Gym Fashion

With the New Year’s Resolutioners this year came a flood of interesting gym fashion choices.   I see lots and lots of beer-related t-shirts, booty shorts, gigantic oversized converted painting clothes, spandex bike shorts, JEANS, polo shirts…pretty much everything.

Now, generally, I find there are lots and lots of people against the concept of having a dedicated gym wardrobe.  It’s the whole “why bother?  I’m WORKING OUT.”  mentality.  And, well, yes, you are working out.  I’m not going to go Stacy-and-Clinton and say “You need to be dressed perfectly all the time!  Fitted blazers and heels!”  Lord knows I go to Target in sweatpants at least once a week.  But, I will go out on a limb and offer the following observations.

  1. Wearing actual workout clothes leads to better workouts. I could not run as far as I do in a hot cotton t-shirt, or tennis shoes, or jeans.
  2. Wearing actual workout clothes is a confidence booster. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can at least fake it.  Fake it till you make it, the clothes make the man, and all that.
  3. Wearing actual workout clothes keeps you going to the gym. If you’ve got the stuff  specifically designated to working out in your drawer, and you see it every time you open it, you think about it more.  Andplusalso, I would not waste money by purchasing a workout wardrobe and wearing it once.
  4. Wearing actual workout clothes shows you progress better. For the first four or five months of my gym career, I wore old baggy pajama pants and a t-shirt.  It was totally demotivating because gyms have mirrors everywhere and, well, you can’t see your body changing under all that nonsense.  Once I got somewhat fitted clothing, I could SEE changes happening, and I felt better about myself.

Workout clothes don’t have to be expensive OR terribly revealing to get the job done.  My workout wardrobe is 85% from Target.

These sports bras are my favorite.

And I love their running tanks.

Which would work swimmingly well with some capris.

I also find a lot of great high quality workout clothes for cheap at TJ Maxx.

Anyway, the point is, I think wearing whatever you can find on hand is demotivating and not a great strategy for working out consistently.  Invest a little bit in yourself.  You’re worth it!

Do you have a workout wardrobe?  Why or why not?


20 Responses

  1. LOVE this post!! My attitude towards working out totally changed when I splurged and bought the right attire. First off, it’s mega comfy. I will never run in a cotton t-shirt again. Ever.

    I buy mostly Adidas and Nike stuff, but I have a few Lululemon items that were 100% worth it. Expensive, but they’re those items Stacey and Clinton call signature pieces. They’re a big initial investment, but last you for years and years.

    Also deserving of a shout out are proper running socks. Gems.

  2. I swear by those bras! Like the post- I still do alot of tshirts, but it is nice to switch it up and feel like I don’t look like a bag lady on the treadmill every once in awhile…

  3. I do have a workout wardrobe – it’s basically tank tops and running shorts. All from Target as well!

    I think the most important thing with gym clothes is SAFETY. Baggy stuff can get caught on equipment or you can trip. Proper shoes are a must. etc.

  4. Love this post! People in jeans at the gym shouldn’t be allowed inside.

    I love those sports bras from Target! I actually need more support than they provide, but they’re perfect for sleeping in (for me at least).

    I used to work out in yoga pants and a cotton t-shirt. I had no clue I was so wrong back then. I usually wear a Techwik shirt and Under Armour shorts when I go to the gym now.

  5. i wish i could print this out and send it to all the people at my gym! even though i am new to working out at a gym, i’m already loving my workout clothes. I may not know what I’m doing, but at least I look like I do! 🙂

  6. I do have a dedicated workout wardrobe. Partly for the reasons you listed, but also because clothes designed for working out function better for that purpose than old cotton t-shirts and baggy sweatpants. Those old clothes are for lounging around the house & working in the yard, or, in my case, on the farm. Also, I get sweaty & stinky, and like to contain the funk to a small portion of my wardrobe. 🙂 I shop mainly at Target, too. Except I HAVE to have good quality running socks & a good supportive sports bra (my girls are on the largish side & are partial to the Moving Comfort brand).

  7. I agree that January brings out the weird at the gym. The other day a woman came to step class in Birkenstocks.

    That said, I think that proper workout gear is motivating. It doesn’t have to be expensive or anything, but I know that I will perform much better if I have a great sports bra that minimizes “bounce” and workout capris where I don’t have to worry about my ass (sorry) showing when I’m doing lunges.

  8. I agree with the part about wearing FITTED clothing. For years I’ve been wearing t-shirts, which just look HORRIBLE on me. Now I love going to my closet and picking out a fitted workout shirt (usually made of wicking material). It makes me feel way better about myself at the gym. Also, the capris just show my great leg muscles that much more!

  9. I am down with the fitted capri pants, but I really don’t like wearing a fitted shirt….yet. Maybe once I lose some more weight. I also have a terrible time finding a sports bra that I feel gives me support. I just recently bought a bunch of new workout gear (so I am not forced to do laundry every 2 days!) and it makes my life so much easier!!

  10. This post made me (seriously) laugh out loud! Since I work in a gym, I get to see the full range of “gym fashions.” What I find most hysterical are the teen/young 20-something girls who find the gym to be one more place to flaunt their stuff. They give no consideration to the function of a sports bra or the length of their shorts. Oy..

    Most of my workout wardrobe has come from the racks of TJ Maxx & Marshall’s. I always find good deals on capris and running tanks there! It’s pretty basic – all of my bottoms are black and I throw a bit of color on top!

  11. You are so right on this one! Also, I often use new workout clothes as my “reward” for reaching a fitness goal – way better than rewarding myself with an extra dessert or something like that!

  12. All of my workout clothes are from Target(but I work there, so that could be why…). I’ve got everything down but the shirts 😉 I just don’t feel comfortable in the form fitting shirts, but I don’t wear baggy t-shirts either, they usually fit just right. Do you really run better in a running tank? I have noticed that sleeves are getting stuck in my elbow-pits and it’s annoying!
    A couple days ago I saw someone at the gym wearing Crocs. My gym has a strict dress-code, I’m wondering how they got in!

    • I definitely run better in a tank. I hate having sweaty arms, so I wear tank tops as much as possible. ALWAYS when I’m running indoors!

  13. I do have a workout wardrobe…and I bought most of it on eBay for super cheap…

  14. I have designated workout clothes, which are then divided into different catergories. Mostly because I like to run in shorts, but wear capris (never pants) for Body Combat and Body Attack. Finding properly fitting workout clothes is really important. In my opinion, if I don’t feel good and comfy when exercising, my workout suffers because I’m too busy adjusting and readjusting my clothes.
    At my old gym, there was a member who came in her comfy (but designer) clothing and walked on the treadmill in full make up, red lipstick and all, with lots of big bracelets and necklaces. I found that very puzzling.

  15. I love Target’s active wear selection…I think I have like 5 of their sports bras and a bunch a spandex shorts and pants from them….It always feels good to get a new workout outfit too!! It makes me want to workout more!

  16. ps..I wanted to let you know your blog was my inspiration to get into running and I started back in november…I can now run 2.5 miles without needing a break! I am pretty sure I can tack on the 5 extra minutes it would take to finish the 5k in no time at all….which will be necessary since I am doing a 5k on 2/13! Thanks for being an inspiration 🙂

    • Aww, thanks–and good luck! The rule of thumb for running is that if you can run 2/3 of the race distance, you’ll be fine on race day–most marathon training plans only take you up to 20 miles, you get the extra 6.2 out of sheer determination and adrenalin! Good luck!

  17. […] I’ve been reading a lot of fitness blogs that have recently dealt with the topics of gym attire. January does bring out a lot of new or irregular exercisers at the gym (New Year’s […]

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