117 Comments.

The following is a guest post by Megan Collins of Style Girlfriend.

The other day at the gym, a guy stepped on to the treadmill next to mine. I noticed him throwing a few glances my way as he fiddled with the machine’s settings.

I didn’t take much notice–at mile ten, I was in the zone… okay, fine, it was only mile three… but I was still too wrapped up in my workout to be making eyes at some dude. Kanye and Jay-Z were blaring encouragement in my headphones; this was not the time for chit chat.

During my cool down, I gave him a quick once-over. Cute enough face, but his outfit? Not so much.

Tall black socks that hovered in confusion right below his calf. Too-short soccer shorts in a strange wind-breaker material and a skin-tight UnderArmour tank top completed the ensemble. I wiped the machine down and hopped off without another look.

Right now, you’re probably thinking – Great, you’re going to tell me 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. 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 for the ladies while you’re there.

Amirite? Of course I am.

Let’s start at the top and work our way down:

Headphones

This is not the time to bust out your “weekend DJ” headphones. We get it, you like music. Keep the earbuds small and subtle during your workout. I like this pair from Logitech ($45), that stay put even when you’re running or jumping.

Also, no one needs to wear a doo rag. No one.

Shirts

Basic Tee. From Lululemon though?! At least it has sleeves.

I’m far from the greenest girl on the block, but I do believe in recycling t-shirts. That championship tee you got for the 3-on-3 tourney you won in high school? Wear it ‘til it falls apart. The more loved (read: worn-in) your t-shirts look, the better.

However, leave the form-fitting gear to us ladies and our obscenely expensive Lululemon yoga pants (you know, the ones that make our butts look so cute). We do not need to see you in all your spandex glory at the gym.

I know, I know – that skin-tight shirt you love so much has sweat-wicking capabilities!! But really, if your gym has air conditioning, you probably don’t need high tech materials to keep you cool anyway.

Also? Sleeves. Sleeves are good. Granted, I can’t work out in anything but a tank top, so this may sound hypocritical, but I prefer a guy with a little upper-arm modesty at the gym. If you’re snapping up tank tops at the store or snipping the sleeves off your tees, that’s your prerogative, but in my mind, the muscle tee look has become synonymous with the bulked-up guys on Jersey Shore and the term “juiceheads”.

Of course, if the meathead, “Yo, which way to the gym?” bicep-flexing look is what you’re going for, well…this article’s probably not for you anyway.

Shorts

Shorts are all about happy mediums – not too short or too long, not too tight or too baggy. Personally, I live in my old high school basketball shorts, and I can’t think of anything more comfortable or effortlessly stylish (for guys or girls) than a nice mesh short at the gym. To me, soccer shorts belong on the field, and running shorts at the finish line of a marathon.

No matter what you’re doing at the gym, you can’t go wrong doing it in a simple mesh basketball short. My favorites are those that say the name of your school/favorite sports team on the leg – it gives us ladies a little insight on more about you. If we have any connection to the team you’re repping—and think you’re cute—we may even comment on them as a way to strike up conversation.

As a girl from Wisconsin who attended Penn State, I’ve been known to chat up dudes in Big Ten gear. Well, not Ohio State, but I mean, that should be a given.

Socks

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. Nothing fancy, these ones from Hanes ($11, six-pack) will do the trick. Don’t be like my treadmill mate, with socks that announce their presence to a party they weren’t invited to.

On the other end of the spectrum, taller tube socks play a little too Poindexter at the gym. Plus, you risk rocking a phantom cankle. Yes, guys can get cankles too. It’s not pretty.

Shoes

Good for your basic gym routine

I am not a shoe snob, and I don’t think most gym shoes fall too far from each other on a hip/unhip continuum, so you’re pretty much free to do as you please here. (Ed note: The Minimus from New Balance will probably be my next gym shoe purchase.)

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 one more slow clap for the male readers who are already putting this advice to good use at the gym. You like us ladies to look good, and, 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… hey, all the better.

[photo, photo, photo]

PUBLISHED March 13, 2012


Megan is editor of Style Girlfriend, a site about guys' style from a girl's perspective. She lives in New York City and gets lots of inspiration for articles (on what to wear and what definitely NOT to wear) while waiting for the train. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.



  • A. Waite

    Mesh shorts really?   I rate them with fish net/mesh T-shirts.

    • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

      Interesting! I didn’t know mesh shorts incited such strong negative reactions! 

  • Pascal

    Not only are baggy mesh basketball shorts highly unflattering, but they also do quite get in the way when doing squats, deadlifts, cleans and the like due to the large amount of loose material flapping around, particularly in the crotch. I wear mid-thigh shorts that are fairly slim and have a bit of stretch so I can work out without tripping over my shorts or getting the barbell caught up in them. T-shirts with sleeves are useful as they provide extra traction and skin protection for the upper arms and shoulders while doing squats, with mostly cotton being the best choice of fabric since it’s more robust and grippy than synthetics. There is a case for long socks—some people find themselves bleeding from their shins during deadlifts—though otherwise I consider ankle socks ideal. Shoes are heavily dependent on what you’re doing; I wear Jack Purcells since they have a flat, incompressible sole, which is ideal for powerlifting.

    • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

      Hi Pascal, I actually cautioned against shorts that are too baggy, so I agree with you! And I definitely understand your concern about clothes that get in the way of your workout. What brand do you like for your workout wardrobe? And I never even knew that “shin bleeding” was a possible gym byproduct; sounds painful!

      • zimage

        The knurling on a barbell will scrape against your shin when deadlifting. Good times.

        What part of WI did you grow up in. I’m from Wausau and was lucky enough to shop at Eastbay before there was an Eastbay “Outlet”.

        • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

          Eastbay!! Loved that catalogue.

          And I’m from Madison originally..small world!

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      I mentioned this above in another response, but gym outfits, at least to me, are more about utility than anything else. What I wear will depend on the workout I’m doing that day (to either maximize my effectiveness or to not get in the way of myself, like you mentioned).

      Your comment is full of good points. You don’t seem like the kind of guy she’s talking about in the article, since you clearly know the reason why you’re wearing what you do. I think Megan’s referring more to the black-socked individual and similar types in her opening narrative.

  • Jacksonh58

    Thank God I don’t go to the gym to impress you.

  • Dan

    I was about to adopt the disposition of Jacksonh58 and skip through this article in disgust of the superficial judgment you seem to think I deserve at the gym when it’s hard enough getting there and spending time near gorgeous, fit women already not being the picture of fitness myself, but…

    I agreed with a lot of this, and was happy to find I generally already live up to more of these rules than I thought I would. It’s cool work you do, Megan Collins.

    Still, I’m going to the gym even when the only shorts I have are too long.

    • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

      Yep, I think it’s definitely better to hit the gym in less-than-flattering workout clothes than skip working out entirely. I was simply offering advice on what to wear if you’re *also* looking to catch the eye of the ladies at the gym.

      • Dan

        That’s fair. I think it was this part that came off dismissive:

        “Tall black socks that hovered in confusion right below
        his calf. Too-short soccer shorts in a strange wind-breaker material and
        a skin-tight UnderArmour tank top completed the ensemble. I wiped the
        machine down and hopped off without another look.”

        You’re free to reject whoever you like for whatever reason you like, of course. But I hope I’m not being so scrupulously examined by someone at the gym just because I couldn’t help but look over.

        • Dan

          Also I do appreciate the woman’s perspective on this blog, I hope there’s more to come.

        • brooklyn87

          Dude, she said that HE was checking HER out…but that she wasn’t interested, in part because of his wacky outfit. I think it’s reasonable to suggest that if you’re going to check women out at the gym, you should be ready for them to check you out too (and dismiss you if they don’t like what they see).

  • Chris

    Yes, saying YOU can only work out in a tank but MEN must wear sleeves IS hypocritcal and sexist.

    • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

      That’s cool. So long as women still earn 77 cents on average for every dollar men earn for performing the same work, I’m pretty comfortable in my hypocritical, sexist tank top stance.

      • Tim

         Tell me, honestly, who pays if you go see a movie or eat at a restaurant?
        If you pay for yourself, you’re right. If not, shhht.

      • really

        It must be great playing victim when things don’t go your way. You know the reason why you’re paid 77 cents on average is because of maternity leave.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      I usually only wear tube tops, except for back squat days, because the bar across my shoulders chafes the skin a bit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnsonlb Johnson Benjamin

    I can see the point the author is trying to make here. She speaks to the average Man in the gym. I think someone like myself or Pascal, she does not. I take my gym time and workouts very seriously. I will wear what I need in order to have the most productive workout. Some of what I do is mental, other is practical. Maybe I am fashionable, or maybe not. I feel confident in the way I look in the gym.

    I will say, most dudes who wear cut offs, tanks, or muscle shirts if you will, have no business wearing them. Short soccer/running shorts are a little much. I wear shorts with about an 8″ inseam and that gives me enough room to move without being indecent. Another major issue, is just to be clean. Clean shorts, shirts, and shoes. NO odor.

    I believe any real gym enthusiast will not be affected by this article. They are there for themselves only. Whatever they need to wear or use that is conducive to their workouts, will be utilized. (excluding all the guido want to bes of course.)

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      This is a good point. What you wear to the gym is really about utility, especially to the folks who are serious about their workouts and aren’t hanging out to socialize. I also wear what will be best for my workouts (deadlift days = pants, squat days = shorts, at least for me).

      This article is definitely targeted more towards the average guy at the gym, or maybe guys who wear ridiculous things like black dress socks when running (where’s the absorption in that?!). Glad you can see that.

    • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

       Of course – no stinky clothes! How did I forget to mention that?

      Maybe I assumed it was a given, but we all know what happens when you assume…

  • Guido

    I can understand the avg. woman isn’t interested in seeing a man in tank tops & such, but you honestly spend time bothering about the way a man ties his sneakers?

  • Dennis G

    just wanted to let you know the minimus zero will be out soon! http://birthdayshoes.com/new-balance-minimus-trail-zero-road-zero-released-for-sale

  • larry ramirez

    I was reading this and got to the part where you said it’s not ok for a man to wear a doo rag at the gym and I thought “pleasedon’tbewhite, pleasedon’tbewhite, pleasedon’tbewhite” … and figured that it may just be a cultural thing, maybe the author has never rocked braids. It’s a narrow-minded thing to say considering that if you had worn braids before you’d know that any contact with the braids makes them come out, so if you’re pressing your head against the bench for a bench press, your braids are becoming undone. I read further on about the shorts and it all made sense, you’re not very open-minded, culturally. Soccer shorts at the gym? Maybe the guy grew up in Europe where norms are different, everyone and their mother plays soccer at some point. Those moisture-wicking shirts, you were them to stay dry, not “stay cool”, the whole point is that they dry WAY faster than cotton and you therefore don’t look like a sweaty pig at the gym, I should know, I used to work at Lululemon.  I think I’ll take my advice from a chick from Wisconsin with a grain of salt, thanks. 

    • Dan

      In her defense, you say:

      “you’re not very open-minded, culturally.”

      and then…

      “I think I’ll take my advice from a chick from Wisconsin with a grain of salt, thanks.”

      Sounds like a double standard to me.

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Thanks Dan! Though I did get a funny image in my mind of me writing this article while riding a cow to work, Wisconsin (and, ahem, New York City – where I live) does have more “culture” than seems to be granted by the previous commenter.

      • larry ramirez

        You’re absolutely right, Dan, I was being bigoted and foolish. 

    • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

      I hadn’t considered the effect that working out would have on braids, so thanks for bringing that up. As for the soccer shorts, that’s sort of a funny offense to mount – someone from Europe can’t assimilate to a different style of dress? I’m from Wisconsin but live in New York City now..should I still dress exactly like I did when I lived in the Midwest?

      As I said (pretty clearly, I thought), us ladies are happy when guys hit the gym, period. It seems to me, however, that at least part of the reason a guy would want to stay in shape would be to look good for the fairer sex. That’s why I provided some tips on how to look good for the ladies even while working out. If you’d prefer to ignore this advice, that’s of course your right.

      I will say, though, all that salt’s probably bad for your diet.

      • larry ramirez

        In re-reading my post, I’m not proud of the tact I used or the prejudiced approach I took, so I apologize for that. I was lashing out and not truly addressing the issue, which was what’s “acceptable” gym attire. 

        The doo rag has a purpose, even if some cats rock it for fashion purposes, you wear it either to create “waves” (think P. Diddy) or to keep your braids in place. You wear it to sleep or when wearing a hat or whenever your braids will touch or lean on something else. 

        I do care about what I look like in the gym or out of it, for me it’s form and function, but in this case function trumps form, period. Would I look down on a woman that’s hot with a wack personal sense of style at the gym? Probably. Would it matter too much to me if that were the case And she was hot? Probably not. I would just hope the fashion style wouldn’t carry over outside the gym. Perhaps the case is different for women looking at men, either way, I know I’m good, haha.

  • Giantandre

    I will agree with one thing, you look like a toolbox if you are wearing huge over-the-ear headphones (esp. Beats by Dre). I’ll never understand taking 300 dollar headphones to the gym. 

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Same here! Additionally, when I’m sitting at my computer, those things make my ears sweat. I can’t imagine how they’d be comfortable (and dry) at all when you’re working out.

  • brandon

    love the article.  i’m glad i fall exactly in line with your recommendations (instead of logitech, i just use the apple headphones though).  but in addition to what you said, i also carry a duffel bag with me around the gym… is that seen as tacky?  i need it to carry a squating cushion, lifting straps, a brace for my elbow, some electrolyte tablets, to hold my wallet/keys, as well as carry a few other things.  what are your thoughts on this?  

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Hey Brandon,

      Just to also throw in my input, a duffel bag is necessary if you carry all those things. Not tacky at all. Sounds like some of that stuff can be kept in the locker during your workout, but for the most part, if you need to use the things you carry, it won’t hurt to have it in a bag.

    • brandon

      also, WE ARE!!!! i sport my psu gear fairly frequently at the gym, and it certainly has been a talking point!!! btw, we went to psu at the same time. sorry, i kind of creeped on you a little. 

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        how funny! such a small world. and yes, do whatever you’ve got to do in terms of carrying your stuff around. I have to say, I had no idea there were so many accoutrements when it comes to serious weight lifting. What is a “squatting cushion” anyway?

        • brandon

          oh, nothing fancy. its a cushion that wraps around the bar.  when you have 200+ lbs resting on the shelf between your neck and your shoulders, its a little bit more comfortable when the steel bar isn’t digging into your back.  i can’t squat any real weight without it.  some gyms provide them, mine doesn’t so i bring my own. 

          btw, i checked out your website.  big fan of your work. bookmarked! keep it up! 

  • Neil W.

    I’m glad what you described is already my gym outfit to a tee! (Yeah that pun was pretty bad) You have inspired me to throw my Michigan State basketball shorts into the mix though. I usually avoid them because they don’t have pockets! 

    I know winter is pretty much over and I won’t really need them anymore, but what about wearing running tights with shorts over the top? I always feel like it looks weird but I need to keep warm if I’m outside running in the cold and I just don’t have the confidence to pull off just the tights alone..

    • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

       I’m never mad at a well-placed clothing pun :) And yes, definitely bring the MSU shorts into rotation!

      As for shorts over running tights – it’s definitely a do. I of course get the need for the tights, but us ladies do appreciate a little modesty when it comes to fellas’… shorts region!

  • kmorris76

    This is exactly what I wear! I’ve always thought that the calf-high socks with the huge logos looked ridiculous!

  • brooklyn87

    Great article! The only thing I would add is that I honestly find a sleeveless shirt more comfortable to work out in. Sleeves feel really restrictive to me when I do arm work (shoulder presses, etc), especially if I’m sweating at all. I do try to keep my cut-off tees low-key and modest, though…none of the Jersey Shore style muscle shirts that are ripped from armpit all the way down to the hip.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      If I were ripped like Ronnie though, I wouldn’t be too worried about my sleeveless tees. Just sayin. :)

  • tim

    Who gives a fuck, you’re working out, not making a fashion statement. It should be about comfort.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      This is the same excuse certain people make whenever they leave the house, because they’re “just putting gas in the car”, or “just picking up something at the grocery”. And so we end up with people walking around in oversized sweatshirts, pajama pants, and Uggs.

      In life, it’s all about presentation. In the gym, it’s about utility AND presentation.

      • Tim

         I still think we should keep sports and style separated

      • ATGsquats

        No, you are wrong. In the gym, its about PERFORMANCE. Presentation has nothing to do with anything.

  • Lolololz123

    I’m with Tim. If you’re really actually there to exert yourself you’re not worried beforehand about what you’re going to wear. Get to the gym and wear what works best for you. There doesn’t need to be a tailored guide as to how to look while you’re kicking your own ass.

  • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

    Hmm, the angry ones come out on this one, interesting. Is this a case of mob mentality? One person lashes out and so the 30 others who were thinking it now feel empowered to say something?

    I think Megan sums it up pretty nicely below: “As I said (pretty clearly, I thought), us ladies are happy when guys hit the gym, period. It seems to me, however, that at least part of the reason a guy would want to stay in shape would be to look good for the fairer sex. That’s why I provided some tips on how to look good for the ladies even while working out. If you’d prefer to ignore this advice, that’s of course your right.”

    No need to get your boxer briefs in a bunch. If you want to keep wearing what you’ve been wearing, then fine, no one’s commanding you to do anything.

    That goes with every other piece of advice on this site. If you feel it doesn’t apply to you, or you don’t like it, then don’t do it. I could care less. We’re just here to provide insight to those who may be open to it, or those who may want alternatives to what they’re already doing.

    • Dan

      I can only speak for myself, not for the “mob mentality” as you put it, but what bugs me even more is our reactions being casually marginalized. As Megan said on Twitter:

      “I just think some guys don’t want to be…challenged sartorially. Fair?”

      This isn’t true. I come here because I need to be challenged sartorially. And you yourself said:

      “you’re either really offended, or you get it”

      Really? Usually you’re pretty generous and understanding with your readers. But suddenly it’s our-way-or-you-don’t-get-it. What gives?

      • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

        You’re probably reading into my comments / reactions too much. I’m unbiased really, because to be honest, I wear some of the things Megan mentions NOT to wear. For example, I wear shirts that have the sweat-wicking capabilities, I wear sleeveless shirts on certain workout days, etc. Like I mentioned in other replies, to me workout gear is all about utility.

        I’m simply pointing out that we don’t usually get snide, snarky remarks here, and that’s good, because I feel like my readership is above that for the most part. But for this post, all those comments came out, and I’ve never seen so many on one post before.

        Maybe that’s saying something about the post, maybe we have a bunch of new readers that are more snarky, maybe people are just really passionate about what they wear to the gym. Who knows?

        • Jim

          It’s an unfortunate truth of the Internet that guys criticize women more than men, even (perhaps especially) if they make good points. Notice how many of the negative comments seem to be making a point to criticize Megan for the crime of being a woman who would dare to suggest what a man might wear.

          These are probably the same guys who will turn around and complain that they never understand what women want because they’re so secretive about it.

          Seems like the intro made the point: if you’re going to check out women in the gym, they’re going to look you over too. If you don’t care about your appearance in the gym, this article isn’t going to make you care, and like as not, nothing will.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500030795 Nolan Merchan Alvarez

    I liked this article. Yeah, you go to the gym to work out but as long as you leave the house, might as well put some effort into how you look. it’s all about consistency.  and thanks for the info on the socks. I’ve been on the fence about it lately but there is a whole drawer of calf length white socks that are getting thrown out, manana! haha…and go Nittany!

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Thanks Nolan, you said it all with “…as long as you leave the house, might as well put some effort into how you look. it’s all about consistency…”

  • zimage

    If you do heavy squatting and deadlifting, then chuck taylors (or bonus points for an actual weightlifting shoe) and tube socks are a must. I think this article is intended for the treadmill running gym-goer.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Right, the casual gym-goer. Glad you can see that.

      Re: the chucks / tube socks, that’s interesting, I just recently started using Chucks on deadlifting days, makes a big difference from your standard cross trainers.

      • http://www.facebook.com/funkadelicgrassroots Joseph Park

        pardon my lack of knowledge. why chucks for deadlifts?

        • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

          Most cross trainers or running shoes have lots of padding, air pockets, contour, etc in the footbed. For deadlifting (and heavy lifting in general) you want a flat sole so you have good footing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Hutchinson/663990706 Tim Hutchinson

    I’m with a lot of the commenters here that this is roughly what I wear to the gym. Comfortable, inexpensive, functional. 

    I did have one note on the socks. In my experience, the no-show socks do run the risk of being too low. On days where I’ve been behind on laundry and had to wear no-shows, my shoes often chafe/cut my heel where the sock doesn’t cover. To me, plain ankle socks (just a little bit above the top of the shoe) keep a decent look without sacrificing protection.

    Also, those shoes look exactly like the sort of shoe I’ve been trying to find. Flat, slim sole, flexible (at least they look that way). Anyone know where they’re sold in B&M? I’m always concerned that flexible shoes will end up with almost no lateral support.

  • RedYeti

    So running shorts are for running (outdoor?) races, and soccer shorts are for playing soccer? Yet basketball shorts are totally acceptable in the gym… This article is full of hypocrisy and completely arbitrary personal opinion. You’re working out for christ’s sake, all that matters is:
    1) Utility: I wear sleeveless shirts on days when I do arm exercises for freedom of movement etc.
    2) Cleanliness: don’t stink at the gym
    3) Some semblance of modesty: just as the Jersey Shore “juiceheads” you mention shouldn’t have most of their upper body on show, the girl I saw at the gym last week wearing semi-transparent leggings with clearly visible lacey underwear needs to rethink her choice.

  • Greg_S

    Wow. Didn’t know this was such a polarizing issue. I feel like the take away here is to maintain some amount of style sense at the gym and still wear clothes that fit. Not outrageous. Also, this is being written by a woman that appears quite attractive (based on the small picture on the bottom of the screen). I often feel inclined to listen to an attractive woman’s perspective on men’s style.

    Either way, I haven’t been terribly familiar with your blog, Megan. I will check it out.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      I listen to an attractive woman’s perspective on my style all the time (hi K); she keeps me in check and reels me in when I get too experimental, or if I’m not daring enough (she seems to have better understanding of the word “appropriate” when necessary), so I agree with you there.

      It’s always good to have your own sense of style to start off with, otherwise you might end up having a guidette (http://goo.gl/ZrBYH) telling you what “looks good”, and she most likely would be wrong.

      No offense to Snooks, wuttup girl.

      • Greg_S

        Haha. Indeed, sir.

  • Guest

    megan collins is the best.

  • Stefan

    When I work out I wear an almost tight fitting tank top (black, gray or blue) and shorts that end right above the knees. Always low-cut black socks.

    As for shoes the main criteria should be sole thickness -it should as thin as possible, and not foamy (as it is in jogging shoes) and foot support. The new balance shoes from the picture are simply shit for any kind of proper lifting.

    I honestly don’t give a shit if the way I dress at the gym is what girls wanna see or not. Maybe these are the same “girls” that come at the gym wearing 20 coats of make-up and “work out” while fixing their hair in the mirrors.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      You sound like a lifter, so I’m more curious about your comment re: the new balances. Those have thin soles and are not foamy like most running shoes. Because of its thinness, wouldn’t that be good for lifting? I know you want sort of an even plane with no heel lift, which this seems to have.

      Just curious about your thoughts on that.

      • Stefan

        Regarding the new balances- even if the sole would be ok, the upper white mesh seems like the same material and construction that you would find in jogging shoes- your feet would just wiggle like hell.

        The shoes that I’ve liked best for lifting were some dvs skate shoes, w/ vulcanized rubber sole and suede exterior. I now use some puma liga, of which I am 90% happy about- they give good feel and support, but the sides flex a little during heavier lunges.

        • Guest

           The New Balances featured above are recommended by Jim Steel, weightlifting coach for the University of Pennsylvania. Barron, nice recommendation, and Stefan, do some research next time.

          • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

            Nice, thanks for letting us know. I was planning on using them for lifting, glad to know they come with a recommendation.

  • Mrphills

    I
    love it when women who don’t do anything but run, have no figures
    (yes slim mean you have NO figure/curves) and lift 3lbs D-bells are
    concerned about gym etiquette. Really! You’re not supposed to look
    good while busting your hump sweating and lifting. I am a lean muscle
    gym rat, who works in corporate America and don’t care what women
    think of me while I’m working out. Get a LIFE and stop being prissy!

    • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

      I do have a life, thank you though for your concern. And my life, as a style writer, revolves around — you guessed it – writing about style! (Imagine that) If you don’t want to read about that, why are you on a website that does nothing but that?

  • Random

    If you don’t care what you wear to the gym, why did you read an article about it on a men’s style website?

    when the topic of gym comes up, what do you expect a website that is dedicated to men’s style to talk about?

    • davesaid

      because everyone else on the Internet is laughing at this ridiculous article and linking to it

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cathy-Pierce/1316289929 Cathy Pierce

    Hey Megan, why don´t you leave the gym for us who are actually there to train seriously, and then you could hit the beach…. sounds like a win / win to me.

  • Guest

    Nothing says credible, unbiased advice like affiliate spam links.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      What’s wrong with affiliate links? When I use products I like, I recommend them here and I use affiliate links as well. I even say I do, right on my about page.

      As long as the writer’s intentions are well-meaning, and he/she actually does recommend the product (and uses it him/herself), I don’t see a problem.

  • wardagaisntuber

    Hi. Now i just started frequenting this page to look for advice on proper clothing but this article disgusts me.

    1. Any guy going to the gym even remotely trying to look pleasant for the opposite sex is a complete tool. Go in, get your workout done, leave. No small talk, no chatter, no oogling. Your focus is to push your body to the limits, none of this pansy curling for 20 minutes checking out everyone in the gym stuff. Don’t be a gym idiot.

    2. Dress appropriately and comfortably to prevent injury. That means either skin tight spandex type clothing that allow for flexibility, or a loose t-shirt. Cutting away sleeves on your old t-shirts is a great way to allow for flexibility and saves you a precious penny. Shorts should either be short to the point its above the knees and allows you to do the splits, or you should be willing to pull up long shorts above knees to allow for flexibility. This is the gym, not the basketball court of some ghetto.

    But in all honesty, stop being a total bitch. You are at the gym to work out, unless the guy next to you smells like rotten eggs, or has his nutsack hanging out, focus on your work out

    • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

      Since we’re being so honest? Calling someone a “total bitch” anonymously on a website kind of makes you sound like a complete tool. Bro.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Yeah, I’m going to have to side with Megan on this one. It’s one thing to disagree with an article, it’s another to call someone you’ve never actually met a “total bitch” off one article of theirs you read.

      Plus, as someone so eloquently mentioned a few comments above, this is a site on men’s style. What do you expect us to talk about when the subject of “what to wear to the gym” comes up?

      Lastly, this article is addressing the everyday gym goer, the casual visitor. If you’re Mr. Serious about your workouts (which really, everyone should be, but hey), and you know you wear certain things based on what your routine is that day, or purely on utility, then good, keep on doing that. Clearly this doesn’t apply to you.

      No need for childish name calling.

  • Sfadeel

    Who thinks mesh shorts are the paramount of stylish gym clothing? Someone from the 80s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/funkadelicgrassroots Joseph Park

    utility and style need not conflict (necessarily). 

    theres a way to wear short shorts and not be offensive, i learned this from doing bikram yoga. compression shorts in various lengths (my gym also has a very active basketball court so i wear longer ones to go under my basketball shorts and shorter ones to go under my shorter yoga shorts – which are just short running shorts), keep your junk hidden and stable, while helping you stay dry.

    and i don’t know about some of you guys, but i have lots of buddies at my gym… and they remain just that, gym friends. benefits of gym friends: spotters. maybe you’re a beast that never needs one, but i like going to the gym, socializing briefly and then asking them to spot me so i can break plateaus. and maybe it’s just me, but might as well look good in the brief moments of socializing i get?

    i also happen to go to a lovely gym in a nicer area of san diego, where many of women (whether they are serious or not about actually working out) dress very attractively. while i am not the type of guy to pick up girls at the gym, it doesn’t hurt to actually care about what i’m wearing. i have the motivation haha.

    [side note: there are downfalls to going to a gym with so many ladies that just wanna dress nice. the 50 year old with fake triple Ds was to gag for. or the lady with a black and purple matching ensemble from her top, pants, shoes and even her tote bag. or the girl today who was actually working out with her purse on (it looked like a clutch but with a long strap). end random tangent side note.]

    if you disagree with what she suggests, that’s fine and dandy and all, but you really need to attack her sensibilities and opinions and character? i mean, isn’t the first rule of style to ultimately take ownership over what you wear instead of relying on and copying everything a blog writer posts? i wear sleeveless shirts to the gym because i think they look good on me and they are more comfortable for my workouts, o no i disagreed with a blogger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and finally, guy or girl who takes their workout uber seriously. i commend you, i wish i was more like you in my dedication and determination and decisively short but meaningful time spent at the gym. you are the 1% of gym goers, but i assume you already knew that. “culturally” speaking, we are a nation where gym memberships spike in january and fade quickly and “i need to lose weight” is a common phrase whose frequency escalates and climaxes in the approximately one month time frame between thanksgiving and january 1st. don’t be elitist please, we just aren’t worthy.

    (please don’t hate on me for not using my shift key to capitalize words)

  • Rob22

    What color jock strap?

  • Kellen

    I really pity the author of this article, that they’re quality of work is so useless and trivial at the point of having to write an online article on how people should work to impress others at a gym. You’re opinion is pretty much worth squat, and your position as well. I mean, think about it, society would fail without military personnel, police officers, fire fighters, doctors, teachers, etc. Yet, your job of writing articles like this provide no value to society whatsoever. And while we are on the topic of what guys can do to look better to women in the gym, I might as well throw this suggestion out for you, on what you can do to look better: GET A NOSE REDUCTION JOB!!

  • Jonathanwow

    This is hilarious. The people that give a shit what they wear to the gym are the same people I see talking for 45 minutes while I’m busting my ass doing an actual workout. You’re a woman, we get it. You don’t go to the gym to work out, you guy for the social aspect. But seriously lady?

  • Blah

    I hope some one rapes you you stupid cunt.

  • ButchDeadlift

    This is so shallow I am not a slab of meat. I don’t go to the gym to entertain you I am sorry I just want to work out.

  • ATGsquats

    an article written by someone that truly doesn’t ‘get it’. The gym isn’t a freaking fashion parade, its where you go to train. If you give a damn about what you or anyone else in the gym is wearing, then you might as well just stay home and stop wasting your time because you obviously care more about looking pretty than bettering yourself.

  • eat shit

    fuck off
    i’ll wear what i want at the gym

  • Mike

    Soooo…..why the hell do I care what you think of me when I go to the gym to bust my butt and work out? If you are more concerned about what the person next to you is wearing, you are indeed, doing it wrong!

  • An offended man

    What a blatant misandrist, telling men how to dress just so women can have a better view. Sorry ladies but we’re not your personal eye candy for you to gawk at!

  • I mean really

    I’m going to take all this new knowledge and do absolutely nothing about it.

  • AsKo25

    I think this guide is not directed at every guy who works out at the gym, just the ones who are there to pick up girls. obviously not everyone needs to be fashionable to meet someone cool at the gym, but it sure helps vapid people connect with each other!

  • Lunk

    Not everyone goes to the gym to get checked out. This is why America is becoming a shit country.

  • Peter gondelmeiner

    Who gives a shit you shallow bitch

  • Rick

    Damn you have to be that one girl of the bunch that nobody wants to date, you’re way too concerned about men. The gym is the one place people go hoping that they won’t get criticized, but of course bitches like you are more concerned what men look like than your actual workout. You don’t see men writing articles on fat girls who wear spandex suits to the gym. Grow up and stop being a hypocrite, serious people go to the gym for performance not for criticism. Most girls like you come to the gym dolled up with make up on and stay on the treadmill for hours just to checkout guys. I hope you die a loner you don’t deserve to be with anyone you shallow bitch.

  • jim

    I work out nude. All i need is lube and a adult film

  • Kevin

    Thank you Megan for writing this article! I found it very helpful. I was surprised to see all the negative comments. Reality is women care about what you wear, even to the gym. If you don’t care about pleasing women, why did you read this article in the first place? I think her opinions are very similar to most beautiful women out there.

  • Jonathan

    LOL, the responses are amazing. These were very basic tips and far from snobby. It astounds me how many guys have as much style as a NASCAR event.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Seemed like herd mentality to me. Commenters came out of the woodwork just to be nasty. Sigh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001331118070 Agun Yush

    If my looks at the gym are preventing people coming up to me to talk and interrupting my workout then all the better. A gym is not the ideal place for a chit chat. I thought body odor made that quite clear. I don’t care what women wear unless it’s way too distracting to my workout.

  • JB

    I think it’s kind of funny that women care about what we wear at the gym. Sure, the baggy clothes and giant headphones look ridiculous, but in that you can see the wearer’s motivation: attention.

    I wear running shorts at the gym because I’m a serious runner. I’m there to run, and if I’m lifting prior to the run I’ll probably wear those shorts while lifting as well. If you’re going to judge me based on my shorts, that’s fine because you probably couldn’t stick with me on a run.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rogelio.zamorachavez Roger L. Zamora Chávez

    well… i guess most people here dress with tall long socks and wear their dj headphones. lol
    great article. Thanks for your insight!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZF5m-vmDzM&feature=share Uncensored

    Who cares what men are wearing at the gym. My focus is my workout, not what others are wearing.

  • Chicago Guy

    Who the hell do you think you are to tell me I shouldn’t wear a tank top to the gym and keep covered up? What kind of an insecure , self-concious, narrow-minded low life are you?
    Trust me, you wouldn’t want me to criticize your outfit and hold it to some type of an imaginary standard, ’cause you’d go home crying…

  • chrisjh1

    Have you seen the new sportswear by Sweatz. The Worlds most Advanced Technical Designer Sportswear @ sweatz.com. Awesome stuff looks amazing and its really unique! With some of the Worlds 1st and most advanced technical features for keeping your bits totally cool all the time etc

  • https://www.lawnbagsigns.com/ lawnbagsignscom

    I really enjoyed this article. It is always nice when you read some thing that is not only informative but entertaining.

  • Jack

    lol poor Megan, seriously, thanks for taking the time to offer advice, really appreciate it. Remember not all men gets it. Looking acceptable during a workout will not only add some confidence, but will also increase motivation. Thanks again

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Thanks for your comment Jack. I think this post went semi-viral and of course the haters come out of the woodwork. Most probably just read the title and left a comment. They clearly missed the point.

  • Brian Oleander

    this is a very stupid article…i go to the gym to workout as long as your clothes are clean, functional, and not offensive you are good to go…

  • http://www.facebook.com/shredder.brah Kristian Barač

    What a load of crap. Who the hell do you think you are ? I really don´t care what women think about me or my clothes while I´m working out, nor do I look at them, I am there to bust my ass, so should they be. Now go home please and I don´t wanna ever see your face in the gym again.

    • Jon Helmkamp

      Wow, seriously? You read the headline on the article, you chose to click, you chose to read…. that’s on you. There’s no need for the hostility here. If you don’t want to read, then don’t read. This goes for @4431b96001287d76bb27ce1efe1bf787:disqus below this too…. oof.

  • Forkyoumegancollins

    I’m at the gym to make gains, not to impress bitches. That’s what clubs are for. Don’t tell me what to wear Megan Collins.

  • Satty

    I love the humor and a great article, even though I am a guy, I don’t dress up for no one, because I am 100% all about intensity from the moment in and the moment out. If I am stinking up the place, just let me know, cause that’s something that no one should have to stand.

  • Yeah Yeah

    In other news, we men couldn’t care less what the ladies think of our gym clothes. We are there to work out, get pumped, maybe socialize a little with the fellas (or not), and be as comfortable as possible while doing it. Remember ladies, gyms are a creation by men and primarily for men. The gym is a man’s world, just like a beauty salon is a woman’s world. So when you enter a gym remember, you are entering a man’s territory. It’s super cool that you all want to exercise with us, but do everyone a favor and keep your stylish gym tips for men ‘to yourselves’. We don’t care what you ladies wear to the gym. You could go be running on the treadmill wearing an extra long fur coat and we wouldn’t raise a brow. Whatever makes you feel comfortable. That means that if we men want to walk in to a gym breaking all the fashion no-nos, we will. We aren’t there to get any woman’s fashion approval….lol. Sure, many of the metrosexual guys probably care a lot about that sort of thing…..but not the rest of the guys. Alright everyone, enjoy your next workout and most importantly, show up wearing whatever makes you feel comfortable and not what some chick advises you to wear. Peace.

    • Sarah

      “The gym is a man’s world” ?
      Yeah… no. I get it, you don’t like being told what to wear. Frankly, I disagree with the whole article’s purpose. However, that goes a long way from saying that the gym belons to “men”. I love to lift. heavy. AND I AM A WOMAN. I go wearing whatever the heck I feel like wearing… do I match my clothes? no. Do I mind what another person is wearing at the gym? I don’t have the time for that. So please, keep your stereotypical responses to yourself. k? thx :)

  • Morrison

    I have a sky-high metabolism and get too hot during cardio. I noticed that T-shirts tend to retain my body heat and make cardio worse. Not having a mantle of cloth over my shoulders retaining body heat makes a big difference in my performance. So the tank is the pragmatic choice. B’sides I have decent guns. Any reason to hide them? C’mon!

  • http://www.facebook.com/catherine.miller.165 Catherine Miller

    Fellas, I’d like to just put in that this is all the author’s personal preference. There are women who will agree with her, and there are women who will hold to the exact opposite. Me personally:

    Headphones: I can’t stand buds, and I couldn’t care less if you prefer to wear them or a mondo pair of sound dampening super headphones. I think a big expensive pair like that would indicate to some women that you are financially secure.

    Shirt: I couldn’t disagree more. I love guys in those form fitting sleeveless things cause it means more yummy skin for me to oggle. That’s right, girls do oggle guys, we just tend to be more discrete about it.
    Shorts: Mesh = Bad in my eyes because…Highschool jocks did not make my pre-college life an easy one. Super tight, I might think you’re gay, or at least bi, but mostly I’m going to think you like showing off. Also, shorts are not the only option for the gym. Sweat pants work too! I’ve oggled many a guy with a nice bum that was teasingly hinted at by his sweat pants.
    Sock: Really? Socks? We’re going to nitpick socks? Ok, fine, socks. I hate no-show socks, and I don’t understand how anyone could stand to wear them. I personally wear knees highs, because the compression they provide makes my calf muscles less sore by the end of the work out. If you wear super crazy socks, (I’m talking neon blue or something) I’m going to think you’re a guy who doesn’t mind standing out of the crowd and doing his own thing, and that is going to make me smile at you, assuming I even bothered to notice your socks. I tend to keep my gaze focused a little higher up when I’m not staring at my own feet to avoid tripping.
    Shoes: I’ll agree with her on this one, mostly. I tie my shoes with big bunny ear loops, so I’m not going to hold it against you if you do too. For your own safety though, don’t wear them loose. Sprained ankles hurt!

  • retard

    If a guy doesn’t dress a way you like, then you weren’t his type in the first place. Nobody needs to change to fit what YOU like.

    “leave the form-fitting gear to us ladies the ones that make our butts look so cute”

    n this is the most stupid line ive read ever. the level of stupidity on this post is just hilarious.

  • But Mamma Says

    First Amendment.. to the assholes who train chest on Mondays and train biceps Tuesday through Sunday