10 Fashion Tips at the Gym

February 4, 2009 by Anna   | Filed under Style & Trends


Alright guys, I must address this. I am a regular gym rat and I am seeing some pretty gnarly outfits at the gym. Just because you're pumping iron and breaking a sweat doesn't mean that you're suddenly no longer in public.  It's not ok to wear a t-shirt so old that it's practically sheer. Let's set some ground rules! Here are 10 fashion tips for the gym:

1. Makeup Even though you're in public, it is not a good idea to wear full blown makeup.  If you're serious about working out, you will be sweating and soon enough, your eyeliner and mascara will run.  If you're going to the gym straight from work, most of your makeup has probably worn off from the day so that amount of makeup is perfectly acceptable.  I'm talking about girls purposefully slapping on a bunch of makeup and showing up to work out. It makes me believe you're not serious about your workout routine.  Now, I do realize that the gym is a great place to meet guys, but as proven in my previous post, "How Guys Really Feel About Makeup", guys tend to prefer it natural.  You're there to workout and no one will take you seriously with all that, as my fiance puts it, "clown whore makeup".  The glow you get from a great workout at the gym can never be bought in a bottle.  If there's a cute trainer you're trying to impress, I suggest light powdering of the face to smooth out your skin, but that's it.  So get your glow on naturally.

Sorry Jane, these outfits should only appear in your old videos.

Sorry Jane, these outfits should only appear in your old videos.

2. 80s Leotards Jane Fonda called and she needs her suits back.  Yes, I'm talking about the ladies with the metallic spandex pants with the one piece "bathing suit" layered on top.  Why do these things still exist?  Where are they being purchased, and which corporate office number do I need to call to get these pulled from the shelves? Oh gosh...is it possible, these are hand me downs?!  I hope not, because leotards are not hot and they're unsanitary.  Seriously, when people wear this, it makes me wonder...are they not looking around them?  Ain't nobody wearing that no more!  And you know this look isn't cheap.  When I see the spandex and leotards, it's usually coordinated with a matching headband, wristbands and legwarmers.  I appreciate the effort of coordination....so thanks...but no thanks.  Please let Jane keep her 80s gear and opt for something hotter to work out in.

3. Jewelry You may think I'm imagining things, but I have seen people wear full blown jewelry while on the treadmill.  I'm talking watches, charm bracelets, and today this lady had her sunglasses on her head (she was on the bike barely peddling).  And for the guys, I've seen the gold bracelet and gold necklaces as well.  Let me tell you something:  Not only is it annoying to be working out and wearing all that jewelry, you're tarnishing it by sweating all over it.  So please, do yourself a favor and leave your jewelry at home or put it away if you're serious about getting a great workout.

4. Belly Shirts Please don't show your abs if you don't have any.  There's really no need to show your abs if you're sporting a one pack, and by one pack I mean "one big mess".  Seriously.  As much as we think it's great you're taking steps toward a healthier body, we are not so interested in the before pictures without seeing the after.  Although I do wonder....why is it ok to wear just your sports bra when you have nice abs anyway?  Of course it's acceptable if you're a trainer and I'm not against this, but if you have a nice butt, why aren't people wearing cutout butt pants then?  That would be hilarious, but would end up in an immediate fashion arrest.  All I'm saying is, don't set yourself up to be talked about. Choose things that flatter you and hide what doesn't.

Will proves that short shorts are NOT hot.

Will proves that short shorts are NOT hot.

5. NCAA Circa 1965 Shorts Guys, I'm talking to you. If you weren't part of the John Wooden Dynasty, it's time to retire those tight short shorts. Not only are your "goods" more likely to fall out, it's just so perverted. This is where I see pasty, hairy, sweating legs and it is not cute. Invest in basketball shorts if you're going to go for shorts and cover up the legs if you haven't tanned in a while. You like girls with the tan, and we want you to have a healthy sun tan as well. If you haven't been out in the sun since 1965, go for athletic pants. Those are hot.

6. Shoes Now in my "Fashions for Nerds" post, I say don't wear gym shoes.  Well, guess where you are?  And guess what you should be wearing.  Yes...gym shoes.  I have seen men wear their Timberlands or dress shoes in.  I have seen girls with walking shoes like Keds.  These types of shoes will keep you from maximizing your workout potential, and they do not give you the support you need.  Also, if your gym shoes were once white and now they're brown, or if I can see the color of your socks and your toes wiggle because of the holes, please get a new pair.  It's not that much -- I've seen Asics for $30, so there is no economic reason why you can't afford some inexpensive gym shoes when you spend $50/mo. on a gym membership.  Invest in yourself!

7. Bras Perhaps you think this might be too obvious, but I have seen it!  Girls wearing their regular bras to workout in.  No, please don't.  Not only are you sweating all over your bra, you're shortening the life of your bra and it does not give you the support you need.  Ladies (and some guys), invest in a well fitted sports bra to give you the support you need when running or doing any other vigorous exercises.

Don't be like Alec Baldwin. Do at least a partial shave.

Don't be like Alec Baldwin. Do at least a partial shave.

8. Hairy Chest Guys, again...you.  There is nothing worse than feeling like the guy next to you on the treadmill might try to sell you a car. A hairy chest just seems perverted too. Us girls have been doing it forever and it's not just about us anymore -- you guys need to do general upkeep too.  Now I do realize that some men may be a little more cavemen, so I'm going to take it one step at a time with you guys.  If you're too lazy to shave your full chest, at least shave from the nipple line up.  I mean, as long as I don't see your curly chest hair peek through your t-shirt like a hair scarf, I'm cool with that.  Of course, if you're going out on a hot date and you're looking to get some action afterwards, that's a different story.  Go for the full shave.  If you have the razor out, might as well address the whole area.

9. Thongs Ladies...please try not to wear a thong when working out.  I feel I have to mention this for your own health and safety.  I do not want to put out fires at the gym from your buttcheeks rubbing together, and I definitely don't want you to chafe.  Also, you are more likely to develop infections (I am not trying to be gross) if you don't wear proper underwear when working out.  Please, this is not a place to be sexy, so leave the thongs for another day and go for cotton panties.

10. Shave Ok...let's be honest.  Girls do cheat in the winter time and we don't shave as often (oh gawd, I hope this isn't just me or this will be so embarrassing).  But when you're going to the gym, be aware and choose proper clothes to wear accordingly.  If you are taking a yoga class,  maybe choose long pants with an elastic cuff at the bottom so your pants won't slide up when you attempt the crouching tiger upside down dragon yoga move.  You don't want to show your brillo pad legs.  Rule of thumb: if your legs feel rough enough to sand down steel, please do not display.  Nothing worst than having to be self- conscious at the gym when you're trying to work out.  So get the appropriate pants or refer to my "Hair Removal Techniques" post to get rid of that unwanted hair.

So there you have it.  I have broken my silence and feel I have done my part in making the gym an even more attractive place to be.  Shed those pounds and look great doing it!  Happy working out!


10 Responses to “10 Fashion Tips at the Gym”
  1. lisa says:

    Haha hilarious AND comprehensive list of the fashion faux pas at the gym! I don’t work out–the only I thing I do is go salsa dancing and walk a lot. If I did, though, I’d definitely keep your tips in mind.

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! I hope you keep visiting.

    lisa’s last blog post: Menswear-Inspired Looks I’d Love To Try

  2. MizzJ says:

    Hilarious, and I totally agree! My old university gym used to have a dress code which I actually prefer cuz then people dress to work out, rather than to be seen. My ex-bf used to work at a gym and the stories he has… one time this girl bent over, and her boob popped out!

    The economy here seems to be hard hit as well, though not as bad as you guys I think? Job security is a worry among people here for sure.

    MizzJ’s lastest blog post: I think, therefore I shop

  3. Darren says:

    I would say Hilarious but that was used twice so I will try to be creative, no wait I have an idea…Thesaurus.com….so I think the post was amusing, comical, convivial, entertaining, exhilarated, frolicsome, gleeful, gut-busting, happy, humorous, jocular, jolly, jovial, joyful, joyous, laughable, lively, merry, mirthful, noisy, priceless, riot, rollicking, scream, side-splitting, uproarious, witty to say the least…no seriously I really enjoyed it. I could picture every point you made and its a reminder of crap I need to get back in the gym. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Jules says:

    Darren you took all the words in the thesaurus and left nothing for the rest of us! :) So I will go back to the tried and true and say – this post was hilarious. I’ve recently started going to the gym again and admit I haven’t been too stylish but have steered clear of wearing a bra as a top :)

    Anna, thanks so much for visiting my blog and commenting on the Haute Couture post. It was the most fun to write so I’m really happy you liked it! I’ve since added the stumble upon option.

    Jules’s lastest blog post: The City Fashion Inspired Recap

  5. Jules I am sorry I was very selfish with my comment. I wont let that happen again. :-)

  6. Robin says:

    EXACTLY Anna !! Spoken like a true Gymrat!! Please allow me to list a few of the gym-wear no-nos made famous by “neo-fits” you neglected to mention: Sequins, Glitter Tees, Parachute Pants and “Tennies” with Velcro closures…
    Believe me, these will only draw the kind of attention no one really wants!
    Now if you want to talk about more than Gym Style…go to
    http://www.gymratrules.com and add to the growing list onerous gym behaviors – or post your own Gymrat Rule !

  7. This is great! So funny and good advice there. I always found it so hard to dress for the gym as I’m not a sporty person at all; I got told off for wearing gold converse-style shoes to spin class :(

    Sarah Edwina Rose’s lastest blog post: Just Bitten

  8. starfashion says:

    haha, “don’t be like Alec…” Lol, I luv it! Very Funny post.

    starfashion’s lastest blog post: Fashion Update from France

  9. LoLa says:

    Hairy chests are hot, on the right guys!! Why should they shave?

    (Although, what is NOT hot is the gold chain dangling in the chest hair… my math teacher has that… ew)

  10. Martin says:

    I wouldn’t give a shit if you did like my outfit or not.

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