All regular gym-goers and fitness buffs are aware that knowing what to wear to the gym is crucial to getting the most out of every workout. Ill-fitting, uncomfortable sports apparel or gym attire can interfere with your movements and might even lead you to stop working out altogether.
Besides, not all workout clothes are created the same. Therefore, it pays to be selective when shopping for gym clothes for beginners or whatever pieces you’ll wear to the gym.
If you’re hitting the gym for the first time, it’s natural to wonder about what to wear to the gym or what to wear with leggings, and we are here to assist you. In this article, we’ll answer the question, ‘What gym clothes should I wear?’ We’ll talk about what types of clothes are appropriate to wear to the gym, so you not only feel comfortable but also energised and inspired for your training.
General Tips on What to Wear to the Gym
If you’re unsure about what to wear to the gym, consider the following general tips on choosing the right gym clothes.
- Always go for activewear made from moisture-wicking fabric. To ensure you don’t feel icky during your sweat sessions, it’s important to wear apparel with fabric that wicks perspiration from your skin. This will help you stay cool and comfortable during your workouts.
- Opt for synthetic performance clothing over cotton. While cotton is a natural fibre that’s known for keeping the body cool, it absorbs sweat. It’s not really designed for use during exercise, unlike performance materials that wick away sweat and are lightweight.
- Consider the breathability of the garments you wear. Breathability is another factor you should consider when deciding what to wear to the gym — just like when you’re thinking of what to wear to yoga. Intense exercise heats the body up, so breathable clothes can help you stay comfortably cool.
- Wear only properly fitting, appropriate activewear. Oversized and undersized gym clothes are ill-fitting and could prevent you from performing your workout correctly. Also, different activities may require a change in garments, so what you wear for yoga may not be advisable for your runs or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
- Dress for the weather. If you exercise outside, make sure you choose sports clothing suitable for the season. During summer, it may be better to wear shorts or tank tops, while layered, lightweight clothing and track pants can protect you from the nippy weather.
‘What kind of underwear should I wear to the gym?’ you might ask. Or, you’re probably wondering what underwear to wear under gym tights.
Wearing a supportive, sweat-wicking and breathable sports bra and workout bottoms can go a long way in keeping you supported and cool during your most intense workouts. Your sports bra should fit snugly without digging into your shoulders, whilst your workout bottoms should be anti-chafing and sweat-wicking to keep you comfortable all day.
Leggings, Shorts or Trackies
When it comes to workout bottoms like leggings, activewear shorts and tracksuits, consider the following pointers:
- For cardio sessions, you may opt to wear shorts and gym leggings (including TikTok leggings) that are moisture-wicking and not too tight. They should be stretchable to fit all bum shapes and sizes, squat-proof, and ideally made from antibacterial, breathable fabric.
- For added support and faster muscle recovery, you can also wear compression leggings. These may take some getting used to; however, once you start wearing them, you’ll never want to wear anything else again.
- If you’ll be lifting weights, joggers or sweat pants in darker colours like black or navy blue are recommended. If you’re combining cardio with weights, you may opt to wear shorts or scrunch-bum leggings, too.
- You can wear shorts in a lightweight fabric when strength training and yoga pants for Pilates, yoga, mat work and other low-impact exercises. Avoid wearing very short gym booty shorts as these could get too revealing when you’re doing floor or mat work.
You have plenty of choices in the workout bottoms department from various prominent Australian brands like Ryderwear, Carra Lee, Xahara and many more.
Sports Bra, Crop Top, Tank Top or T-shirt
For your top, you can choose from among sports bras, crop tops, tank tops and T-shirts. The main thing here is to go for lightweight tops that are made with moisture-wicking material.
They shouldn’t restrict your movement and lead to painful chafing. Your sports bra should be supportive without being too snug, and it must ideally provide adequate coverage while worn on its own. It also doesn’t hurt if your workout top is stylish and matches your bottoms.
Socks and Workout Shoes
If you’re concerned about what shoes to wear to the gym, it’s understandable because footwear is an essential aspect of standard workout gear.
Wear sports socks that are supportive, snug and won’t slip inside your shoes. If you’re after faster muscle recovery, you may also opt for compression socks that’ll also help boost circulation.
When it comes to footwear, running shoes are a versatile choice. They provide adequate cushioning, stability and motion control — whether you’re out running, walking, jogging, or attending fitness classes.
Colour Considerations in What to Wear to the Gym
There’s a wide variety of colours, patterns and prints when it comes to curating what to wear to the gym whilst keeping yourself looking fashionable.
- Wear dark block colours if you’re a little bit on the heavy side or if you want to hide unsightly bulges. Prints and patterns also work great in camouflaging thick waistlines and thighs.
- Lighter coloured gym clothes are highly recommended for thin, small or petite women, as wearing darker hues can make them look even thinner or smaller.
Of course, no one’s stopping you from wearing animal, abstract or floral prints and other designs and styles. Whatever your build or size, as long as you feel fabulous, that’s all that matters.
Gym Fashion Trends — What to Wear to the Gym in 2023
Leggings are an enduring gym fashion trend that have invaded most fitness spaces, so they’re likely to remain well into the next decade.
Meanwhile, scrunch-bum leggings and shorts are relative newcomers, having just started to trend in late 2020 or so. However, after going viral and becoming more popular this 2021, the scrunch-bum trend is expected to continue into 2022, 2023 and beyond.
Of course, what has made this specific women’s gym attire so desirable is its ability to make a regular, small and any-sized butt look curvier and bigger than it actually is.
Gym Outfit Ideas
If you’re one of those women who always want to look well put together whenever and wherever, here are some gym outfit ideas to complement your concept of what to wear to the gym.
Cute Gym Outfit Ideas
Love the kawaii look that’s so popular in Japan or are you simply into youthful, feminine things? Then cute gym outfit ideas would certainly appeal to you. Some cute gym outfits include Aquamarine scrunch-bum shorts with tie-up sides and pastel-coloured leggings. A white sports bra goes well with any colours and would also make a nice addition to your collection of cute outfits to wear to the gym.
Sexy Gym Wear
A lot of women like sexy gym wear — and for good reason. It adds appeal to your overall look and boosts self-confidence.
If you’re looking for sexiness guaranteed, check out the gorgeous pair of black gym leggings with scrunch bum feature by Evolve and its matching sports bra. You can definitely start with this sporty set and work your way to other collections.
Modest Gym Wear
If all you’re after is wearing the appropriate gym attire or modest yoga clothes that can confidently support your training, you can try this matching Day Dream racerback sports bra and 7/8 leggings set by Dharma Bums. This fabulous pair is proof that modest gym wear need not turn you into a wallflower.
Functional Gym Wear
Among the most dedicated gym-goers, there’s nothing like functional gym wear to take them from one level to the next.
Functional gym wear is usually made from the best material for working out, making them essentially the best clothes for exercise — especially for people looking for or needing a specific type of support. Examples of functional gym wear includes compression wear for people who have been injured or are after superior support and quick muscle recovery. Or pregnancy activewear is perfect for women who are just returning to their exercise routine.
The long-sleeve top and 7/8 leggings by Skins Compression is a brilliant combo you could try if you want to experience the excellent support and muscle recovery benefits of compressive workout gear.
Edgy, Rugged Gym Wear
Women who are attracted to the military or animal print aesthetic also have plenty of choices available to them. Just take a look at the sexy but rugged camo print sports bra or the star leopard bike shorts.
Whatever look you’re going for in deciding on what to wear to the gym, it’ll be easy to achieve with all these options in your closet.
What to Wear to the Gym if You Are Plus Size-Curvy
What are you supposed to wear to the gym if you’re plus size? Easy.
There are plenty of choices available to curvy, plus-size women in Australia when it comes to activewear. It’s not all block, dark colours. You can choose from a range of prints and patterns that you’ll love wearing again and again.
👉 Explore our Plus-Size Activewear Range now
What to Wear in a Sauna at a Gym
How about what to wear in a sauna at a gym?
Going to the sauna after an intense workout is a great way to relax your tired muscles — but should you be going naked or with bathers on?
As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you’re in Europe, naked is the way to go, but in the Land Down Under, it’s bathers all the way.
What to Wear to the Gym During Your Period
Another concern for women is the question, ‘What to wear to the gym during my period?’
Well, there’s period underwear to ease your worries about going to the gym while menstruating. Period underwear doesn’t look different from regular underwear, except that they have an absorbent odour-control crotch that’s typically leak-proof.
What to Take to the Gym Besides Your Outfit
Aside from concerns about your gym attire, you might also be wondering about what to take to the gym. So, what workout essentials should you have with you?
Here’s a quick list of some important items that you should bring to all your workouts:
- Drinking bottle for hydration
- Fitness watch to keep track of time and exercise metrics
- Gym bag for keeping all your workout clothes, accessories and supplies
- Lock to secure your things in a locker
- Music to keep you moving and motivated
- Resistance band for various workouts
- Toiletries (if you plan to shower at the gym)
- Towel for drying yourself off
- Weight-lifting equipment (gloves, belt, etc.)
Time to Shop activewear!
Now that you know what to wear to the gym (and more), perhaps it’s time to start some serious shopping at Be Activewear (and maybe learn how to meet someone at the gym😊).
We feature top Australian and international brands for a range of activewear sizes, styles and looks.
Meet your match in our extensive collection of workout apparel.