Learning how to dress for the gym is an extremely important part of man-culture. How many times have you been to the gym and have seen a guy on the bench press wearing boots? Doing squat presses in a collared shirt? Or on the treadmill wearing cargo shorts? The gym comes right behind a job interview for settings most important to wear the appropriate attire. Many men think that they can curtail this philosophy because it’s a place where they sweat, but there’s more at stake than simply looking good – there are also safety issues. And far too many men take this for granted.
Stop grabbing the old sweat pants and worn-out tourist t-shirts, and dress like an adult when you hit the weights. And leave the hat at home.
1. Shirts: The easiest and most acceptable choice for tops at the gym is the t-shirt. And no, I don’t mean the shirt that also doubles as the chamois. Be a little pickier than that when dressing for the gym. To be functional and fashionable, you’re going to need to look for a few particulars.
Do: Always choose a shirt that is made of light, breathable material, such as cotton. This will allow you to keep cool and dry while getting jacked and tan. And don’t forget that you’re at the gym – a place where you’re supposed to let your athleticism flourish. Dress like an athlete.
Don’t: Don’t wear something that’s too loose, or too tight. Too loose, and you’ll look like you’re a kid. Too tight, and you’ll just look ridiculous. If you absolutely have to go sleeveless, keep it within reason. It's embarrassing for everyone when we can see your nipples in your tiny-tank.
2. Bottoms: This cannot be stressed enough: There is absolutely no reason for a man to wear something as form fitting as yoga-tights to the gym. If you think there’s justification in wearing spandex shorts because they stop above the knee, you’re also wrong. The same rule applies to looser pants and shorts. You're not a rapper, but a mere mortal. And for us mortals, there are strict social guidelines to wearing clothes too baggy. Nothing hanging off your ass, nothing that billows when you run. It looks absurd, and it’s a safety issue. You make think you look cool wearing those pants, but the girl you’re exchanging glances with on the elliptical won’t think so when you get your tear-aways stuck in the overhead-grip machine.
Do: Wear shorts. Avoid track pants. Like shirts, these should be light and breathable for comfort. Shorts also provide extra cooling for that area of your body that can generate the most heat, and as we all know overheating is bad.
Don’t: Shorts should not be worn any more than an inch below the waist. They should extend to right around your knee-line. That doesn’t mean mid-thigh, and it doesn’t mean they should look like Capri pants. Dress for the gym like a man.
3. Shoes and Socks: Remember how this is the 21st century? And remember how you’re not your grandpa? Well, there is literally nothing more embarrassing than seeing a man wear knee-highs or dark socks to the gym. And something like boots or Converse shoes on a man is downright humiliating. This isn’t the first time that you’ve hit the weights, and it’s not the first time that you’ve seen someone workout. Dress for the gym like you know what you’re doing.
Do: Keep your sock length within reason. They should go no higher than the ankle, and be lower if you wear a lower-top shoe. Your shoes should be of an athletic style, and should be built for comfort. If you do more than just bicep curls every day, go for something like cross-trainers, or shoes with cushioned support.
Don’t: Don’t wear the same sock over and again. The ladies in pilates don’t want to be able to smell your feet across the entire gym. This again, is a safety issue – athlete’s foot is a major concern for active men, so your socks and shoes, like everything else, should be breathable.