Having a nice gym outfit to work out can make a huge difference in your motivation to get moving. But more than aesthetics, choosing the right gym outfit can affect your comfort and how well you move.
It’s not just about vanity. There’s actual psychology behind the “look good, feel good, play good” philosophy. If you’re wondering what to wear to the gym that’s feel-good and functional, here’s your gym style inspiration.
“Sure, matching gym clothes look cute, but it’s more important to get clothing that makes you feel comfortable, both in the way you look and feel.”
1. Stretchy and Comfy Yoga Outfit
Activities like yoga or Pilates don’t pair well with loose clothing. While it may seem counterintuitive, wearing loose clothing while stretching can bunch and restrict movement to make your workout less effective.
You want fitted fabrics with good stretch that wick away sweat but also outfits that aren’t going to reveal too much in certain poses. High-waisted leggings and a fitted bra are a great choice, but a tee or fitted tank works well if you prefer more coverage. The same goes for men – pair a stretchy, fitted tee with joggers or yoga pants designed for men.
2. Lightweight Cardio Outfit
Low-intensity cardio requires an outfit that moves well and keeps you cool. Aim for cotton or breathable synthetics that wick sweat from the skin, allowing your body to cool during sweaty workouts.
Think flowy tanks or tees, lightweight joggers, and, for women, a good, supportive sports bra. You could even add a cute hat for a trendy, coordinated look. You should also include sweat-wicking underwear in the mix.
3. Lifting Outfit
Whether using free weights or cable machines, breathable, loose-fitting clothing is necessary. You can go through the movements without restrictions. You don’t want your outfit to be too loose, however. Having a tee fall in your face or catching loose material on barbells, pulleys, or plates is annoying.
Trouser-style tech pants offer just enough stretch and a draped fit to suit gym etiquette and your desired movement. Joggers are also effective for lifting for both men and women. If you prefer to see more of your muscles during your workout, leggings, booty shorts, and a sports bra give you movement and breathability,
4. Spinning or Biking Outfit
If you’re spinning or biking, you don’t want loose pants that can get tangled up in the pedals or your feet. You’ll also sweat a lot, so it’s best to have breathable materials that keep you cool and reduce chafing.
Comfortable high-waisted leggings or gym booty shorts fit the bill. You can choose a fitted tank, a nice sports bra, or a loose, flowy tank for tops. Biking unitards are also a great choice, especially if you pair them with a stylish jacket or hoodie for outdoor biking.
5. Running Outfit
Running, whether indoors on a treadmill or outdoors in the elements, requires clothing that’s not too loose and allows your body to sweat and cool naturally. Avoid wide-leg or long pants that can get tangled up in your feet. Instead, opt for joggers, leggings, or shorts.
Bottoms should be paired with breathable, stretchy tops that are appropriate for the weather. Moisture-wicking fabrics and loose, flowy styles are best in summer, such as tees or tanks. In cold or rainy weather, focus on layers you can remove as you warm up. Throw on a zip-up jacket, hoodie, or rain jacket to stay comfortable. Sweat-wicking clothing should be your inner layer, with an insulating layer.
Tips for Form and Function at the Gym
Here are some tips to coordinate your gym outfits and get the most out of your workouts:
- Prioritize comfort and functionality: Opt for clothing you feel comfortable in. Even if everyone at your gym dons booty shorts and sports bras, it doesn’t mean you have to. Being self-conscious or fussing with your clothing won’t do much for your workout.
- Avoid jewelry: This goes for both men and women. Long necklaces, oversized earrings, or multiple rings can affect your workout and may even be dangerous if you have an accident. You don’t want to lose or damage your jewelry, so leave it home.
- Go lightweight and stretchy, no matter the season: Even in winter, you want a material that’s breathable and stretches to accommodate your movement. Getting good coverage is also essential, especially if you’ll be squatting.
- Tie up long hair: A trucker hat over long hair may look cute, but you don’t want that hair getting in the way – or worse, getting caught on a barbell or cable and causing injuries. Pull it up into a tie or clip.
- You don’t have to match: Sure, matching gym clothes look cute, but it’s more important to get clothing that makes you feel comfortable, both in the way you look and feel. If you’re getting a limited gym wardrobe, start with colors or designs that pair well and build your collection from there.