Sports Style

    Outfit of the Day: The Workout Date

    1st May 2013
     Happy Wednesday! Intern Gabi is here to share her youthful wisdom and (the first appearance of) a gif on Style Girlfriend! Get excited!

    I’m going to say working out is the number one scenario in which people choose their clothes with wild abandon. I regularly see guys wearing sleeveless neon shirts with bright red mesh shorts as they lift weights to get “swoll.” {SG editor’s note: Is that a college term? I’ve never heard it!}

    Sure, you could say the gym is supposed to be a judgement-free zone where we’re all just trying to better ourselves, meaning, it shouldn’t matter how we look. But what happens when you spot a cute girl across the room who can bench press more than you?

    Obviously you should walk right over and tell her how stunning she is, in beauty AND weight-lifting capacity, and ask if she would like you to spot her. If she declines, just let her know that you’re really interested in her workout routine, and would love to…experience it first hand. She lets you know that she’s training for one of those crazy tricyclathons, and invites you to join her on her heavy training day next weekend.

    So, what’s the easiest way to impress her? A good outfit! But this isn’t one of the cases in which your OCBD, tailored salmon shorts, and boat shoes will come to your rescue.

    It’s totally possible to look awesome on a gym date with just the littlest bit of effort.


    Chris Traeger from Parks and Rec knows how to get dressed for a workout


    5Adidas: Shirt, $22; Hoodie, $55; Compression Shirt, $30; Shorts, $32

    You’re working out, so you’re either fit or you’re trying to become fit. If you’re already fit, it behooves you to show off the reapings of your hard work. If you’re trying to become fit, the snugness of the fabric will motivate you more than that ratty old t-shirt with the holes in it that is two sizes too big. Or maybe you just enjoy working out, in which case you’ll probably look good in fitted pieces anyway so you should wear them to motivate others to become as healthy and happy as you.

    Baggy clothes are the visual representation of depression. According a reputable source named Elle Woods,

    “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”

    Trust me, even if you’re not in the best shape of your life, you’ll look – and feel – better in workout wear that’s fitted, NOT by adding pretend weight with that tent of a t-shirt or shorts that poof out like an a-line skirt.


    Capture3Nike: Spandex, $50; Tee, $28; Shirt, $60

    I love to work out in the cotton shirts that I get from team sports and free events, but after a long workout in one of these I look like I just crawled out of the ocean, and probably smell that way, too. When I workout in public, I try to wear a moisture-wicking fabric. Of course you’re expected to sweat at least a little from a good workout, but it doesn’t hurt to try to combat it.  Plus, wicking away the moisture helps prevent chaffing, so it’s definitely going to be more comfortable than regular cotton.


    Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 2.08.03 PM

    Under Armour: Pants, $65; Shirt, $30; Jacket,$70 ; Shorts, $50; Socks, $15 (for 2 pairs) ; Shoes $90

    Make it easy on yourself, and pick one stand-out color for your workout wardrobe. Make it your signature color. Buy neutral everything else so that when you roll out of bed at 6AM to make sure you get a treadmill, you won’t look like you got dressed in the dark EVEN IF YOU DID. It will be totally impossible to embarrass yourself with an unintentionally goofy getup if everything looks like it came from the same line, which it will if it’s the same color.

    It will also look that way  if all pieces are actually from the same line. I suggest doing all of your workout clothes shopping at once, since gym clothes don’t have a high turn-over rate, especially when they are made with durable fabrics. And if you get them all in one place you can even incorporate cool patterns for that season, and maybe even get a discount for spending a certain amount. Mix and match to your heart’s content!


    Lax shortsCapture

    Mesh shorts? Yes. Basketball shorts? Yes. Lax shorts? NO.

    This may be just my opinion, but these crazy-patterned, baggy shorts look completely ridiculous on people that are old enough to have graduated high school. I associate lacrosse shorts with “bros,” and “bros” are – it should go without saying but too often doesn’t – inherently undateable to nice girls like me and Megan.

    Sleeveless cutoffs


    I don’t really care how bulgy your triceps are, there are sleeves that will fit over them. Don’t worry, if you’re doing it right I should be able to tell how “swoll” you are from the rest of your arms, and even from under your sleeves.

    If it turns out you’re more the bike part of the triathalon, while she’s more all about the running, at least you looked good working it out together.

    Tell Us,

    What’s your ideal exercise date?

    • Gerry


      • Chris Rogers

        I think this is who she was talking about.

        • Style Girlfriend

          hahahahahha is that a real picture??

          • Chris Rogers

            I found it on the internet so it must be true…

    • Derric Podschun

      “My goal is to run to the moon,” is the moment that 100% sold me on Chris Traeger being amazing. Also, Rob Lowe’s pronunciation of “literally.”

      I have cutoff shirts because they’re more comfortable for playing basketball in. I’ll keep them just for basketball now.

      • Style Girlfriend

        I will admit: I wasn’t so sure of Rob Lowe at first on Parks and Rec but I loove him now. A little confused by the plotline with him and Ann Perkins right now (she just asked him to be the sperm they’re co-parenting??), but I’m fully on board for the ride

    • average joe

      For Megan (who knows not the lingo of youth): Swoll is an adjective that means a man’s (usually a man) muscles are swelled up from working out. Swelled up becomes swoll, and a MTV show with orange (fake and bake) 20 somethings on the shores of New Jersey usually is in the mix too.

      • Style Girlfriend

        Thank you! That’s disgusting and I hate that I know that now, but really, thank you.

        • DanPatrickFlores

          Sometimes, I wish I could unlearn things.

        • Tyler

          As a member of the youth that use the word, swole is just another word for being muscular. It is usually for someone closer to the bodybuilder/powerlifter side of the spectrum.

    • Eric

      Didn’t know there was such a thing as an “ideal” exercise date. Personally, I’d rather not be distracted and schedule a real date for that night… and definitely make some time for a shower.

      • Style Girlfriend

        I think dates where you’re active together are SO GREAT. Especially early on when you’re just getting to know eachother. It puts the focus on the activity, so the conversation isn’t so awkwardly front and center

        • Eric

          I absolutely agree on the active part. Now that the warm weather is here I’m just itching to take a pretty lady kayaking or on an easy hike. But in both those situations I could wear my normal shorts (SG-approved and above the knee, of course) and a cotton henley or other casual shirt. I just can’t see going on a date at the gym….

          • Eric

            Looking back, I guess I misinterpreted Gabi’s question at the end there. Sorry about that!

    • ATLien

      I knew what “swoll” was, but I had no idea what lax shorts are (which I wouldn’t be caught dead donning).
      My workout uniform is mesh shorts with a t-shirt for the college I attended. The simpler the t-shirt, the better. It is an added bonus if the university you went to is academically prestigious and/or good at sports. Sadly, my alma mater (Georgia Tech) is only the former.

      • average joe

        you guys have a decent golf team

      • kellen owenby

        I totally agree with you. Black mesh shorts+heather grey tee or collegiate tee. Why mess with a good thing?

    • ilyac

      A solid hike is a great way to spend some quality time and get a decent workout. Plus, nothing beats a well earned lunch. Rock climbing too, it’s a great workout and whether inside our at a gym it’s just a fun activity.

      Though at the rock gym I have definitely gone down to just an sleeveless undershirt. I’m not proud of it, but it get really hot in there over the summer.

      • gabi meyers

        Totally agree with you on hiking! It’s intense, but not so much so that you can’t keep up a conversation.

    • Drew J

      I don’t like the idea of being too “matchy matchy” when I work out. Like wearing all Addidas/Nike/UA from the same line. To me it says, “I’m trying really hard to look good” at a time when you should be doing anything but trying hard to look good. I typically like to wear Addidas shorts, but I’m a fan of Brooks shirts. Just buy neutral colors that go to gether and you’re fine.

      • gabi meyers

        I always wear Brooks sneakers, but I didn’t even know they made clothing! I’ll have to check it out.

        • Drew J

          I like their running shorts, but they are definitely “running shorts” and not “gym shorts”. They also have shirts that are more “race-y” and then just tshirts made of some super awesome breathable fabric.

    • Mike Thompson

      For those not wanting to spend top dollar (not that it is outrageously expensive) for Nike, Under Armor, and the like, I have had good luck with the C9 by Champion line at Target. I honestly cannot tell the difference between those products and the high-end workout apparel.

      • AJ

        thx. good tip

      • gabi meyers

        So glad you pointed that out Mike! I love the stuff from their women’s line

    • Guy Rochford

      I agree with the sleeveless no-no if you are on an active sort of date. You probably aren’t going to be in full-on sweat mode anyway. But, when I’m at the gym for myself I wear them in summers and I don’t give a rat’s if it’s uncouth. I think we can all agree though, never, never , never a “wife-beater”

    • Adam Wyatt

      A helpful article since every morning I’m guilty of never thinking about what i wear to the gym. And sure enough, every time I look like i just rolled outta bed and dressed myself in the dark on laundry day, there’s always a cute girl there.

      Also, back in college my friends I used the word “swoll” more times than I care to mention…

      • gabi meyers

        Laundry day will get you everytime!

    • Michael Fitchko

      I just had my first work out date the other day with a very nice girl who was getting ready to run the Nike Women’s half this past weekend in DC. I was guilty of not putting any thought into my outfit, I was going straight from the gym to play in a soccer game. Fortunately I hate wearing uncoordinated colors when I play and soccer apparel is borderline notorious for the trim fit, so oddly enough my gym outfit goes along with this post! I probz fell short on the footwear – moccasins and soccer socks, no mention of either of those here haha.

      • gabi meyers

        Ha! I feel like playing any sport in moccasins would be pretty difficult.

    • Arkhangael

      I was broke – and then a lot of a scrooge too – when I used to work out, and i dare not tell what i used to wear. Just saying, those were the grungy 90′s though, I was the nicest but hottest guy in the gym and the women LOVED me, despite my lack of efforts in the clothing dept. But being endorphin-laden kept me very sexy.
      Now these days are over and I wished I then had those expensive sports items I now own but never use. Not even on Sundays

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