Chic and Practical Athletic Wear Pieces For Women over 40

There comes a time when working out in a sports bra or tank and shorts or leggings is simply not going to happen anymore. While having the right underpinnings is key (the busty among us definitely understand that a good sports bra can be a girl’s best friend), sometimes you want a little more coverage. Besides, we’re (most likely) not at the gym for a fashion show or to meet a new partner. That’s when you need some practical athletic wear pieces.

It’s not necessarily about body confidence either. For example, if you’re running, cycling, hiking or otherwise working out outdoors in a cooler climate, you need the appropriate gear. The same goes for specialized programs like weight lifting or pure barre, or sports like tennis or golf. And that’s not even including water or water-adjacent activities like swimming or stand-up paddleboard! 

Chic Athletic Wear Pieces for Women Over 40

Here are some of our favorite practical, but still attractive and chic, workout pieces for women over 40, you’ll feel confident and strong in…


* indicates required

Athletic Wear Pieces foir women over 40 fountainof30

Flared Pants

Not super into leggings but want something more fitted and flattering than joggers or sweats? Flares are back in style and we love them for working out. These Athleta flare pants come in a great range of colors plus basic black, but you can find flared workout pants or yoga pants at most price points. 

Cropped Jackets

These can be a surprisingly great layering piece over a longer tee or tank. Just make sure that the cropped hem hits around your natural waistline or near the bottom of your ribs, which is often the narrowest part of the torso. Not sure if a cropped athletic jacket will work for you? Try out the look with this style from Old Navy for a cheap and chic option. 

Twist-Front Tops

Instead of something super-fitted over the stomach area, a twist-front top can be just as sleek but offer a little more coverage, especially when paired with higher-waisted pants or shorts. There are lots of options out there, but we like the versatility of this Zella tank from Nordstrom

Twist-Back Tops

Try twist-back tops or tops with any kind of back detail or interest, like this one from Athleta that comes in basic black and a bold magenta. We also like this criss-cross style from Lulelemon. Layer these styles over a sports bra or tank with an interesting back detail for a great rear view that shows off a bit of your hard work without being revealing. 

Creative Cutouts

Another option to add some visual interest to your workout looks without showing a ton of skin is to rock a cutout style. Since you are layering them over a sports bra you don’t need to mess with strapless bras or other undergarments like you would for regular tops or pieces with cutouts. Choose a contrasting color and let the layers show along with a peek of the collarbone. This top from Alo Yoga would be a great option for this look.

Running Vests

These are ideal for any kind of outdoor workout or just warming up if your gym or home workout area is particularly chilly, plus they make an excellent layering piece for athleisure looks. We’re fans of this Nike option – the pink is definitely cheerful – but you can find these types of lightweight vests from most athletic or running brands. What’s more, they make it easy for you to take your phone, keys, and other essentials with you on a jog, hike or bike ride. 

Super Bold Sneakers

Amazing kicks have no age requirement, so even if the rest of your workout gear is simple or even underwhelming, adding a pair of bright sole sneakers like the Puma RS-Curve Lightsenses can make all the difference in your look and your mindset.

After all, when you look good, you feel good. And then you can get more out of your workouts! 

What do you wear to actually work out, as opposed to athleisure? Do you prefer a more covered-up look or less fitted pieces, or do you let it all hang out? Where do you shop for workout gear and what are your favorite activities or sports? Let us know in the comments or in our Growing Younger Facebook group! 

Shop Athletic Wear Pieces

Pictured above from left to right:

Athlete Elation Flare Pant, $99

Old Navy PowerSoft Cropped Quarter-Zip Performance Top for Women, $44.99

Zella Twist Front Tank, $35

Savasana Twist Back Sweatshirt, $79

Lululemon Back Into It Long Sleeve Shirt, now $49

Alo Yoga Ribbed Peak Long Sleeve, $62

Nike Therma-FIT Essential Filled Running Vest, now $59.97

Puma RS-Curve Lightsense Women’s Sneakers, $100

–Jacqueline Zenn

You may like to read more of Jacqueline’s fashion styling posts like How To Rock The Après-Ski Look (Even If You Are Not Skiing) and Cabin-Core, Cottage-Core, Study-Core, Oh My! Deciphering The New Trends.

This post contains affiliate links which may give us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Are you following Fountain Of 30 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest? We’ve got lots going on, so join in on the fun! Subscribe to our newsletter here.  You don’t want to miss a post and promise not to bug you to death. We also started a Facebook Group called Growing Younger for women to discuss everything good and bad about being over 40. Additionally Lauren now hosts a podcast called Beauty is a Bitch! and a weekly Instagram Live series called “Growing Younger Gabfest with Lauren.”

Image layout: Fountain Of 30

Please pin!

best workout clothing fountainof30

4 thoughts on “Chic and Practical Athletic Wear Pieces For Women over 40”

  1. This is great. I’m struggling with clothes. For years, I have been a 2 to 3x, but I’ve lost 60 pounds. I went yesterday to get some new pajamas and everything I bought was too big. My mind is still shopping big when I could easily wear a large now, but when I get to the store I think, no I need bigger.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.