Getting Fit With Style – Don’t Dress Like a Gym Rat!

Many people who decide to get fit, forget everything they know about fashion and style. I am not sure what the deal is, but as soon as someone gets in great shape they take every opportunity to show off their new physique. If you dress in sleeveless shirts and tank tops 75% of the time, then this post is for you. If you wear sweat pants in public and have no intention of working out, then pleeeease read this post. I’m just trying to help!

[Women like it when a man dresses up every now and then. Even though this guy is wearing dress clothes, you can tell he is fit.]

 Showing off Your Rocking Body Without Trying Too Hard

When you get in great shape and look good, you do want to show it off a bit…but you want to do it in a strategic way. The best approach to take in my opinion is to have a ‘funky’ look if you are going to wear super-fitted clothes. A woman who dresses like a stripper will get attention, but the one who dresses in hip Urban clothes will create a sexier look.

Fitted vs. Tight Clothing

I have to admit it, I do have a few t-shirts that are pretty darn tight…but I normally save those for lounging around at home or going to the grocery store. When you are hitting the town, it is best to aim for fitted clothes. Also, slim people can probably get away with tighter clothes than overly muscular people…this is just an observation. Whenever I see a guy with 18 inch biceps in a tight t-shirt, I just can’t help think how cheesy this looks. On the flip side, slim ‘indie rockers’ look cool in tight t-shirts.

Overly Baggy is Just as Bad, If Not Worse Than Too Tight

I never liked the baggy look. It just looks cheap to me. Fine clothes are tailored to fit. You don’t have to get clothes tailored, but aim for clothes that look like they were made to fit your body. The sagging pants deal has been big in the hip-hop scene for close to 20 years, but luckily that look is finally dying. Sorry…the waist of your pants should be at least somewhere close to your waist. Wearing at the level of your hips is fine, wearing them below your butt is not!

[My girlfriend is a fashion designer and she makes high-end dresses…I had to throw this photo in for her. She likes the way women look in dresses and so do I.]

Pay Attention to Style and Create Your ‘Look’

Have you ever thought about how clothes are a big part of first impressions. People have to use shortcuts to decide what someone is all about…they simply don’t have time to talk to every person that they run across. A guy with a leather vest and handlebar mustache will send off different signals than a man in a tailored suit. A girl wearing a summer dress looks different than a girl with a hooded sweatshirt. I’m not saying one look is better than the other (well I am kind of) I am just saying that people do judge you based on your overall look.

People Do Enjoy a Unique Look the Person Can Pull it Off

I love it when someone has a funky style or has their own look. A good example of this is Beck. Pretty much nobody else could look good wearing some of the stuff this guy wears, but he makes it look cool. He “owns it”…he is congruent with the look. As long as the look seems to fit the personality of the person, then outlandish and wild looks cool.

Speaking of Beck…You Gotta Love “Gamma Ray”

[Yeah…I’m partial to Indie Rock…especially the new stuff mixed with Industrial. Remember, I live in downtown Seattle and we eat this stuff up.]

I Bought the New Album by MGMT today…”Brilliant”!

[Yeah…no fashion tips here, but just an amazing new band. These guys should be huge…they have an indie sound with some late 80’s new wave synthesizers in this song. Every song on this album is exceptional…two thumbs up!]

I’ll Throw in One More Video…Band of Horses

[Theses guys have the extra scruffy look, that works for them. You would almost have to be in a band to pull this look off. Don’t let their looks fool you, they put out some beautiful tunes.]

So Back to Style…

I just can’t help it, I love music and especially unique bands. Okay…so the idea with fashion is to not get stuck in a rut where you only wear workout clothing. I have seen bodybuilding videos where the guys are walking around downtown in those weird baggy Everlast pants and cut sweatshirts. Sorry…totally corny!

Another Reason to Stay Slim Instead of Bulky

You will look better in a variety of different types of clothing. A slim GQ looking guy looks cool in a sleeveless shirt and jeans…a massive guy can’t pull this off in the same way. A slim and fit female looks great in a cocktail dress…a female bodybuilder in a cocktail dress looks like…’a female bodybuilder in a cocktail dress’! If you are bigger, you almost need to ‘tone down’ your look a bit to look cool.

You Can Workout Without Going to the Dark Side

Unfortunately most of the big fitness sites and magazines still have people working out in WAY too much spandex for my liking. You don’t have to transport back to the 80’s and to pick out your gym clothing. I’m not saying that I dress up for the gym, but I certainly look like I have progressed to the new millennium. When I go into the free weight room these thoughts run through my head…”Welcome to the year 2000 people”…”I am from the future where spandex has been outlawed”…”I come in peace and mean you no harm”.

Bottom Line, Don’t Just Get Fit, Pay Attention to Style As Well!

34 thoughts on “Getting Fit With Style – Don’t Dress Like a Gym Rat!”

  1. You say that you come in peace, and yet at the same time, insist that spandex should be outlawed. What if I were to say that sunglasses, for instance, should be outlawed, if, hypothetically speaking, I found sunglasses distasteful? I am sure that you would take offense if you enjoyed wearing sunglasses. I live in Malaysia where the whether in incredibly hot. Constant summer all year round, so you’ll usually find me sporting tank tops and short shorts. I am not a bodybuilder, mind you. No offense towards bodybuilders, but I have no interest in attaining the bodybuilding physique. I’m not saying it’s a repulsive physique, but your goals are yours, and my goals are mine. But I still work hard in the gym on cardio and heavy weights, and have a fairly lean and toned body to show for it. Different women have different tastes, and just because some women find tank tops and low-cut tee shirts distasteful on men, others DO find them attractive to look at. Also, some women like their men a little on the chubby side and vice versa; if you don’t believe me, just head over to Tonga and see for yourself! Just like some men prefer curly-haired women, some prefer blondes, and others brunettes. Some men like women natural (no make up), while some like them with make up. Also, I think many women would have taken offense on your post on skinny women. While I am sure that your intentions were well, you did not seem to consider how an overweight woman would feel if she read your post. It is true that we should all strive for perfection in all aspects of life, but just because a woman doesn’t have a fitness model/actress/singer/catwalk body certainly does not mean she is unattractive or even unhealthy. I think that people these days have been indoctrinated into hating their bodies, just because they aren’t as slim as society deems ”sexy”. Sometimes, the fitness body may just not be in the individual’s genetic cards; I’m mesomorphic, so I put on muscle easily and burn fat equally easily, but endos and ectos would not have the luxury of good genes, unfortunately. Also, how do you know how a stripper dresses? Some of them dress modestly outside the strip club. Even so, the manner in which one dresses does not dictate what kind of person they are.

  2. Genius my butt! Who in the hell cares how you dress. Stereotyping like that just fuels the already existing arrogance and intolerance that many people, like yourself, possess. I’m an avid powerlifter, and that is something I love to do and will continue to do until the day I leave this world. I’m a big (or “bulky” as you phrase it), strong, and muscular guy (6’1, 270 pounds) and I can still look good when I have my dress clothes tailored, in order to look professional, for my sales job. Yeah, I wear big and baggy clothes because I’m a big guy, and they are straight up comfortable! I don’t give a damn what other people think, and no one has ever criticized my so called lack of fasion sense. Your column is quite vain and highly judgemental. Terrible article!

  3. ” A slim and fit female looks great in a cocktail dress…a female bodybuilder in a cocktail dress looks like…’a female bodybuilder in a cocktail dress’ ” That right there, sir, is genius.

  4. I really love this site…As someone who really has to work to stay in shape (genetic predispostion to diabetes and obesity) this is invaluable. I put on mass very easily, I’m 5’9″ and about 165-175
    though my dad was my height and was 40-60 lbs heavier..

    Great site…..great pics too! 😉

    and off topic….check out my music/imagery

    That’s Starla and I in the main photo…

  5. Hassan,

    Exercise bikes are great, but not for people who want to slim down muscular legs. Stick with running at various intensities…and you will be fine. Distance running will slim down your legs quicker than HIIT, but HIIT is great for training for your sport and is good for burning body fat…I would recommend a bit of both.


  6. ok i will do thst, what about the intensity of the run though? HIIT or just moderate paced, because my legs contain mor muscle den fat because of all the soccer i play, because im a short guy, i just want to slim my legs down a bit so that my body looks all proportioned, so just need to know what level to exercise at, wouldnt an exercise bike help?

  7. The Spaniard,

    Good point about pleated pants..some people look decent in them. I guess I’m just more a flat front guy (personal preference).

    I’m not a big fan of flip flops either. Maybe just when walking down to the beach or swimming pool. I know a lot of the younger folk wear them with jeans and have the whole Abercrombie or Hollister vibe going…I don’t think it is a terrible look, but I wouldn’t be able to pull it off (I don’t own a pair of flip flops). Wearing flip flops at night or in the city…not a great look (unless a pool or beach is nearby).


    You are right…if you give yourself 4-6 months to prepare for spring or summer you will look amazing. If you wait until 30-60 days out, like most people…you will most likely be dissapointed. I’ll see what I can do!


    Yavor gave you the exact advice I was going to give you (great minds thing alike…thanks Yavor).


    College students typically don’t have spare cash or time to spend on fashionable clothes. I had a pretty limited wardrobe when I was in college as well.


    If I did a post on flexibility I would be the biggest hypocrite ever! I am not very flexible at all and never have been. I’ll have to get someone to a guest post on the subject 🙂


    It sonds like you dress perfectly for the occassion. I give you a lot of credit for going to spinning class. I have done it around 10-15 times and have got my butt kicked every time! The tough people aren’t in the freeweight area…the toughest people are in the spinning class. Lifting is a vacation compared to spinning. Anyone who has done both will agree!



  8. Hello Rusty

    Another good article!. What is the proper workout attire for women? I wear two pieces of workout attire to the gym. First, I wear either spandex or tight sweatpants for running. Second, I do spinning after running so I wear either cycling pants or a running miniskirt for my spinning class. For my upper body, I always wear either a tank top or tight t-shirt. My gym is very stuffy and I try to stay cool during my workout. By the way, I am the only one wearing a miniskirt in the spinning class. I feel so comfortable that I do not mind about other people’s opinions.

  9. Hello Rusty

    Gotta say I do love your site and it has become my one stop site for all fitness info, however I have noticed that you don’t have any posts on flexibility. I believe that being flexible is extremely important for a fit and functional body and i was wondering why the lack of posts on this topic?

  10. May get bashed a bit for this, but I wear sweatpants and a hoodie


    People freak out when I wear jeans and ask me, “What’s the occasion?” with a smirk on their faces.

    I just like it. It’s comfortable. Being a college student, I don’t feel the need to get dressed up for every little thing (;

  11. Hassan,

    Start running for 5-15 minutes and increase that slowly to 45 mins. You can maybe run 3 times a week and add 5minutes every third workout. This will help you lose weight and also will make your thighs smaller.


  12. Gotta admit Rusty I do tend to wear my workout clothes quite a lot outside of the gym. I don’t wear spandex though, usually just three quarter lengths and a vest. The reason is they’re just so comfy. However, I know what you mean. Usually, when going out in public it is worth making the effort as people do see you differently otherwise.

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