What to Wear To… The Corporate Gym

In this feature, “What to Wear To…” we tackle attire for office events that are outside the confines of the 9-5 office day.

If you’re lucky enough to have a gym in your workplace (or nearby enough that there’s a good chance of running into people at your office), you may be wondering what to wear to the gym. Obviously, you’ll want to leave the thong-leotards and short-shorts at home, but what does that really leave you with? Particularly on a hot summer day, the choices can seem limited.

Choose moisture-wicking fabrics. These fabrics tend to cost more than your basic cotton or nylon, but they breathe more, wicking moisture away from you.  This means you’re drier, lighter, and cooler — which then means that you can wear pants rather than shorts, even on hot days.   Look for words like Dri-FIT (Nike’s brand), ClimaLite (by Adidas), and Double Dry (by Champion).

If you must wear shorts, go for modest ones. For example, these Moving Comfort Aero Shorts have the equivalent of a bike pant beneath a loose short — you won’t have to worry about what’s showing when you stretch. W/AERO SHORT, available at Paragon Sports on sale for $23.

Watch your bust. Not literally, of course — we’re just saying that a good sports bra is essential. (Let’s face it, a good sports bra is ALWAYS essential, but in the corporate gym you’ll be making a scene if you wear a regular bra for a cardio activity.) If you’re busty, we can’t recommend Enell enough — sure, they’re ugly as sin (see the pic at right) but these things do the job.

Finally, wear a shirt. This is not the time to show everyone your rock-hard abs (but congratulations if you’ve got ’em!) — cover yourself up. Our reasoning is simple: Do you want to see YOUR supervisors without their shirts on?  It isn’t a man issue or a woman issue, it’s just a let’s-not-see-more-of-each-other-than-we-really-have-to issue. That said, there are tons of ways you can go with the shirt. You can stick with the trend and get a mositure-wicking fabric t-shirt. You could show your team spirit and don a company shirt. You could go basic and just wear a tank top, like these from Old Navy.  Or, you can go our preferred route, and show a bit more personality with your workout attire and go for something from Threadless (reader-submitted hilarious designs, examples pictured below), Busted Tees (think more caustic/funny one-liners), or Glarkware (televisionrelated products).

Cake is Awesome, $17 S’more 101, $17
Word!, $17


  1. I love Glarkware and Threadless! I just added myself to the “tell me when you reprint” that s’mores t-shirt….it’s sold out in Medium and Large, and those “girl” size t-shirts are TINY. :(
    Oh, and this blog is great–way to combine feminism and fashion in a terrific balance.

  2. Agreed re: M/L sizes for Threadless. They had a ton of cute ones! Nearly posted one of a rhino jogging on a treadmill while looking at a poster of a unicorn. (Maybe you had to see it to get it?) Ah, we just found the link and the reason we didn’t post it: it’s sold out. Boo.


  3. This is a great post and very useful. Thanks for the great links.

  4. Hi–How could you omit directing folks to lululemon, athleta and title9? The BEST workout gear sites EVER!!!

    Love your blog. It’s like a virtual banker/lawyer girlfriend chat…and I don’t have to coordinate with anyone to make it happen :)

  5. Ooh, haven’t heard of those — thanks for passing along. I’m also a fan of lucy.com — very pretty stuff with a brick & mortar shop in DC’s Union Station, if I remember correctly.

  6. Not sure how I stumbled onto your website, but I’d like to add my two cents to the “Finally, wear a shirt” part. I think that we as a country need to see more skin, not less. Yes, even at a corporate gym. Show off what you got! Maybe this will inspire others to work hard, eat smarter, and become healthier.

  7. Target and Walmart also have wicking clothing at decent prices. Target even has Champion! Walmart has plus sizes.

  8. Target sells some great and durable fitness outfits for less. They are excellent quality. I have bought some T-shirts last year and they are still holding strong. Lulu lemon sells some cute fitness outfit for women, but they are expensive.

  9. Mositure wicking-fabric is important, as they get rid the sweat to prevent stickiness.

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