They say the clothes make the man – but that’s not really true, is it? I say the man makes the clothes. And to make sure those clothes fit, you gotta be in shape. So that’s what I want to talk about the day – gym wear!
And yes, I know what you’re thinking – I already have to think about what I’m wearing to watch sports, I have to watch what I wear to the gym now too?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, there are some broad guidelines I would recommend for all you fellas gettin’ your fitness on. No, you don’t have to dress for the gym, but if you’re bothering to show up at all (and a big slow clap for those of you who are), it can’t hurt to look good while you’re there. Amirite? Of course I am. Let’s start at the top and work our way down, shall we?
I’m far from the greenest girl on the block, but I do believe in recycling t-shirts. That tee you got for the 5k you ran a few years back? Wear it ‘til it falls apart. I’ve said it here before, but with clothes, oftentimes, the more worn-in (read: loved) your clothes look, the better.
Exception: Frat t-shirts. You teamed up with Pi Phi your sophomore year for a car wash? Nobody cares. Get rid of it. I can’t work out in anything but a beater, so this may sound hypocritical, but I prefer a guy with a little upper-arm modesty at the gym. If you want to cut the sleeves off your tees, or if you prefer UnderArmour tanks, that’s your prerogative. But if I mistake you for a new cast member on Jersey Shore’s second season, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. And if the meathead, ‘look at my big muscles’ look is what you’re going for, well, this column’s probably not for you anyway.
Shorts are all about happy mediums – not too short or too long, not too tight or too baggy. I live in my brother’s old basketball shorts from his middle school days, and I can’t think of anything more comfortable or effortlessly stylish (for guys or girls) than a nice mesh short at the gym. Soccer shorts run the risk of showing off a little too much leg and running shorts belong at the finish line of a marathon. No matter what you’re doing, you can’t go wrong doing it in basketball shorts.
You didn’t think I’d forget socks, did you? C’mon, I’m all about the details. This one’s easy – go for ankle socks (that don’t peek out of your shoes) or tall tube socks. Anything in between, and you risk a cankle. Yes, guys get them too.
I am not a shoe nazi, and I don’t think most gym shoes fall along a hip/unhip continuum, so you’re pretty much off the hook here. Just watch how you wear them – there’s no need for laces that require humongous bunny ear loops, nor should you try to act all cool and wear them with loose, tongue sticking out. You won’t look so cool when you sprain your ankle when your shoe flies off on the treadmill. That’s it! And once again, I want to big up (I’ve always wanted to big up someone, did I do it right?) my male readers who will put this advice to good use at the gym. You like us to look good, well, it works both ways. Yeah, yeah, girls love saying they’re just looking for a “nice guy with a sense of humor,” but if he’s telling jokes with a (relatively) flat stomach and good-sized guns, well, all the better.