Tread-mill with caution: Kunal Rawal’s guide to dressing for the gym

  • Kunal Rawal, Mumbai
  • Updated: Feb 04, 2016 18:12 IST
Shorts that just below the knee are ideal for the gym, while trainers are a great way to add colour to your gym wear (Photo: Prakash Parsekar )

Most of us (and here, I exclude the super fit few) have probably just gotten into full swing mode when it comes to fitness resolutions made on January 1. As February kicks in, let’s focus a little more on the gym wear part of our wardrobe. I know so many people who don’t care about what they wear to the gym, but then again, there are some who look like they are ready to walk the ramp.

Breathable cottons are the best for our weather, gym wear or otherwise. Dri-fits work best if you are training indoors. Vests that risk nip slips are a complete no-no. So are extremely fitted clothes. It is always a good idea to carry a thin, light-weight hoodie to throw on top of your tee. It helps control your body temperature when coming in and out of heavily air-conditioned gyms.

While deciding your bottoms, keep it practical. Be it tracks or shorts, length is an essential part. You don’t want to be tripping on your long tracks. If not rib hemmed or cuffed at the bottom, pin rolling your bottoms is an effective solution. If you opt for shorts, remember, too short almost never works — keep it just above the knee or slightly below. When in doubt, a little loose (not as loose as basketball shorts though) is better. You don’t want to stop your blood flow. Capris and meggings (leggings for men) just don’t work for men, period. If you must take a fashion risk at the gym, have fun with your tees and vests. Graphic and typography prints work well.

A basic duffel bag that fits in all your essentials is ideal for the gym

Shoes are an integral part of your wardrobe, and it’s all the more essential you own the right pair for the gym. Go for shoes that are well-supported and cushioned. It is extremely important that they have grip; laces always help. I believe trainers are a must, and a great way to add colour and fun to your gym attire. However, I’m not a fan of the Vibram shoes; they’re ugly and have no place in the gym. It’s forgivable to wear them only if they come recommended by your physiotherapist.

Apart from the clothing and shoes, you will need a few accessories to make your workout safer and more fun. The correct gym gloves for your specific kind of workout, whether it is lifting weights or boxing, are a must. Make sure they are easily washable — unwashed gym gloves can stink up your gym bag, even the entire gym. If you have long hair, a solid bandana to keep the hair (and sweat) out of your face should have a permanent place in your gym bag. Gym bags themselves don’t have to be fancy. A basic duffel or a backpack that fits in all your essentials is enough.

Kunal Rawal is a leading men’s fashion designer. He tweets as @kunalrawalvibe. Follow him on Instagram at @kunalrawaldstress

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