Having a great collection of workout gear not only makes you feel more confident, but can also improve your performance. In fact, there’s science to prove it.
Research has shown that our brains associate certain types of apparel with certain activities and environments. So by switching out of your everyday pieces into workout clothes, you’re telling your brain it’s time to start working up a sweat.
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Instead of reaching for that old oversized tee in your closet, though, consider opting for a special workout top. These are made with moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester and tend to offer a more fitted silhouette so as not to impede your movement. Offered in a whole range of looks, there’s a workout shirt for every need or stylistic preference. Paneled, tie-bottom shirts, for example, are great for yoga class as they’re breathable and their hems don’t easily ride up. Meanwhile, seamless tops might serve you better for a run as they help prevent chafing.
Whatever your preferred choice of exercise may be, check out our favorite workout tops, including tank tops, short sleeve shirts and long sleeve options.
Workout Tank Tops
Best Mesh Tank: Mippo Mesh Top
Mippo’s mesh top is perfect for both high intensity and low-intensity activities with its mesh paneled back that helps keep the body cool while still providing full coverage. The back tie allows you to customize the fit, while the top’s modal fabric wicks away sweat.
Best Compression Tank: Carbon38 Action Tank
For those who prefer a tighter workout tank, Carbon38’s top uses the brand’s Cloud Compression technology for a supportive fit. The built-in padding takes away the need for a sports bra with a fabric that’s soft to the touch. Compression helps increase blood flow and circulation so you can choose this top for any activity.
Best Cropped Tank: P.E. Nation Shuffle Tank
Made from ultra-soft breathable jersey material, rock this colorful crop top during your next spin class or HIIT workout. Its dropped armholes reduce chafing and irritation while allowing for aeration. Plus, the rolled, extended hem sits looser on the body to create a flattering look.
Best Tank With Built-In Bra Support: Alo Yoga Real Bra Tank
This seamless tank from Alo Yoga fits like a glove and contours to the shape of your body. It includes a shelf bra for light support and an extended hem that takes it from a bra to a tank, allowing you to feel comfortable wearing it on its own.
Best T-Back Tank: Icyzone Running Tank
Made from lightweight, stretchy and moisture-wicking fabric, Icyzone’s tank has a T-back design that allows for ultimate mobility of the arms, chest and core. The open back style also shows off your favorite sports bra as flatlock seams reduce chafing during runs or yoga.
Best Strappy Tank: Athleta Allegro Support Tank
Short Sleeve Workout Shirts
Best Fitted Short Sleeve: Reebok Dynamic Short Sleeve Top
Best Seamless Short Sleeve: Lululemon Swiftly Tech Top
Created for running and training, Lululemon’s crew neck top has a no-chafe, seamless construction to last comfortably through mile after mile. It’s lightweight and sweat-wicking, with engineered mesh strategically placed in areas that tend to get sweaty. The brand’s Silverescent technology also reduces the growth of odor-causing bacteria on the fabric.
Best V-Neck Short Sleeve: Under Armour Tech Twist Shirt
Under Armour incorporates its Tech fabric, one that is quick-drying and ultra-soft for a more natural feel. The four-way stretch construction creates more flexibility and anti-odor technology prevents the growth of smelly build up and bacteria.
Best Cropped Short Sleeve: Outdoor Voices Sweatee T-Shirt
This subtly cropped top from Outdoor Voices is with the brand’s performance cotton blend; the soft fabric is also sweat-wicking to keep you cool and dry throughout any type of exercise.
Best Mesh Style Short Sleeve: Nike Indio SS Top
Emblazoned with Nike’s iconic swoosh, this semi-sheer mesh top comes in black and white both. The lightweight, breathable design provides subtle coverage over tanks and sports bras. The tie-front silhouette flatters the waist and can be worn looser or tighter to your liking.
Best Open Back Short Sleeve: Beyond Yoga Twist Goodbye Tee
Beyond Yoga transforms its lightweight exercise top with a unique open-back design, allowing for maximum breathability. The twisted bottom hem and top strap hold the shirt in place while a crew neckline and drop sleeves create a comfortable fit.
Long Sleeve Workout Shirts
Best Tie-Front Long Sleeve: All Access Security Top
Tie-front tops provide a more flattering fit than a straight hem as they elongate the legs and accentuate the core. All Access’ take on this style boasts soft and stretchy jersey fabric in a relaxed silhouette with an elongated hem in the back for coverage. Thumbholes keep hands warm and also provide a base grip during barre classes.
Best Quick-Dry Long Sleeve: Hanes Cool Dri Performance Tee
If you’re going from a workout class to brunch or to run errands, Hanes long-sleeve tee is ideal. It features a tagless design and soft fabric. Meanwhile, the brand’s quick-drying technology wicks away sweat as FreshIQ advanced protection reduces odor so you stay fresh stepping out of the studio.
Best Cropped Long Sleeve: Seasum Long Sleeve Top
Seasum’s scoop-neck long sleeve top features mesh fabric placed where you sweat most, as well as solid yet stretchy panels. The fabric is designed to be opaque even as you move and a banded hem prevent the top from riding up.
Best V-Neck Long Sleeve: Adidas Training Tech Tee
Adidas’ V-neck workout tee is made to look flattering on nearly any body type. Climalite fabric absorbs sweat on the surface of skin to keep you dry while the neckline offers slightly less coverage to balance out the longer sleeves.
Softest Long Sleeve: We Over Me Karma Top
Made with the brand’s signature ultra-soft stretch fabric, We Over Me’s long-sleeve top boasts a classic fit with a paneled construction. It includes extended cuffs with thumbholes for added warmth and protection during chillier weather workouts.
Best Thermal Long Sleeve: Three Sixty Six Dry Fit Top
Compression Dry Fit fabric used in Three Sixty Six’s workout top pulls sweat away from skin to help regulate body temperature. Its long, athletic cut hugs your hips so it won’t ride up, while the thermal, raglan waffle design keeps you covered on chillier days.
All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn commission and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
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