Everyone has their own way of getting fit. Some people run until they drop, others try cross-fit programs, others sweat it out on a yoga mat, and still others bike through the countryside. Just as there are numerous programs for achieving peak physical fitness, there are a variety of athletic wear trends that help get you there. The most popular for non-water cardio activities would be sorted into yoga pants and everything else. The everything else would include stretchy, moisture-wicking fabrics and airy mesh. I think you get what the yoga pants would encompass, as there is certainly enough attention paid to them, no help to LuluLemon’s inauspicious transparency. Even throwing aside the debate about men being allowed to work out shirtless but women being shamed for wearing a sports bra to the gym, there are quite a few fashion faux pas to be had in pursuit of fitness.
So perhaps this will be an outline of “What Not to Wear…At the Gym.”
1- Your birthday suit. Please, please wear clothing. It’s easier to keep equipment clean when there is at least one layer between your precious skin and the mat/cushion. Plus leave a little bit to the imagination, ladies and gents! Let them guess whether you have an inny or an outy belly button.
2- Only shorts…with no lining or undergarments. I, like anyone else, enjoy the freedom of air wafting through my shorts. It’s great. But what isn’t great is seeing someone else’s bits because they went commando that day. I’m all for body positivity, but sometimes we want to focus on down dog without being subjected to a look at your manhood.
3- Jeans. Listen. You’ve GOT to be uncomfortable in those. Denim was not made for the gym. Sorry, but you’re asking for a world of chafing if you wear those skinnies to the weight room.
4- Flip flops. Unless you’re about to kick those bad-boys off and jump right into a few sun salutations, flip-flops are a no-go. Shoes that cover your entire foot help not only protect your foot from weights or machines that could fall on it, but are also less likely to get caught by moving parts and made specially to distribute weight throughout your foot in the right way. So lose the plastic sandals and grab some sneakers.
5- Big, long, dangling…earrings. Jeez people, get your mind out of the gutter. Earrings can be dangerous. Just like you want to keep your hair out of the way of your face and moving parts, you don’t want something that is literally sticking through ear flesh to be caught. Take my word for it.Obviously these are just the basics. If you talk to running gurus, they’ll start listing all of the fabrics that are sure to chafe like crazy, just like a yogi will list the pros and cons of wearing yoga “shoes” or gloves. (For anyone that is curious, they’re supposed to help you grip the mat despite sweat.) The gym, just like school, is a place of constant learning and growth. It’s also that sacred place that, just when you thought you could never see anything quite as harebrained or idiotic, you are yet again surprised, intrigued, and disappointed by humanity.