
Higher price point

What we thought when testing? "This bra has adjustable straps to keep your chest fully supported - it's unrivalled, in my opinion," says Georgiou. "The super-soft set feels buttery smooth on your skin, too." 

Top tip: Depending on your size, you may have to play with the straps to get it the perfect fit, according to the reviews. That said, people also report that it's the best low-impact sports bra they've tried, available in multiple designs including a strappy or racer-back bra.

Best Pilates clothes: Sweaty Betty leggings

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

4. Sweaty Betty Super Soft Yoga Leggings

Reasons to buy

+
Super soft
+
Flattering seams
+
Compression

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher price point

What we thought when testing? "These leggings don’t fall down while you flow and feel so nice to wear," says Georgiou. Paired with the matching bra, you're in for a butter-soft treat.

Best Pilates clothes: Sweaty Betty

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

5. Sweaty Betty Power Bodysuit

Reasons to buy

+
Unique design
+
Supportive

Reasons to avoid

-
Tight design won't be for everyone.

What we thought when testing? "It's hard to know where to start with this epic bodysuit," shares Georgiou. "The material is fantastic, makes me feel confident, and supports my body in all the right places," says Georgiou. 

Pilates challenge: Sweaty Betty socks

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

6. Sweaty Betty Pilates Socks

Reasons to buy

+
Grippy
+
Comfy 
+
Wash well

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher price point

What we thought when testing? "I'm a big fan of these socks and wear them on repeat whenever I attend Pilates classes. They tick all the right touches - they're comfortable but grippy so you don't slip around mid-pose," says Head.

Best Adanola Pilates clothes

Best Pilates clothes: A woman wearing tank bra in green

(Image credit: Adanola)

7. Adanola Ultimate Tank

Reasons to buy

+
Longline
+
Sweat-wicking
+
Removable padding
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Can sell out quickly

What we thought when testing? "One of my go-to bras for pretty much any workout, this longline tank from Adanola has a supportive bra layer which has seen me through strength training, long runs and, of course, Pilates," shares Head. "It sweat-wicks well, and I like that it's supportive, flattering, and versatile enough to be worn as daywear, too."

Best Pilates clothes: A woman wearing ultimate leggings

(Image credit: Adanola)

8. Ultimate Leggings

Reasons to buy

+
Sweat-wicking
+
Compressive
+
Don't fall down mid workout

Reasons to avoid

-
Can pile and bobble if not washed carefully

What we thought when testing? "The first thing I ever tested from Adanola? Their best-selling leggings, of course, and I wasn't disappointed. I still wear them most weeks as they're supportive without being uncomfortable, sweat-wick well, and feel great to the touch. Do note, though - they can pile and bobble if you're not careful with how you wash them or where you wear them (I'm looking at you, scraggly wooden surfaces)," shares Head.

Best Pilates clothes: A woman wearing ada hoodie and sweatpants

(Image credit: Adanola)

9. ADA Oversized Hoodie

Reasons to buy

+
Oversized fit
+
Super comfy
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
No fleece lining so better for warmer weather

What we thought when testing? "Trust us on this one - you'll want a cosy jumper to wear to and from your class, and this iconic style from Adanola ticks all of the right boxes," shares Bakolli. "It's super comfy, goes with everything, and won't break the bank, either."

Best Lululemon Pilates clothes

Best Pilates clothes: Lululemon

(Image credit: lululemon)

10. Lululemon Flow Y Bra Nulu Bra

Reasons to buy

+
Buttery soft
+
Not irritating
+
Weightless

Reasons to avoid

-
Small size selection

What we thought when testing? "This is my absolute favourite - it's so comfortable and the support is so weightless it doesn’t stress out your shoulders. The line on the back is so flattering and discreet too, so you won't feel it when lying on your back in core and glute exercises," says Lopez. 

Right now, the bra is only running up to a cup size C on the lululemon website, which is a shame. We've seen larger cup sizes running of this in the past, so fingers crossed it's getting re-stocked.

Best Pilates clothes: lululemon Align shorts

(Image credit: lululemon)

10. Lululemon 6" Align Shorts

Reasons to buy

+
Buttery soft
+
Variety of lengths
+
Smoothing without compressing

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher price point

What we thought when testing? "These six-inch shorts are my go-to in the summer, for hot dynamic Pilates classes, or for when I'm teaching back-to-back classes so will be getting hot and sweaty," says Lopez. "The material is figure-hugging but breathable, and they're especially great when you feel bloated during your menstrual cycle thanks to the butter-soft fabric." 

The only downside? They cost around £50. That said, all of our experts maintain that the cost per wear will be pennies, given that you'll live in them. 

Best Pilates clothes: The lululemon Align leggings

(Image credit: lululemon)

11. Lululemon Align Leggings

Reasons to buy

+
Naked feel
+
Smoothing without compressing
+
Sturdy

Reasons to avoid

-
High price point

What we thought when testing? More of a full-length kind of girl? The Align leggings are my favourite for all the same reasons but especially the variety of lengths. Super soft, shaping but not compressive and sure to stay in place when rolling up, down and around. Again, the only downside I can think of is parting with £88 every time you need to replace a pair - luckily, they last for ages.

Best FP Movement Pilates clothes

Best Pilates clothes: Free People

(Image credit: Free People)

12. FP Movement Never Better Bra

Reasons to buy

+
Buttery soft
+
Flat-stitch seams
+
Supportive underband
+
Racer back
+
Great colour selection

Reasons to avoid

-
No full bust sizing 

What we thought when testing? I love that this bra feels supportive enough for Pilates without padding thanks to the compression, strong under band and racer back. 

Best Pilates clothes: Free People

(Image credit: FP Movement)

13. FP Movement Never Better Leggings

Reasons to buy

+
Great length
+
Super soft 
+
Smoothing without restriction
+
Naked feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher price point

What we thought when testing? These leggings fit my short leg length well - but also work for those more vertically gifted than I am. The best bit? They're so soft that you feel like you're not wearing them which, when contorting your body into Pilates famous postures, is invaluable. For more petite gym leggings, check out our guide.

Best Pilates clothes: FP Runsie

(Image credit: Free People)

14. FP Movement Runsie

Reasons to buy

+
Supportive
+
Loose shorts 
+
Sweat-wicking

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher price point

What we thought when testing? "Sure, this was made for runners, but I think it's a great all-in-one option for most sweat sessions," says Head. "While you'll need to wear a bra underneath if you're doing medium to high intensity workouts, it's super soft, supports really well, and looks great, too." 

Best Tala Pilates clothes

Best Pilates clothes: TALA

(Image credit: TALA)

15. Tala Dayflex Wrap Waist Leggings

Reasons to buy

+
Wrap waist
+
Super soft
+
Great size range
+
Made from recycled material

Reasons to avoid

-
Long length (depending on your height)

What we thought when testing? I'll be honest: when I saw wrap waist leggings, I thought I'd hate them. I much prefer my clothing to be simple and I hate feeling anything around my midsection - especially when exercising. But I was very pleasantly surprised with these Tala leggings. Super soft, lightweight feel and non-slip, they're a go to for low-impact workouts like Pilates.

Best Pilates clothes: TALA

(Image credit: TALA)

16. Tala Dayflex Square Neck Sports Bra

Reasons to buy

+
Super soft
+
Made from recycled material
+
Thick underbust

Reasons to avoid

-
Tricky sizing

What we thought when testing? Copy and paste all the things we love about the leggings into this flattering square-neck sports bra. The only issue I have with it is that, as someone with small boobs, the bust-to-band ratio is a little off (the size that fits my boobs is a little tight around my ribs) and I imagine those with big busts may have the opposite issue.

Best GNGR Pilates clothes

Best Pilates clothes: GNGR

(Image credit: GNGR)

17. GNGR Slit Bodysuit

Reasons to buy

+
Stretchy 
+
Sustainable

Reasons to avoid

-
Likely to sell out

What we thought when testing? "I adore sustainable athleisure brand GNGR Bees and own a fair few pieces from the brand already. My top pick for Pilates? The brand’s new Silt bodysuit. Not only is it made from sustainable materials but it stays cool, is incredibly comfy and stretches with my body as I move - no awkward riding up in sight," says Bakolli.

What is best to wear for Pilates?

Anything that makes you feel comfortable, supported and able to move with ease is your best bet. Opting for materials that sweat-wick well is key, too, as is investing in workout kit that won't fall down or cut you in half.

For Pilates in particular, you can opt for lower support bras and tops, as you won't be jumping around as much as say running or HIIT training. That said, you still want to feel held in and like you can move through the various poses comfortably.