UP­GRADE YOUR WORK­OUT LOOK

HI Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - STORY AN­TARA BOSE —Hi­Week­end@time­so­fo­man.com

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.

MAKEUP

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.

WORK­OUT

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)

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