Do you think that looking good while working out is a waste of time? Who cares, you’re just going to get sweaty and dirty again anyway right? Wrong. Like many others, I would just go to the gym in basketball shorts and a t-shirt thinking, “I’m here to sweat, not look cute!” It didn’t take long for me to realize that the same image you carry with you in your work and personal life is the same image you carry with you to the gym. I didn’t want to be the woman dressed to the 9’s any other time but looking sloppy while I work out.
Looking unattractive while working out for me guarantees a lack of confidence. Remember the way you look always affects your image, your image has a direct affect on your self esteem, and your self esteem will affect your workout. When your self esteem is high you’re more confident. When you’re more confident, even if your fitness level is low you will feel good, go harder, and be more motivated to complete your workout.
If going harder and being more motivated to work out is not enough for you to ditch the oversized workout t-shirt, consider that the gym can be a social place. As an image consultant I meet people everyday, everywhere. I always have to be on my A game as I am always the face of my business in the gym — or not. Looking good while working out will insure you have confidence to ask “where’s the leg press?” Or even when that gym cutie wants to come up to you and say hi.
So, I’ve sold you on looking cute at the gym but you’re still not quite sure how. Keep reading…
Hygiene issues can be especially noticeable once you start breathing and moving around at during your workout. It is important to shower daily, use deodorant, and brush your teeth twice a day. Make sure to disinfect any gym equipment before and after use and bathe after every workout. These little Lysol disinfectant sprays are perfect to fit even in the smallest of gym bags.
Get a gym-friendly hairstyle. If your plan is to be at the gym a lot you’ll need a style that is relatively low maintenance. Keep your hair neat and out of your face. Twists, braided styles, and even some forms of extensions are good for gym wear. To make sure your hair does not get sweaty opt for a high ponytail style. You can also use cotton headbands and sweatbands. Consider an appointment with a hairstylist to discuss how you can meet your hair goals with an active lifestyle. Click here to book with me.
Regardless of the controversy, don’t be scared to wear a little make-up to the gym. Especially if you’re single (I’m just saying). You don’t need a pound of make-up. However, you should have a go to “gym face.” Which will consist of a light layer of tinted moisturizer or mineral foundation depending on your skin type. If you have dry skin opt for a BB cream or tinted moisturizer. If you have oily skin opt for a mineral foundation to keep shine to a minimum. Next, you need a waterproof mascara. My favorite is Urban Decay LashFreak, it will not budge despite pouring swear from your work out! And finally, a tinted lip balm to complete the look.
First things first, know your colors. Knowing your personal best colors will allow you to set the tone for your workout. Colors have different meanings, and everyones’ colors that energize and vitalize them are unique. If you do not know your personal best colors consider having a color analysis performed by an Image Consultant. Click here to read my blog post on why color analysis is so important.
Along with knowing your colors comes flattering and perfecting your silhouette. Wear something that is comfortable and flatters your body shape. If you are self-conscious about lumps and bumps, try tummy-control athletic leggings and tops, and high coverage sports bras which will smooth and conceal problem areas.
Speaking of sports bras… a well fitting sports bra is invaluable. Wearing the wrong bra size (or one not specifically created for exercise) can lead to serious health problems including back, neck, and breast pain, and poor posture. It can also affect the appearance of your breasts, both short and long term. Making it crucial that you get measured and get a bra that gives your bust the support that it needs.
Workout clothes are an investment and your time at the gym will involve sweat — a whole lot of sweat. For this reason you should opt for more expensive moisture-wicking fabrics, like athletic wear crafted with a lycra blend, nylon, bamboo, or polyester. These fabrics are lightweight, breathable, and will wick moisture away from your skin.
Have you ever heard the saying that you can tell someones’ social class by how well kept their shoes are? Don’t get mistaken for the person who only has a gym membership to use the showers. Pay attention to your footwear. Many times I see people in the gym with shoes that are falling apart. Not only is this unattractive, it’s also unhealthy for you feet and your joints. Wear comfortably fitting shoes that are appropriate for the kind of workout you are performing. I own and love a pair of Levitate by Brook’s (Can be purchased here). Brook’s makes excellent sneakers for any athletic occasion, this is my third pair.
Matching your accessories to your outfits is great way to add some personality and fun to your workout look. This is also where knowing your colors comes in handy. I don’t expect you to have all pink workout clothes and accessories but when you know your best personal colors, everything coordinates together flawlessly. With that being said here are some appropriate gym accessories:
- Stud earrings – earring will add a bit of style to any look however basic stud earrings can poke you if you will be wearing headphones. Consider screw back earrings, they won’t cause you pain and they won’t get lost during your workout.
- Gym bag – Get a stylish gym bag that suits your needs. If you take showers at the gym get a duffle bag to carry any essentials and change of clothes you will need. If you’re the kind of person who is in and out the gym, a small backpack may be all you need.
- Water bottle – Water bottles come in all shapes and sizes, remember you will have to carry the water bottle around with you during your workout. For this reason I suggest against gallon water bottles. Try a smaller one instead, like this collapsible water bottle.
- Hand towel – If you’re not sweating in the gym, you’re not doing something right. Sweat in the gym is unavoidable. Carry a hand towel so you can wipe the sweat before it gets into your eyes. I’ve been there… on the treadmill, running, wishing there was something, anything, that I could wipe the sweat off my face with.
- Sweatbands – Again with the sweat… Any kinds of sweat absorbing essentials will come in handy. They have ankle bands, wrist bands, headbands and many other items that can help you manage your sweating and to ensure you look great while you work out.
- Apple Watch – I use my Apple Watch for so many different things. One of the most incredible features is the Fitness app where I can track all my exercise and calories burned for the day. If you don’t have one yet I highly suggest purchasing it here.
With all that said looking good in the gym is only part of the equation to workout confidence, remember to pick achievable fitness goals. Finishing your workouts with a healthy level of effort will make you look good and give you lasting confidence to meet your fitness goals in the long term.