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I know a lot of women out there that are petrified of going the gym because they are unhappy with the way they look. It’s a real shame – although I understand completely. In a world where everyone tries to look their best at all times, it’s no surprise nobody wants to splutter around, red-faced and ill-dressed. So, I thought I would put together this little guide to looking your best for every workout when you head down to the gym. It’s not a fix-all guide, of course. But, if it helps you get over your fears, then my job is done! Let’s get started right away.
First of all, think about your confidence. When you are in a confident mood, you can wear whatever you damn well like, and nobody will bat an eyelid. Think about your posture, walk as tall as possible, and try not to be scared of looking out of breath or red-faced. Nobody there will notice that you have only been there for two minutes, and for all, they know you might have been working out for a whole hour. I know it can be hard when you go to a gym these days – there is an element of competition in there, of course. But, if a gym makes you feel uncomfortable, find one that suits you better – there are plenty out there in every city. Confidence is everything, so find somewhere that gives you what you need. Now, let’s start looking at your clothes, style and overall look.
First of all, a vital component of looking great – or at least, acceptable – in the gym is better hair. The key to success is control. You can try walking in with hair good enough for a night out, all flowing and glamorous. But, within two minutes you will resemble a German Shepherd that has just chased a rabbit through a hedge on a particularly rainy day. So, if you have long hair, clip it back and make sure it doesn't move at all. Shorter hair can be controlled with cotton headbands – use a color that matches your other gear. You can go for matching wristbands, too, which might even make you feel sportier, as well as looking it. And, if the worst comes to the worst, you can always use a cap. Again, just make sure that it is made from cotton so that your head can breathe a little easier as your temperature rises.
There is little to no point in wearing makeup to the gym because you are just going to sweat it all off. And, of course, that leaves you at risk of having running mascara streaming down your face to go along with your red and puffy cheeks. Your best bet is to wear something light and wash it off before you start sweating. Nobody will notice, and by the time you are up and running, neither will you anyway.
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General clothes tips
First of all, make sure that you dress for comfort. I see so many people go to the gym in inappropriate clothing, and it just doesn’t make any sense if you want to work out as best you can. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear anything stylish, of course. There are plenty of excellent brands out there that do a great line of comfy, sporty, and fitted clothes that look great. Just make sure that you choose something that suits your body shape. Spandex can look great, but you want to avoid issues like muffin-topping.
Logos can be OK, but keep them minimal. You don’t want to make people think you are a walking advertisement for Nike. Similarly, try not to draw the wrong type of attention to yourself with political messages on your shirts. A gym is a place for working out, not inflicting your views on other people.
The good old T-shirt is a reliable friend when it comes to working out at the gym. They are cheap, easy to sling on and off, and can look more than acceptable. However, there are a few things to look out for. First of all, lighter shades of gray can show up your sweat patches in a bad way, and you won’t be able to workout with freedom if you know they are there. White t-shirts are ideal, but you will need to buy new ones often so that those yellow deodorant stains don’t start showing up.
I would advise using shorts wherever possible in the gym – especially if you are running or doing cardio. A high rise, mid-knee finish will keep your modesty intact – especially when doing any kind of bending. Stick to neutral colors where possible, unless you want to look like an unwanted extra from a 1980s breakdance movie. Shorts will give you the freedom of movement you need, but if you are just doing upper body workouts, then you will ba able to wear tracksuit pants.
Don’t underestimate your sneakers. It’s the same in gyms as it is in the real world, and everyone will judge you on your choice of footwear. So, if you want to walk in tall and proud, make sure that your sneakers are on point. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you should keep them clean and in the best shape possible. It might be worth using a set pair for the gym, and another pair for running outdoors.
Hoodies and extras
Don’t forget that after your workout you will be going outside, so make sure that you have a nice-fitting hoodie to put on afterwards. A simple gray will suffice. And, it will help you react better to any temperature change while still look great despite your physical exertions. And, of course, you will need a great looking bag to put all your gym kit in and carry it to and from your workout.
Well, I hope this has helped somebody out there! If you can get over your confidence issues, you can honestly get away with wearing anything at your local gym. But, until then, these ideas can help you get to a better place. Let me know if you have any more tips!