What are the best clothes to wear at the gym?

August 14, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Good gym clothesSince I began working out I have been to both local and commercial gym types, and one difference I notice about the people that attend them is the attitudes towards what clothes they wear in the gym. Now, I’ve watched both male and females workout and I have to say women are the main culprits for promoting fashion sense rather than dress sense at the gym. It doesn’t bother me personally, but those who dress for fashion standout out like a sore thumb. Maybe they are there to pick up a hot date… nothing wrong with that. But the way I see it, the gym is a place to workout, not a fashion parade, and you can definitely dress for the occasion while looking good at the same time.

Below I’ll outline the dos and the don’ts for clothes to wear in the gym, for both men and women.

Vests

To wear

Men

The best vests to wear are loose fitting sleeveless basketball type vests. They give you plenty of breathing space and allow you to sweat in comfort.

Women

womens gym wear
Women can still have dress sense without the fashion in the gym. A vest like the one above would be best suited. It fits the body well, is light in weight and can be worn with a sports bra.

A good sports bra is essential to provide support and minimize excessive movement. The bra should be a blend of cotton and a breathable material such as Lycra mesh to help sweat evaporate and to prevent odours. The bra you choose should fit just right, allow you to breathe and be supportive, but not constricting your range of motion. Make sure the straps don’t dig into your shoulders or the band into your rib cage.

Not to wear

Men

Wife beaters! These types of vests are good as they keep out of the way and do a good job of exposing your muscles to the masses, but again, one is here to workout and not show off. Besides, it is better not see your muscles when you workout, as you get a better satisfactory feeling from seeing the after results. The main downside to wearing these is that they are cotton and when you sweat, it holds it, and it sticks to your body.

Women

Leotards! Those are like… so 80’s.

Shorts

To wear

Men

Again, loose type basketball shorts are best, if you are running then you may want shorts that are above the knee for a smooth motion.

Women

ladies gym shortsladies gym shorts
Hot pants or mid length shorts are great, not only because they are a tight fit, elastic and allow for quick drying of sweat… they make women look good and are good dress sense for the occasion.

Not to wear

Men

Tight shorts or short shorts. The only reason I state this is because of issues regarding exposure (don’t let it hang out!). If you’ve got chick legs, then again this probably isn’t a good idea, unless you are comfortable with that.

Women

No bright, flashy or uncoordinated colours, that really is not cool.

Footwear

To wear

Men and Women

Runners: The right running shoe should provide stability, motion control, and cushioning for your runs. Depending on the shape of your foot you may need a different sized arch. These also should be ACTUAL running shoes that are designed for running, not those that state they are running shoes when they are in fact just the latest fashion. Talk to a salesperson that specializes in running shoes to find your best fit.

Walking shoes: An ideal walking shoe should allow for a range of motion and cushioning.

Cross-trainers: These are the most commonly worn shoes in the gym. These shoes are ideal for someone who occasionally runs, walks, and/or takes fitness classes. They should offer flexibility, cushioning, and lateral support.

Not to wear

Men and women

Sandals or shoes that expose your feet, keep the sandals for the locker room. The gym is full of equipment and mobile weights. If there ever is an incident involving your feet, then you are setting yourself up for maximum damage, even broken toes. Trainers only.

T-shirts

To wear

Men and women

ladies gym wear

The best t-shirts to wear are cotton/spandex material muscle shirts or t-shirts.  For the ladies, tops like the one above. Both men and women’s tops like these are loose fitting, allow your body to breath and hold sweat well.

Not to wear

Men
Tank tops. These are similar to wife beaters but worse as they are non sleeveless, so when you sweat you literally do have to stick with it!

Trousers

To wear

Men

During the winter months or if you are not a fan of shorts, the best thing to wear on your bottom half are track bottoms (within lining). I believe that track bottoms without lining shouldn’t even exist. When you sit down in them they feel cold against your skin and when you sweat it doesn’t absorb it, and they generally are uncomfortable.

Matching jogging outfits are a also a good thing to wear and for those that want to look like they have fashion sense.

Women

Leggings or tight pants. This is the usual gym wear for most ladies.

Not to wear

Men and women

Jeans… yes, I’ve seen people wear these. Wearing jeans in the gym is the ultimate crime, for dress sense and fashion sense in the gym. Regardless of what type of jeans they are, they are simply not to be worn. They cause and hold more sweat, they are not supportive and you simply cannot perform any exercise effectively while wearing them.

Accessories

To wear

Men and women

All you need are headbands, sweat bands, watches, heart rate monitors or timed devices that actually assist you with your workout.

Not to wear

Men

Trendy watches, jewellery, earrings and all other accessories belong in your locker. Again most people keep these on as a fashion statement, it really is not needed. Besides it could be hazardous to yourself and others in the gym to wear these while working out.

That pretty much sums it up. But since we are talking about real life experiences on stayfitbug.com, we do have to leave some room for personal preferences, and for rules to be broken.

  • You may have a busy schedule, you finish work but can’t be bothered to do the whole ‘gym thing’, so you might just keep your trousers and shoes on, change your top and train.
  • You might have a hot date. You hit the gym for an half an hour (wearing half of the clothes you’ll wear on the date) just to get that ‘pump’ look for the next 12 hours.

Putting the rule breaking aside, it is still important to follow a dress sense that is suited for the gym. But more important, is that you wear clothes that you feel comfortable in, allow you to feel dry, allow you to move freely and make you look good… with out looking like you are in a fashion parade.

What clothes do you where to the gym? Is your gym a fashion parade?

see you in the comments.

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