2018 Update: We still stand by a lot of this advice on what to wear to the corporate gym — but you may want to check out some of our more recent discussions on office to gym issues, including what to wear to workout in front of coworkers.
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.
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) 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 (television-related products).
Readers, what are your best tips for what to wear to the corporate gym? We’d love to hear them!
Social media images (added 2018) via Stencil.