I’ve pretty much witnessed every spectrum of gym attire considering I grew up in the fitness industry. Trying to find the most flattering, yet comfortable attire, including comfy shoes, has been a mission of mine for the past 15 years. Brands such as Nike, Adidas and Converse have been around since the beginning of time it seems, but they aren’t the only brands making their mark on the fitness clothing scene. Figuring out what works for you is certainly the first step, but let’s focus on the overall package rather than wearing a top name brand just to “look the part” at your local gym.
Here are my top picks for clothing and shoes, encompassing comfortability, durability and fashionability.
• Carushka: Awesome quality! These pieces can be washed several times and still maintain brilliant color. This line is very durable and appealing to the eye.
• Pink Lotus: High quality with a stylish appearance. Very feminine and fits well for all shapes and sizes.
• Under Armour: The “dry fit” apparel wicks away ugly sweat while staying cool and dry. The style is more “gym-wear” looking then all the rest.
• Juicy Couture: A well known brand that made its mark with velour jacket and pant sets. This is always a nice comfortable and fashionable option for those looking to be a bit more conservative, without super tight fitting pieces. Very stylish with many color options.
• CmeB: A new line out later this year that has pieces made up of organic cotton and all natural Bamboo fabrics. Very light, fashionable and will wisk away all your sweat for a comfortable feel.
• Under Armour: Fits and wears very well. Durable, high quality made with “dry fit” quality to keep you cool. A No. 1 choice for many men.
• Champion: Great long-lasting brand that has become “timeless.” Great styles and so much to choose from.
• Nike Dry Fit: A top brand that has also jumped on the “dry fit” bandwagon. Nike has been great quality for many years, but their dry fit line is exceptional.
• Asics gel
• Nike runners (no shox)
Now that you have been educated on some really great brands to wear, let’s look at the other side of the spectrum: What not to be caught dead in at the gym. You can avoid the crucial mistake of embarrassing yourself and not be the topic by the office water cooler.
• Bodybuilder pants and a cut-off T-shirt from high school: Yes, we all know “this guy.” The tacky orange cut-off shirt with wacky printed baggy pants that walks around with a gallon of water. Please, by all means feel free to throw it out in your Tuesday trash or, better yet, do a good deed and donate to the Salvation Army. Women are guilty in this department as well. Over-sized, ratty old tees are way out, keep them for bedtime.
• Spandex: I can’t say enough about this one. Unless you have 8 percent body fat or are trying out for an acting role in Flashdance, you should not be wearing spandex. Switch it up to a nice, light piece of clothing that doesn’t show every ripple in your body. You will look better, feel better and have more confidence.
• Fanny Packs: Need I say more?
• Gi-Janeos in tight short shorts: Less is NOT always more. Especially in this category. Ninety percent of women and men, believe it or not, that have the guts to work out in tight short shorts should have not been allowed through the front door. Invest in a pair of looser fitting shorts that will look much nicer, just make sure you are wearing the appropriate attire under as well.
When going to your local gym, your goal should be focused on one thing: Working out. It can be intimidating, I understand, which is why you should always take the gym up on its offer of a tour and usually two to three free personal training sessions to get acquainted.
Now that you’ve mastered that, the next step is to avoid that “meatball perpetrator” that is only there to pick up chicks. Make certain you invest in an iPod and have those earphones tightly plugged in. If you see one approaching, go back to your exercise and do not make eye contact. Occasionally there will be that one that still persists, politely state that you are fine and walk away (come on guys, common courtesy goes a long way, save it for after the training session is done, if you must).
Ahwatukee Foothills resident Chrissy May can be reached at (480) 414-3777. For more information, visit www.CMayPerformance.com.