A t-shirt that fits loose enough to allow you room for a good workout while simultaneously being snug enough to give an air of tailored slickness is always a good place to start. If your first thought was a white tank, kindly reconsider. The wife beater is a risky move, because – although, yes, it’s fitted enough and yes, it allows some room for movement – it can be very, very, unforgiving.
The safest bet would be a short sleeved top, like the Pro Hypercool Fitted top, by Nike. The mesh panels makes this an ideal choice, with breathability being a top priority during an intense training session. If you’re not one for investing in pieces you’ll sweat in, there are more cost effective options.
The question is shorts, sweats or tracks? That depends on what your workout will consist of. For cardio related exercise, stick to shorts – again, the rule of fitted but not snug is a good one to live by.
There are a few ‘alternative’ trends popping up at the moment, with techno-coloured harem pants as the poster garment for edgy cool. Tempting though that may be, simplicity is always best. It ensures you look smart at the gym without drawing unnecessary attention to yourself or looking like you care too much.
It should go without saying: trainers. But the question of where to start may have you stumbling into the nearest sports wear store, completely at the mercy of ruthless sales assistants – but that’s what we’re here for. There’s a lot to be said for comfort in footwear for the gym. After all, most of the effort required in workouts is heavily dependent on your feet.
If you’d prefer working out more than once a fortnight, a great pair of trainers (or two) will surely be worth the investment. But before you go off purchasing some serious kit, bear in mind that you don’t have to go completely pro. Why not opt for something simple, understated and reliable? le coq sportif has a great range of casual trainers ideal for when focusing on your upper body during a workout.
Of course, Adidas or Nike is also a good shout. It may seem like a good idea during that final week before payday, but try to avoid cheap alternatives to the real deal. In time, in fact a disappointingly short period of time, they’ll only let you down by wearing through and you’ll have to repeat the process. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
What Not to Wear
It’s pretty obvious what the do’s and don’ts of gym wear is, if you need a little more guidance, however, check out our full rundown on what you shouldn’t be wearing to the gym.
- Onesies: It’s a public gym, not a Frat boys’ after after party. Yes, gym attire is still linked to casual attire somewhat, but there’s a line.
- Meggings: This means men in leggings, or ‘trousers’ so tight they cinch in places we’d rather not see them cinched.
- Very, very, short Shorts: For reasons similar to the above. If teeny shorts are genuinely your preference, then make like a public school rugby jock and don a pair of cycling shorts underneath. For everyones sakes.
- Oversized Anything: An inconvenience, because if you’re shy you may feel more comfortable in less intrusive garments. The truth is, however, it just looks sloppy.
- Previously Worn Gym Clothes: While tossing your once-used gym clothes in the washing machine may seem wasteful, remember you’d have sweated in them. Ideally, a considerable amount. It’s much more hygienic (for yourself and others) to opt for a fresh outfit per gym session.
- Cleavage Bearing Tanks: Yes, men wearing tank tops so low that, depending on the angle and the direction of the wind, you may see nipple. Enough with that, thank you.
- Lack of Towel = Lack of Manners: Again, hygiene is of the utmost importance. Leaving a sloppy mess as evidence of your epic workout is rude and inconsiderate. It’s best to remember to bring a s mall towel with you to the gym, that way you can give the apparatus a quick wipe down for the next guy. Besides, there’s something very Rocky Bilbao about sporting a towel around the neck when you arrive. If that’s not incentive enough, what is?
Gym Style Cheat Sheet
- Unless you’re a seasoned gym veteran, don’t wear anything too tight – nobody wants to see that.
- Don’t overdo it with colours / print – simplicity is the best way forward.
- Consider what type of workout you plan on doing when choosing your gear.
- Don’t forget grooming, a little hair gel and a dab of moisturiser goes a long way.
- No onesies, meggings, short shorts, oversized or deep v t-shirts – they’re just not cool.