(photo credit: Associated Press)
The gym is certainly not a fashion show – it is no place for makeup and it is definitely not the place for sparkling jewels - anklets, charm bracelets and giant hoop earrings are a definite no-no (believe me I have seen it all). In fact the majority of people probably think “Why does it matter what I wear when I work out? I am just going to get all sweaty anyways.” Wong!
Trend Alert: A splash of color Style junkie: Tightening upLong and Lean torso:
There is a definite upside to looking stylish (in a sporty way of course) when hitting the gym. How you look is reflected in how you feel, so if your workout clothes are unflattering (old tee, baggy pants and run down sneakers) you're not going to want to put them on, which provides you with yet another excuse to skip your exercise session. Moreover, like with any outfit, when you wear something flattering, it automatically boosts your confidence. It’s natural, looking good makes one feel good, which can only promote positive results. Finally, and probably most importantly, proper gym attire is essential to helping you get the most out of your work out – the wrong shoes or materials, could literally be slowing you down.
Just because you may be going all out at the gym, doesn’t mean you should let it all hang out. Ladies, midriff shirts (past the age of 15 or unless you have a six-pack) are really not acceptable. Even on the thinnest of us, they are just not flattering. What’s more they don’t even do a very good job at absorbing our sweat; so instead, opt for full torso-fitting shirt. Like any other tops, certain styles fit different people better – some of us look better in halters while others in tank or tube tops. Gym shirts are no different, so check out the different cuts – from racer back to scooped neck to sleeveless tanks and full fitted tees, the possibilities are endless.
There are few "factors" to keep in mind when choosing your work out shirt. First the material: Look for fabrics that don't restrict movement, especially in your arms. Also, opt for a sweat absorbent or breathable material such as lycra. The next important consideration is of course support. Sports bras, true to their name, offer of course the most support and are the best for any "serious" workouts; however, a strong built in support system can work too (especially for calmer activities such as yoga).
The last consideration to keep in mind is none other than color! While dark colors (blacks and grays) are indeed the most slimming, the gym is one place where you can sport white after Labor Day and pastels before the flowers bloom. So switch up your gym attire by adding in a few rainbow shades: from baby blue, to girly pink, to aqua green - keep your mood upbeat with a dash of color.
Display those legs:
Whether you are into Pilates, aerobics or just using the elliptical proper workout pants are essential part of your gym wardrobe. You want pants (or shorts) to move with your body and to not restrict movement in anyway. In regards to materials, opt for a blend of soft cotton or stretchable spandex/lycra as these fabrics stretch with you (also go for an elastic waist band). While baggy slacks are not a definite no-no, tighter fitting pants, not only look better, but they also show your leg muscles moving –allowing you to see if you are doing to the movement correctly. Tight capri pants (a personal favorite) not only display your toned legs, but you can wear them every season and are perfect for any leg involved activities– from running, to yoga, to spinning.
When it comes to style, pair tops and pants in complementary tones. Mix up your gym attire from switching back and forth between the traditional all black or the classic black and white combo to pairing solid darker color pants with a colorful tee. Sole Mates:
They may not be as glamorous as your stiletto heels, as adorable as your new ankle boots or as sexy as your knee highs, but gym shoes are probably one of, if not, the most important shoe purchase you could possibly make. It is your shoes that will give you the support and that “spring” you need to push yourself harder during your work out. In fact, the wrong shoe could mean that you are not working out at your maximal potential. Many women don’t give their trainers the full attention that they need, and instead just wear any old pair of sneakers that have been laying around the house for ages. However, when it comes to athletic footwear, one size doesn’t fit all.
Nowadays, we can find sport shoes in all shapes, styles (and don’t
forget colors). So how do we know what would be the best shoe to wear
for our workout? Well for starters, it’s important to understand that
athletic shoes manage the impact and absorb the shock in different ways
depending on their purpose. So you need to identify what type(s) of
exercise you will be performing and then find the shoe designed for
those specific movements. For instance, actual running shoes are
designed to handle the impact from steady forward motion. So while they
are perfect for any type of running or even fast walking, wear them to
an aerobics or step class and you may find yourself without full
support (as they aren’t designed to handle the repetitive side to side
If you like to switch it up in the gym, then the
safest bet to go with is a cross-trainer- an all purpose sneaker that
generally gives you support for a multitude of activities. But whatever
sport your do, and whatever shoe you choose, always remember to trade in
your trainers at least once a year (worn out shoes can give you joint
and knee pain). The final touch (of color):
because traditional accessories are a no-no at the gym,doesn’t mean
that you can’t accessorize. Keep your hair up and off your neck with a
sporty head band – add a little “fun” to your look by going for
different colors and patterns. While you need to ditch your traditional
purse during workout time, a vibrant sporty bag (for your towel, ipod
and water bottle) is a definite must. And speaking of water bottles, as
it is a bad idea to re-use disposable water bottles (germs
and bacteria build up in them) invest in a trendy neon long term