Summer Guide to Workout Gear Etiquette

Kate Hughes
by Kate Hughes
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Summer Guide to Workout Gear Etiquette

Liberate your pima cotton. Unshackle your mesh, and flaunt your elastane. Be gone the days of feeling guilty for wearing workout clothes anywhere except the track, the gym or the studio. Finally, the freedom to wear anything — especially if it looks as good as it feels — is here.

Grant your wardrobe the gift of a few stretch-happy styles in must-have colors. Now the world and the press have deemed it suitable for most everywhere.

Embrace these on-trend picks, whether you’re traveling, shopping or celebrating:

1. The uptown and the downtown (or the crosstown)

Public transit doesn’t have a style code. In many ways, it’s the most anonymous, democratic and nonjudgmental place for your look. So why not use it as a venue to experiment with how good it feels to wear clothes that fit and flare? After all, the only way to punctuate mesh-paneled leggings and ensure you can run for the bus/train is with a stylish sneaker. Try a sporty silhouette (think: mid-top) in a color-splattered accent. (See UA styles.)


Finally, the freedom to wear anything — especially if it looks as good as it feels — is here.


2. The farmers and the flea (markets, that is)

Don’t slow down your gait through the al fresco aisles. No longer for the boho hippie or rustic, back-country fashion crowds, these spots are for on-the-go multitaskers, too. So throw on beloved leggings that fit next to skin without the squeeze. And show some personality in a high-color graphic that clearly says you know your fashion as well as you know your food. (See UA colorways.)

3. The brunch, the birthday (and the birthday brunch)

What you’re wearing does not affect how much you can rejoice in honor of your dear ones. If anything, these occasions are about individuality and close bonds without boundaries. So be yourself and dress like it, too. Display your point of view on more than just your greeting card — now also on your gear. Generous, oversize T’s with inspired sayings such as “Flows Well With Others” are perfect for joyful occasions and new introductions. Plus, it never hurts to have a layering piece to don, like a chambray scarf or lightweight wrap. Opt for relaxed, screen-printed, open-neck styles. (See UA styles.)

4. The Fourth (parade, BBQ, fireworks — you name it)

You’re standing by the grill. You’re walking to the fireworks from the parking lot. You’re playing catch in the front yard. Let’s face it: You’re more active on the Fourth than jeans and a T give you credit for. Enjoy America’s birthday in gear that breathes even in the hottest months. We’re talking a cap that’ll keep the sun off your forehead and the sweat off your head. It doesn’t hurt that it comes in Cobalt blue and flag versions.

5. The museum, the gallery and the pop-up exhibit

Formerly a home for the elite class and their conventional fashions, art museums no longer call for your Sunday best. The new code? Fresh cuts and a refreshing post-workout glow. Let your clothes be the blank canvas adjacent to the impressionist or post-modern pieces on the wall. You can’t go wrong with a breathable tunic dress that goes from exercise to exhibit. (See UA Favorite French Terry Tunic Dress.)

Whatever you do this season, don’t sacrifice style for comfort — or vice versa. You can no longer blame etiquette. The rules have been thrown out in lieu of personal style. So take a stand, in your rubber soles and your tri-blends, too.

About the Author

Kate Hughes
Kate Hughes

Kate is a Brooklyn-based writer whose health, fashion, and lifestyle work has appeared in Self, Vice, and Vogue. When she’s not tackling inclines with her jogging stroller, she’s following all things athleisure. See what she’s up to on her website and at @katehughesnyc.

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