Friday, March 11, 2011

Am I too dressed down for the gym, of all places?

Besides my signature Hannah Montana water bottle, here’s how to find me at the gym. I’m the one who rolled out of bed in a wrinkled T-shirt, threw on a pair of unflattering sweat pants, put my tangled, unwashed hair in a high ponytail, laced up my sneakers and called it good. I’ve probably got yesterday’s mascara smudged under my eyes. It’s not always a safe bet that my T-shirt is clean.

Until recently, this was just fine with me. Sure, you bump into people you know and then you want to kill yourself when you pass a mirror, but it’s the gym, and people come here to sweat, so whatever.

I started noticing in the locker room, however, that some women are putting much more effort into their attire. The other day there was a matching pink track suit. It was 8-ish a.m., pre-workout, and she appeared to have a full face of makeup on. Then I remembered back a few years to when I took Step classes at 5:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Many of those women seemed to put thought and $$$ into their ensembles as well.

Am I supposed to be conscious of my appearance at the gym, of all places?

My interest was piqued even more when I read a story on the AP wire on this very subject. Here’s a snippet.

Those vows to hit the gym more often or adopt a new exercise regimen seem to be part of the human condition. And although your choice of outfits is secondary to the search for motivation, the right clothing can't hurt.

“Women want to look good while exercising,” says Kelly Cooper, vice president of merchandising, design and product development for Athleta, the Gap-owned athletic and lifestyle manufacturer and retailer. “When you're wearing things that are more flattering, then you're more motivated to work out.”

Could this be true? If I wipe away my mascara smudges, apply a little rouge, gets some slimming black stretch pants that actually fit, and a stylish zip-up black hoodie with a pop of pink underneath, maybe a girlie stretchy fashion tee, will I feel more motivated to kick some butt in the gym?

The article goes on to say: Many of us appear to agree with (Cooper). In 2010, Americans spent more than $30 million on women's fitness clothing, a 2 percent increase over the previous year.

Wow. $30 million. ON CLOTHES TO POUR SWEAT INTO. ... Yeah, no. Sounds a bit asenine, to be honest. So if you’re looking for me, ignore the black-and-pink fashion outfit I outlined above. Look for the tired girl in the dirty T-shirt. That’ll be me.


  1. Make-up?? I would only be seen with make-up on at the gym if I was leaving some special event and then going to the gym. It is always amazes me that people put make-up on and then go workout. I wouldn't want foundation and mascara to run down my face from sweating. I barely ever put make-up on. That is just me. If someone wants to wear make-up and then sweat it off, I guess whatever makes them happy!

    I am never matching either. No worries there. I just throw on t-shirt, pants and put on my shoes and out the door I go. I am more focused on working out and not worrying about what others are thinking. I go to the gym for myself and not to impress others.

  2. Already fit people that don't NEED to go to the gym wear those outfits. They look good in them and feel good in them because they are already small, cute and fit. I'm not! and that is why I go to the gym, why would I pack my fat into some stretchy clothing? to gross out everyone else at the gym so I have the place to myself. Trust me, you don't want me wearing something other than a tee and basic workout pants. "Buying clothes to feel good about yourself." If I felt good about myself/how I looked....I wouldn't be at the gym!