What Not to Wear: Gym Edition

I recently had the pleasure/horror(?) of attending my first group exercise class.

The class, (in)appropriately titled “Chisel Fo’ Shizzle,” was marketed as a “fat-blasting, muscle-building dance experience.”  I was skeptical, to say the least.

The aggressively upbeat instructor (Debbie, or the Debinator) bounded into the studio in her Nike Shoxx and informed me that “the other girls should be here in a minute.”
I soon discovered that the other “girls” were five middle-aged women who were all inexplicably wearing tie-dye shirts and pastel sweatpants (I don’t think they planned this). Debbie turned on a mix that must have been “Preteen Faves of the 90s” and led us some squats.  Easy.  I figured I’d breeze through this class with enough energy left for an hour of cardio before heading home.

But when we started doing bicep curls to “Man, I Feel Like A Woman,” I proceeded to watch those mom-ish ladies kick my ass.

Ok, so I’m humbled.  Those young, yuppie gym goers might look intimidating in their matching outfits and track jackets, but they’re nothing compared to middle-aged moms with pit stains.  Those women are fierce.

If you want to look and feel fierce at the gym, avoid the following fitness fashion disasters…for everyone’s benefit.

Drop the disguise.

Unless you’re a legit celebrity or in the witness protection program, there’s no need to wear a baseball cap and sunglasses to the gym.  You’ll look creepy (or you’ll look like a frat boy).  Leave the sunglasses at home.  For bonus points, replace the baseball cap with a bandanna.

Don’t bring the bling.
You are not Mr. T.  I don’t want to listen to your charm bracelet jangling in my ear when you’re on the treadmill.  Stick with a simple pendant or wristband, if you must.

Your shirt says everything.  Don’t let it say something stupid.
If someone kindly told you that the “funny” shirt you wore in college is actually racist/sexist/homophobic/generally douchebaggy, please don’t recycle it as your “gym” shirt.

Gym shoes are a must.

Flip flops?  Dress shoes?  Really?  I know, gym shoes can be expensive and ugly.  Plus, if you wear women’s shoes, you’re pretty much destined to end up in a pair that could pass for accessories from a Pretty Pretty Princess board game.  Fortunately, boys’ gym shoes are often a little more subdued (and cheaper, too!).  If you can’t afford a good pair of shoes, thrift ’em or borrow some from a friend.  Your feet will thank you.

For goodness sake–put some underwear under there!
Sure, it’s exciting when your shorts come with lining–but that doesn’t make your shorts a two-for-one shorts/undies combo.  No one wants to sit on an exercise bike that just had your sweaty junk all over it.

Nix the musk.
Though some firmly believe that their signature fragrance covers up their body odor, you actually just smell like sweat and flowers.  Stick to deodorant instead.

Bring your own bottle.

Do you ditch your workout to buy bottle after bottle of Evian water from the vending machine?  Get a cute, reusable water bottle and fill it up.  You’ll save money, the planet, and your reputation.

About Malic White

After surviving a childhood in musical theatre, Malic White appreciates hyperbole and maintains a strict regimen of diva worship. At 5'2", he scours thrifts stores and Chicago sidewalks for anything that might be Malic-sized. His writings will cover glam rock, zombie fashion, the art of cheapskatery, and whatever the angsty teen boys are wearing these days.

One comment

  1. My gym pet peeve is when women with long hair wear it down. It’s not so much that it’s unfashionable–I’m just icked out by the thought of all that hot sweaty hair on hot sweaty necks. Ponytail, ladies, ponytail!

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