Going to the gym doesn't have to be an inherently unfashionable experience. Just because your face is blotchy and your hair is matted down with sweat, your clothes can still look good! All you have to do is identify which style is yours, then follow my tips to amp it up for the gym. Note that I'm not advising anyone to go to the gym with a full face of makeup or to spend more time getting dressed for the gym than at the gym. But I do know that great workout wear can be encouragement to go in the first place, and it can't hurt to look fashion-forward on the treadmill!
Above: the Man Repeller fitness collaboration with Outdoor Voices.
Style #1: Classic All-American Sporty
This look is the basic for a gym-goer (or outdoor runner), but doesn't have to consist of an old college t-shirt and oversize track shorts. The hem of your classic gym shorts can be raised an inch, and you can swap out that worn-out tee for a muscle tank that layers over your sports bra. Look at which colors you're putting together, weather you wear a neon tee with black shorts, or simply match the stripe of your shorts to a pop of color somewhere else, rather than picking for gym clothes blindly in the dark. This look doesn't have to be preppy, but is more about retro comfort.
Style #2: Polished and Girly
Lululemon was invented as yoga wear, but today can be seen on many a pearl-wearing, eliptical-riding gym rat. If you want to look sweet and put-together at the gym, but also want something breathable and functional, this style is about body-hugging cuts and pops of color, plus the ocassional cuter-than-necessary sports bra. If you're really going for it, match your sweatband to your top and maybe also to your neon sneakers.
Style #3: Health Goth
Health goth, a recently-coined term, is the polar opposite of the aforementioned style, and is about reclaiming workout wear for those who don't support all-american prep. Black and white is the dominating color scheme, and you can wear athletic classics like addidas track pants if you're doing so with a touch of irony. Layers are also a staple of this look, and many health goth styles are so fashion-forward that they can be worn outside the gym, just to, you know, make a statement.
Style #4: Athleisure (and beyond)
If you like going straight from the gym to brunch, or want to keep everyone guessing if you're wearing those yoga pants because they're comfy or because you actually have yoga later, the athleisure trend is for you. This mostly is about incorporating elements of workout wear into an everyday outfit. Whether you're dressing up track pants with a blouse and flats, or layering running leggings under a tunic, athleisure is for anyone who may or may not be hitting up the gym at some point.
Whatever your gym style may be, don't be that girl wearing a sports bra as a shirt to "casually" remind everyone that you have amazing abs. No one will believe you when you say it's more comfortable than a real shirt.