Dear Shopping Savage,
I just relocated for a job and inadvertently joined the gym that most of my new co-workers use. I generally work out in old college t-shirts and basketball shorts but now I'm not so sure this look is going to cut it anymore. I know there is a large selection of athletic clothing out there, but all I want is comfort with a twinge of coordination just in case I have to run an errand before or after my workout or more importantly, inevitably run into a co-worker.
Do you have any athletic-gear recommendations?
There was a time when I would have said that your free t-shirts and old shorts were sufficient as far as workout clothing goes, but that was before I became a convert to moisture wicking fabric.
The major benefit of this synthetic material over cotton is its ability to pull moisture away from the body and keep you feeling cooler and drier during your workout. Most cotton clothing clings at the mention of sweat, creating a moist exoskeleton that can weigh down on the body. It also doesn't help that even a petri dish would cringe at just how much bacteria can grow on cotton clothing worn regularly for exercise.
Do yourself a favor and venture into a sporting goods store and checkout their dri-weave selection. Keep in mind that most of this clothing runs small or true to size, so you definitely want to try on the items to make sure that you have a full range of motion. Look at investing in at least five shirts, five shorts and a full-zip jacket and pants for a post-workout cover-up and/or for cool weather outdoor activities.
And don't neglect south of your ankles. Moisture-wicking socks can be just as important as the clothing. (Did you know that a typical workout produces enough sweat in your feet alone to fill an 8-ounce glass?) And even in a gym setting, your shoes are taking as much a beating as your body, so be mindful to replace your workout sneakers every 3-4 months.
With just a fraction of the time, energy and money you spend on your work appearance, your workout appearance will be in tip-top shape in no time. And once you are properly outfitted, break in your new clothing the best way you know how: by getting physical.
Need sartorial advice? Email me: ShoppingSavage@gmail.com