UPGRADE YOUR WORKOUT LOOK
Dressing up for the gym is as important as staying fit. Here’s a quick rundown on what you should be wearing to the gym to look stylish.
Though the gym isn’t traditionally the place you’d ‘dress to impress’, the unwritten codes of this now evolving social space swanked with judgemental people demand that we get noticed for the right reasons. On a lighter note, we have to admit that feeling confident gives us the energy to perform better and we could all do with an additional energy boost at the gym. ADD SOME COLOUR AND FUN
Don’t blend in with the gym equipment with monotones of blacks and greys. Gyms are all about energy, vitality and the unbeatable enthusiasm to look better than yesterday. So bring in some life and add colour to your outfits. A bright top with a motivating text or even a pair of eye-catching sneakers in the season’s colour would go to ensure everyone knows your place in the gym. Not just that, it’ll even bring out the vibrancy from within you.
HIGHLIGHT AND DOWNPLAY
We all have problem areas (that’s why we are at the gym in the first place, right?); and then we have areas that we can naturally show off even if the scales aren’t on our side. Opt for lighter colours for areas you want to highlight and darker ones for the places you want to downplay. If you have great arms and collarbones, by all means, show it off with a well-fitted tank top and let it serve as a personal motivation to bring out those abs next.
Tip: If you’re trying to make your legs look slimmer or hide those stubborn love handles and lower belt that simply refuse to shape into abs – wear high rise bottoms in a darker solid colour and instead of wearing bright shoes, go for sneakers in the same colour. Florescent laces or a dash of vibrant colour somewhere on the sides or along the sole will give it the pop of colour without interrupting the silhouette. An outline of the same colour leads to a smooth, unbroken line from the hip to the ground giving the illusion of sleeker legs. A colour contrast, on the other hand, breaks this line making you look stouter.
WEAR A FIT RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR WORKOUT
Fitted gym-wears are encouraged for more reasons than one. If you are into something like yoga or acrobatics, it is essential to wear fits that while allowing you to stretch to your maximum also does not show off what’s more than necessary while you hang in unusual positions. If your routine includes a lot of running, skipping and high intensity cardio, wearing a good sports inner wear is essential not only to give a good shape on the outside but to save you from serious ligament pulls. Being uncomfortable, self-conscious or stopping to tuck things in place every now and then is only going to disrupt your workout; and it’s quite annoying to watch.
Tip: Basics that are closest to your body can reach their expiry quicker than others. Watch out for distorted cups, underwire slips or a looser fit. As much as we’d like to believe it has gotten looser because we’ve shed some weight, there’s a pretty high chance it has also lost its elasticity. Go on an immediate shopping expedition and get some more.
A GOOD CHANGE OF CLOTHES
Yes, it is important to come dressed right, but if you want to show everyone you’re just as geared up to take on other fields of your life, make sure you walk out of the shower room with the same preparedness you came in with; which means no pyjamas, old T-shirts or floppy sandals. If you’ve managed to catch some attention in the gym room, there’s a good chance everyone would like to see (and judge) how you are beyond your time in the gym too.
WEAR SWEAT-WICKING FABRIC
And that’s not 100% cotton. Sweat at the gym is a norm; but there is a very thin line between being the ‘inspiring one’ who’s sweating it out oh-so-marvellously and the smelly ‘repulsive’ one you’d want to maintain safe distance from (and might even resort to sanitising the equipment they touched before getting on it). Though cotton has been the popular choice for comfortable summer wear, we must remember that this fabric also soaks moisture and takes time to dry. What you’ll be left with is a sweat-clad T-shirt that unattractively sticks to your body. This can cause skin irritation and even increased friction in chafeprone areas. Not to mention, those ugly sweat stains that appear in inappropriate places. A lot of sports brands have skilfully engineered useful technical fabrics in varying styles to ensure gym time remains comfortable and stylish. Look out for quick-drying synthetics and ‘breathable’ gym wear.
Tip: Gym attires in dry-fit, mesh styles are great not just as a sweat-wicking fabric but also to show off flaunt-able areas without exposing too much.
A WELL-SEGMENTED GYM BAG
So you aren’t clumsily dropping personal belongings in the locker room. As handy as it is to keep things organised and in the right place (without shampoo stains on your new set of clothes) it’s also a great gym accessory that you can make a statement with. Just like your pretty purse. And in case you forgot where you kept it, be certain your crush will have no difficulty spotting it for you.
EXPERIMENT WITH HAIR STYLES
Not perms, blowouts or wedding hair-do kind of styles, but smart, sporty, lets-keep-hair-off-my-face ones. High ponytails, simple plaits and buns are common, so try something different like a set of old-school pigtails, a reverse-braid ponytail or even one-sided fish braids. And nothing says ‘I’m off to the gym’ like a perky headband. It looks really cute too and keeps those fringes, bangs and stubborn flicks away from your eyes. Keep a range of colourful headbands at hand — it’s a fun and easy way to colour coordinate outfits and look gym-ready. Don’t be surprised if that weight-pumping big girl stops by to take some styling tips from you instead of commenting on your routine.
Don’t get too excited and let us rephrase ‘makeup’ and call it ‘just a little touch up’, shall we? Makeup and gym don’t go together. But if you’re one of those who won’t step out without makeup, don’t worry; there are always those secret hacks. A little clear gel on the eyebrows, some mascara and a rosy lip tint are all that you need to sport a naturally gorgeous face while you sweat it out; and no one will know you have makeup on. Well, as long as you ensure they’re all waterproof.
WEAR A SMILE
Yes, we know how the ‘I’m-pumping-up’ face looks. We also understand that perspiring like the gym’s water fountain while running like you’re being chased by a tornado aren’t situations where you could be concentrating on a million dollar smile. But keep a happy face and avoid sulking like you’ve been forced to activate the most rusted parts of your body much against your will. A smiling face when everyone is going through the same pain is always a morale booster. Watch the guy next to you run another mile on the treadmill once you’ve given him that empathetically warm ‘I-feel-you’ smile.
Yes, workout! Everyone in that room is there for the same reason and daring to be different is probably just going to make people wonder why you came in the first place. Strutting around with your gym wear around each machine isn’t going to impress anyone. Besides, it’s quite distracting for those working out and we don’t mean in an attractive way. Go through the routine you planned and stay focused on it.
Antara Bose is a model turned fashion and beauty consultant. A popular blogger, anchor, and voice over artist, she maintains a deep connection with the local fashion industry and is passionate about discovering and celebrating aspiring talent as well as promoting animal rights. For fashion updates with a side of humour and sarcasm follow Antara on instagram @antarabose and on Facebook (Antara Bose)