What to Wear for Zumba Classes – Style Tips and Guide

Zumba is an amazing cardio workout. If you like dancing and want to stay fit, this high-energy exercise could be the right way for you!

It often uses bodyweight moves like squats incorporated into the dance moves, so you can expect to burn a bunch of calories and work up a sweat.

If you’re new to it, figuring out what to wear for Zumba classes can be challenging. You may not know exactly what to expect, so we’ve developed a quick guide to help you choose the right outfit for the first few times.

Once you’ve been to a few classes, you’ll know exactly what works for you. But here’s our advice on how to start!

Why Does Your Clothing Choice Matter?

As Zumba is an intense, active workout, you need to wear comfortable clothes! Wearing the wrong items could lead to a restricted range of motion or even worse, chafing!

If you wear clothing that’s too tight, you may find that it restricts blood flow during your exercise and leads to tingling or numbness. On the other hand, wearing clothing that’s too loose means there’s a chance of getting tangled or tripping over excess material.

The aim is to wear something that supports a full range of motion comfortably, keeps you comfortable, and doesn’t cause you to overheat.

The great news is that it’s likely you already have appropriate clothing in your closet right now! Even if you’re missing something, it’s as easy as getting a new shirt or pants. It doesn’t require a lot to begin!

What to Wear for Zumba Classes

Here’s a quick overview of what you should consider wearing to Zumba classes. You can get as creative as you like within these categories!

A Supportive Sports Bra

This is important! A regular bra won’t do—it’s not designed to handle this activity level! If you don’t have a sports bra, we highly advise going out and getting one before you start your first class.

Not only will you be able to make all the moves with ease and comfort, but there’s nothing worse than the ache that comes after the class when you haven’t been properly supported!

A Top You’re Comfortable With

Comfort is key here. You can wear a sleeveless top if you’re inclined or a full T-shirt.

The important thing is that your shirt allows you enough room to move comfortably during your Zumba session without restricting anything or being too loose and floaty.

Too loose might get in your way as you’re exercising, too tight, and you may be unable to breathe later in the session!

Shorts, Leggings, or Sweatpants

Again, the idea is to be comfortable and move through various motions easily. Leggings are great as they provide light support, and the tighter fabric helps to stimulate circulation.

If you’re uncomfortable with leggings, you can wear sweatpants, as long as they aren’t too baggy. Otherwise, shorts are great for a full range of motion and keeping you cool!

Sporty Shoes

Your shoes need to support the various movements you’ll be doing. It’s a good idea to consider lightweight dance or cross-training shoes, as they’re designed for fast, side-to-side movements.

A worn-out tread is a better choice for studio work. You’ll be able to move more easily across the smooth floors, whereas choosing a shoe with sticky rubber underneath might hamper your movements and even trip you up as you try to move across the floor.

Make sure your shoes also cater for your own feet and knees. For example, if you’ve got sore knees or hips, you may want to choose shoes with more cushioning. If your arches collapse when you take a step, you’ll need stability shoes to stay properly supported!


There’s no need for accessories unless you want them. If you work up a sweat during each session, a headband and wristbands might be helpful.

If you’re doing a class outdoors, you may want to opt for a cap so you can protect yourself from the sun. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Also, make sure you choose moisture-wicking socks. Your shoes should fit comfortably, and there should be no chafing when you move through the dance actions.

It’s also worth knowing that Zumba has an aqua version! If you’re partaking in this type of Zumba, you can wear a swimming costume, or you can wear your regular clothing but know that it’ll get wet!

In this case, you should stick to tighter clothing that won’t billow out in the water. Bikinis are actively discouraged, so make sure you’re still wearing something appropriate.

Tips for Picking the Perfect Zumba Outfit

Now you know what you should be wearing. Here are our best tips for dressing for your class so you can have the best experience possible!

Go for Comfort Over Fashion

It’s tempting to head to class in your fanciest designer outfit, but don’t make the mistake of choosing fashion over comfort. You’ll be moving a lot, so it’s in your best interest to be as comfortable as possible.

It’s a good idea to choose clothing you’ve already worn a few times so you know it won’t chafe or annoy you. If you’ve bought a new item, you may want to wear it once or twice before you get to class, so you know it’s comfortable.

Remember, nobody’s going to be coming to Zumba for fashion. Everyone is there to have fun and get fit, so it’s unlikely that anyone will judge you for your fashion sense! Be comfy. You’ll thank yourself later!

Avoid Cotton Clothing

Cotton may be soft, but it has one big flaw—it absorbs moisture. That means that when you sweat, the moisture gets absorbed into your clothing and doesn’t evaporate, leaving you feeling wet and dragged down by heavy clothing.

Rather, choose a synthetic fabric like polyester. These materials are designed to wick away moisture, so they remove it from your skin and help it evaporate.

These garments will keep you feeling light and cool, exactly what you want from workout gear!

Most athletic gear these days is made from moisture-wicking material, so this danger is likely to come in if you’re using an old shirt or something that isn’t specifically designed for athletic activity.

Cater to the Studio’s Temperature

Once you’ve been to a few Zumba classes, you should know how the studio feels.

Some studios will keep the air conditioner on so it might be noticeably cooler there than outdoors. Others may opt for fans, which might end up circulating warmer air.

Once you have a good idea of the temperature in the studio, you can cater for it when you choose your outfits. If you know it’s a little stuffy, you might prefer a sleeveless top and shorts.

On the other hand, if it’s cooler in there and you’ve found yourself getting cold in the last few classes, it may be a good idea to wear something with sleeves and leggings or sweatpants.

Above All, Have Fun!

The clothing you choose for Zumba classes can make or break your comfort level. Make sure you’re dressing in something you feel comfortable in, and you should be perfectly fine!

Remember, the ultimate goal is to enjoy yourself and improve your cardiovascular fitness while you’re doing so. Your clothes can be part of that, but don’t get so hung up on what you wear that you forget to let go and have fun during the Zumba session!