While many women don’t pay their gym attire much attention, people actually do take notice. Many will rightfully say clothing isn’t important at the gym, as the way you train and the sort of supplements like growth hormone pills take precedence. But I’ve had the privilege of sitting down with one of the most prominent gym owners in the city and the topic of “what not to wear to the gym” quickly became the focus of our conversation. What to wear is not generally known by every attendee of the gym… for example, did you know that there are certain socks that can absorb the stress of exercise that can reduce the pain of exercise, and where to buy compression socks? Now, maybe it’s because I am a fashion blogger and I simply offered the perfect outlet, but I am guessing that this was not the case. My friend and gym owner brought up some common fashion faux pas that I’m certain we’ve all witnessed.
This begs the question, why do women care about their appearance outside of the gym but not at the gym itself? As it turns out, there is proper gym etiquette which coincidentally includes a dress code. What sort of a fashionista would I be if I didn’t jump of the opportunity to discuss this topic? Just because you’re breaking a sweat doesn’t make you immune to some basic fashion rules.
Gym Shirt No No’s
Sure you may get flushed and your clothes damp, but being in the confines of a gym does not mean that you are suddenly out of the public view. Many people reserve certain garments strictly for the gym, but it isn’t okay to wear a t-shirt so old that it is transparent or one that you’ve had to sew up at any point. Holes in workout clothes send the wrong message to the world. Gym sloppy is portrayed as life sloppy. If you wouldn’t wear something on the street, you should probably retire it from your gym attire as well.
Another common mistake women make is wearing sports bras that are too tight. Although this can happen with ordinary bras as well, gym clothes are not as forgiving and show the unwanted back fat rolls. In fact, where regular clothes may conceal this effect, gym clothes actually amplify it.
The same goes for belly shirts. Besides the obvious reasons of not showing more than you intend to, you have to consciously protect your skin from the germs that thrive on gym equipment surfaces. But at the end of the day do wear some form of a shirt on top of your sports bra. Men already have a shorter life expectancy than women and you jogging in a sports bra will not be helping that statistic.
Gym Shirt Musts
When it comes to fashion, be it in your daily life or during your gym routine, know your limits. Wear clothes that are chic, durable, and flattering. Yes, it is possible for women’s workout shirts to have it all. If you already own a collection of sports bras and you simply want to update your tops, I recommend this loose and flowy, Adidas by Stella McCartney Cover Up Tank. This shirt boasts a pretty A-line silhouette and a delicate allover burnout pattern for added style. It comes in three fantastic colors and is super lite and airy which will help keep you cool at the gym. It is also versatile enough to to wear before and after your gym visit.
For all you fashionistas out there who want to stand out at the gym, here is my fashion conscious find. This slim-fitting asymmetrical creation by the Gap is stylish enough to wear outside of the gym, as well. Ultimately, if you wear clothes that make you feel good your workout will reflect it.
My final suggestion is for the women who insist on working out in a sports bra. A comfortable and flattering alternative is a tank with a built in bra. lululemon has perfected this style. I have one in pink that I just love. The cut is low enough to give it a feminine feel, but it also provides incredible support and hugs the body in all the right places.
Gym Bottoms Misses
In your leisure, the length of you shorts may not come into question as much as it would at the gym. Besides breaking people’s workout concentration, you run the possibility of attracting creeps. Flashing people with your short shorts will do just that. You can feel sexy and accomplished without revealing too much. Plus, they will limit the variety of exercises that you can do.
But nothing causes a bigger stir at the gym than a super tight pair of pants. Camel toes are the outcome of this fashion choice and are never a good idea. Tight workout pants are also counterproductive since you will be doing more pulling and tugging than bending and lifting. So why wear them? They make you look heavier and accentuate your imperfections. Also, lose the granny panties when you work out. The lines will show through your pants and will draw attention to your posterior and not in a good way. Try to wear boy shorts instead.
Gym Bottoms Hit List
So, here are my solutions to give your bottoms a real picker upper. If you wear shorts, choose tight fitting mid length kind. They cover your lady parts, prevent chafing and make it easy to run and move freely. Shorts are also great for classes and will prevent your feet from getting caught in the bottom of wider pants during exercises like Zumba and Spin. Lululemon Reverse Groove Shorts are my first choice, they are the perfect length, are made of breathable fabric and have a small waistband inner stash pocket to secure money and keys.
In colder months opt for the Essential Skinny Pants by Puma. Why are these pants so great? For one, they are not as pricey as some of the other brands, so you can get a couple pairs. Plus, they are specially designed to flatter your rear end, not that you need it. These skinny pants absorb moisture and like lululemon and they have an inner key pocket for added convenience. I love this secret pocket. If you have a Nano or a Shuffle, they will easily fit in it.
Not all pants are created equal. Lululemon came out with a special edition Wunder Under Pant*Pleats. They are out-of-this-world. They are a stylish no fuss solution to spicing up your workout wardrobe. Wear them to yoga, to the gym or to the mall. They are that versatile. They fit like a second skin and the way they make your butt defy gravity is unmatched.
Exercise has so many benefits, why not add shopper’s high to the list. Equip yourself with some fabulous new workout gear and boost your confidence at the gym. One area I did not cover is footwear; Vessi shoes are well worth checking out if you’re looking for a new pair of runners. Avoid fashion faux pas because you never know who you will “run” into. So flex your fashion muscles and enjoy your shopping, ladies.