Whether you’re bench pressing or doing laps on the treadmill, the kinds of clothes you wear to the gym can make or break the quality of your workout. You don’t have to dress to the nines, but it’s still important to choose outfits that look and feel good. After all, the right attire can give you the support and comfort you need to take your performance to the next level. On the other hand, ill-suited attire will likely impede your physical capabilities and cause a great deal of discomfort.
With that said, there are several key factors to consider when selecting the perfect attire for exercising. For example, characteristics like fabric type and fit can make a big difference when it comes to comfort and functionality. To learn more, below are four tips on selecting the best outfits for your workouts:
Choose Clothes That Suit the Demands of Your Workouts
The clothes you wear should suit the physical demands of your activities. For instance, it would be impractical to wear basketball shorts if you’re doing yoga or other kinds of mat exercises. The baggy legs may seem appropriate for a wide range of movements, but they may also reveal a little more than you’d like. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to wear heavy denim jeans while running on a treadmill.
For tops, short-sleeved t-shirts, muscle tees, and tank tops are ideal options for men due to their comfort and versatility. If you prefer a little more coverage, especially if it’s cold, long-sleeved tops work great as well. When it comes to bottoms, shorts are a versatile choice, as they suit many kinds of workouts. They’re ideal for activities like strength training, weightlifting, and running. You can even choose to wear compression tights underneath them for added support during high-intensity workouts.
Track pants and sweats are also suitable choices, particularly on colder days or at the start of your workout. If you’re performing low-impact exercises like pilates or yoga, opt for loose yoga pants or lightweight tracks, as they support more flexibility.
Avoid Overly Tight or Baggy Pieces
You’ll also need to select well-fitting clothing pieces. This means striking a delicate balance between tight and loose. Outfits should be loose enough to be comfortable, but not to the extent of being baggy. Oversized clothing can not only make you look smaller, but also lead to accidents. For example, long and baggy pants could get caught in the pedals of an elliptical machine or cause you to trip while running.
However, overly tight clothing can also get in the way of your physical activities, as it can restrict your range of motion and cut off blood circulation. Hence, a good rule of thumb is to stick with stretchable fabrics that allow for greater comfort and ease of movement.
Opt for Breathable and Moisture-Wicking Fabrics
Fabric type is also an important factor to look out for when selecting gym clothes. You’ll want to ensure that your clothes feel comfortable enough to move around in for long periods of time or during intense activities. Clothing made from soft cotton might seem like a no-brainer here, but it should actually be avoided when you intend to workout. Cotton isn’t moisture-wicking, which means that it absorbs a lot of perspiration. This will cause your cotton clothes to feel heavy, damp, and generally uncomfortable while you’re working out. Its absorbent qualities also cause it to show more sweat marks compared to other textiles.
No matter what kind of clothes you wear, be sure that they’re made of breathable and moisture-wicking materials. Most fabrics with these characteristics are made from synthetic blends of polyester and lycra, which repel sweat from your skin and dry quickly. This ensures that you feel light and comfortable while moving around. Not to mention, moisture-wicking fabrics are also easier to wash and dry after workout sessions. As a result, you’ll always have a fresh set of clothes ready for your next visit to the gym.
Steer Clear of Loud Colors
Appearance isn’t the first priority when it comes to choosing gym clothes, but it’s still important to consider how you look. After all, most gyms are communal spaces, and the last thing you want is to stick out like a sore thumb or wear something unflattering. While the style of your clothes will ultimately depend on personal taste, try to steer clear of loud colors and patterns. Overly shiny clothes or bright neon colors can draw a lot of unnecessary attention from other gym-goers.
On that note, clothes in neutral colors work great for the gym, as they’re easy to pair and look quite sleek. For example, colors like black, olive, navy, and charcoal gray work well. However, avoid wearing white tops, as they tend to show perspiration stains.
It always helps to put some thought into what you’re wearing to the gym. More than just helping you look good, your attire can change the way you feel and move. By choosing well-fitting and moisture-wicking clothes that suit the needs of your workouts, you can unleash your full potential during every gym session.