Naked Pilates: What Workout Clothes Should You Wear?

Joe Pilates in typical workout attire. Joe Pilates in typical workout attire.

I’ve done Pilates naked and it’s not pretty.  I personally don’t recommend it.  That being said when we practice Pilates nowadays we actually wear a lot of workout clothes.  Joe Pilates had people train with minimal clothing.  He basically wore swimming trunks that looked like black or white tighty whities and women working with Joe often wore leotards.  I would not attend a Pilates class today if they required me to show up in a leotard.

There was a method to Joe’s madness though.  He wanted people unencumbered by clothing, although arguably being comfortable makes you feel freer to move.  I’d be really encumbered if I had to do exercises in front of people in a leotard.  Last fall I almost went out in public in a unitard—a near disaster.  Joe also wanted the skin to be able to breathe.  I get that too, but I’m pretty sure our skin can breathe with a little more clothes on.  And he wanted to be able to see his clients better.  That’s helpful.  If you show up to class wearing more form […]