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Gym Attire: Hot or Not?

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We are now free to roam, gyms in California have lifted mask requirements, and we can now do cardio without a mask, what a treat. Figuring out what to wear to the gym shouldn’t be a struggle, but if you’re spending the money to go to a gym you might as well dress to impress. It doesn’t hurt to outfit plan. It just feels good to look sharp. Hence working out in the first place to tone up, fix our shape, define our assets, work on our posture, and overall health and wellness in general. The “activewear market” is “growing faster than any other fashion category,” and is expected to reach “$547 billion by 2024.” The luxury wellness economy is booming, making this a very exciting time, to start working out, or just get healthy. 

It’s 2022, and there couldn’t be a better time to go shopping for “athleisure” other than now. The “distinction between gym clothing and casual wear is becoming less noticeable,” hence the term “athleisure” to describe the transition between leisure and exercise. Before working out apps became trendy during COVID we didn’t have many options other than going to our local sporting goods store to buy leggings and sportswear. Remember the days of adidas pants, well you can just about get sweatpants anywhere these days, and the sneakers to complete the look, and it doesn’t have to be adidas, even the sandals. There is definitely a “re-emerging [of] 90’s product” in the market, including “color-blocked windbreaker” jackets, and bodysuits, “replacing leggings with head-to-toe spandex outfits,” popularized by celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Kim Kardashian’s SKIMs line, a sporty take on what Spanx was to us then, with a bigger emphasis on embracing our curves and showing them off instead of hiding them, offering a more “inclusive size range,” sizes XXS to 4XL, whereas Spanx only offers XS to XL. Seems like our underwear has become the main staple of our outer wear now. 

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Today we have more brands than I can count on my hands. Stores like Alo and Lululemon have changed the meaning of what it means to feel good and look good with style at the gym, and we thank them for it. Lululemon is a leader in “sports apparel market [with a] projected $200 billion,” in sales 2020, with customers “proudly [wearing] their leggings in the studio and out.” Even stores like Gap and Old Navy have expanded spaces in their stores to include their seasons line of athletic wear. Old Navy being called a “treasure trove of compressive leggings,” by refinery29.com. Especially since “Target reportedly reached $1 billion in sales for its activewear line,” before the pandemic. Not to mention, Michael Kors is making mechanical sport watches, to keep track of your heart rate, if you need a stop-watch, or help DJ-ing. These “smart clothing developments,”are using technology to help its users monitor their health and wellness, Lululemon is one example, and Nike is a leader in this field. Including Gap’s “AthletaWell,” a digital platform dedicated to providing workout content and safe spaces to discuss mental health and body positivity. 

Photo Courtesy of narcity.com

Today we have athleisure for all shapes and sizes, whether you’re going to the gym, going for a run, or hitting up a gym class, there’s a perfect outfit for every occasion and many styles of leggings to choose from. A few of my favorites are: High waist (Gap), mid-rise (Victoria Secret), cross over waist band (Lorna Jane), compressor leggings (Alo), seamless (Forever 21). My new favorite running shoes are Hoka (light and cushion) and Adidas (great cushion, durable). I also recommend New Balance (long distance running), Sketchers (for beach running), and Asics. They even have “activewear disguised as work clothing,” you can buy on Amazon. 

Don’t forget to add “a little flair to your outfit,” that includes finding the perfect hoodie, long or short, rocking a tank when you’re ready to show off your arms, and go baggier for balance. Working from home and staying in, means that you get to embrace this era in fashion that supports your need to stay healthy, allowing for you to “manifest the lifestyle you want by wearing clothing that encourages you to move your body and feel good.”

It’s now okay to be shapely, or overweight for that matter, and stand tall. Never before in my life, did I ever see myself as BMI Index obese, as it states. Never at 140 lbs in my 20s and not at 180 lbs in my 30s. You know if you are made to not feel good about yourself, that can eventually take a toll on your self-esteem and self-image. How you see yourself matters, and who wants to look in the mirror and see themselves as obese, I think we all try our best to look well and to be nice to look at. That growing acceptance of women and men of all shapes and sizes, is also taking the fashion industry by storm, featuring plus size models on the runway this year at fashion week, how inspiring is that! Activewear is more than a “hot fashion trend,” it means it’s okay for you to be bigger, and you will find clothes that fit, as you work on your health and get back into fitness, if weight management is a struggle for you. 

Gym Attire Shopping Goals: Everything You Need

  • Step One: Get a good sports bra.
  • Step Two: Buy your favorite leggings.
  • Step Three: Find a shoe brand you love.
  • Step Four: Buy new socks.
  • Step Five: Wear a comfortable top.

The benefit to shopping online are the coupons! So start an account when you online shop and don’t forget to shop the sale sections, you really can get great deals on all your favorites. Now’s a great time to shop with new inventory in for Spring and intermittent discounts and specials are going on at many stores just to help you spend and get all your favorites. —So should you dress hot or not to the gym?  Dress in any way you are comfortable, the days of big t-shirts and leggings are not over, just swap out a big shirt for a cropped t-shirt and wear a tank either one with a built-in bra or a blousy tank for more comfort. Dress to impress, you never know who you’ll bump into or meet, so consider it a social event, especially if you’re going to classes, get to know your instructors, and be comfortable with yourself! Have fun!

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