How to Look Good at the Gym – our hit list!

by Kathleen Loxton
how to look good at the gym

Hitting the gym is a surefire way to make sure you look good. But, trying to look good whilst you’re actually in the gym is often harder than those menacing sprints and squats. We’ve all been there; face redder than a tomato, hair dripping with sweat and an inconvenient wedgie… it’s never going to be a good look. But, some chic workout clothes can keep you motivated and help to counteract your flustered demeanour. We’ve compiled some of the best workout gear to help you look and feel good in the gym.

Best Workout Tank Tops

Tank tops are your best bet for on top. They’re breathable, which helps to minimise unflattering sweat patches; available in loose and fitted styles, so you can easily find something which you feel comfortable in. Plus they’re cheap and cheerful, so you can build up a collection to rotate alongside your favourite pair of leggings.

If you want to keep things simple and practical, then a plain vest can be a stylish option if you opt for a racer-back style or something brightly coloured. If you want something a little more fun, then a little mesh and an inspirational slogan never hurt anyone.

Womens Best Workout Vests For The Gym

Forever21 – £13 | Forever21 – £9 | ASOS – £28 | Forever21 – £9

Best Shorts for working out

If you’re a cardio bunny, then you might prefer a pair of shorts to leggings. Bright patterns are best paired with plain tank tops and vice versa, for a cute workout outfit. If you’d rather not draw too much attention to your legs, then a plain black pair can be discreet and slimming; bonus slimming points can be gained from a pair with mesh panels!

Womens best workout shorts for the gym

Fabletics – £40 | ASOS – £25 | ASOS – £30 | Forever21 – £13

Best Leggings

If you’re a fitness enthusiast, then investing in a high-quality pair of leggings isn’t a bad idea. Buying a relatively plain pair that can easily be styled with the rest of your workout gear, will be your best bet; especially if you get them from a reputable brand which uses high quality fabrics. If you’d rather have something on-trend, then feel free to go wild with colours and patterns, but don’t fork out too much. Side note: heels not advised.

Womens best workout leggings for the gym

Forever21– £19 | Asos – £26 | TheOutnet – £79.80 | Sweaty Betty – £65

Best Stores and Brands for Women’s Gym Apparel

  • Sweaty BettyThis store is at the higher end of most price ranges, so is great for high-quality, investment pieces.
  • FableticsAs an online store, Fabletics is best known for its fashionable fitness apparel and great deals. Plus with Kate Hudson approving all designs you can be sure that this collection will show you how to look hot at the gym.
  • Forever21The activewear section of Forever21 keeps up to date with the latest trends in women’s workout wear and their price range is completely affordable.
  • AsosFashion giant Asos stocks some of the leading brands in women’s gym apparel, although selection is sometimes limited.
  • NikeSome of the best athletic wear produced is from Nike; wearing their logo emblazoned across your chest makes you look like you know what you’re doing, which is always a bonus.

Beauty Tips for the Gym

Once you’ve sorted some nice workout clothes, you’re 90% of the way there. We’ve got a few beauty hacks to help make sure you leave the gym looking even better than when you went in.

  • Save time by only washing your fringe during your post-workout shower. This will help to freshen up your hair if it’s a bit sweaty, whilst the rest can be spritzed with dry shampoo and then left tousled and undone.
  • Your skin will have a natural glow after a workout, so focus on using moisturisers and creams to nourish your skin instead of clogging your pores back up with a full face of make up.
  • A good waterproof mascara will stay on throughout your workout, giving you one less thing to take care of post-workout.
  • When in doubt, coconut oil. It can be rubbed in to your face, limbs and hair to keep everything glowing.
women beauty tips for the gym


What to Wear for Yoga and Pilates

As they have become a more fashionable way to keep fit, the range of yoga and pilates-specific clothing has expanded greatly. Yoga and pilates focus on calmness, control and flexibility; so you need to choose clothes that will allow you to achieve these things. Think stretchy, soft fabrics and avoid things that will get in your way and cause discomfort; such as drawstring waists or long trousers. Layers are always a good idea, as you’re likely to warm up throughout the class. Remember, you might be spending a fair amount of time upside down; if you’re going to wear a loose top, don’t go without a sports bra.

What to wear for yoga and pilates

Fabletics – £52 | Forever21 – £13 | Fabletics – £30 | Forever21 – £6

What to Wear for Gym Classes

If you’re signed up to the likes of “legs, bums and tums” and “body blitz”, then congratulations – you seem to have your life together. As for cute outfits for gym classes, well that really depends on the type of class; are you going to be perched on an exercise bike for an hour, or dead lifting half your body weight? Either way, it’s likely to get hot with so many of you doing the same workout, so shorts and a tank top are a great go-to.

what to wear for gym class

Forever21 – £11 | Sweaty Betty – £45 | Forever21– £11 | Forever21 – £9

Outfits that can Enhance your Workout

Working out is pretty tough as it is, so here are a few things that can help make things a little easier.

If you’re a keen lifter, then a decent pair of gym gloves can make all the difference to your workout. You can kiss goodbye to sores and blisters, and enjoy having baby-soft hands once again. Having an armband to hold your phone can massively enhance your workout; you can listen to your favourite motivational playlist without having to worry about keeping a grip on a rather sweaty iPhone.

There are plenty of super-absorbent fabrics about these days, which can stop you from getting uncomfortable during particularly sweaty sessions. A decent sports bra doesn’t go amiss either, just to stop anything from popping out and leaving you even more red-faced.

woman running iphone arm band


What Not to Wear to the Gym

Avoid all-cotton t-shirts, as once it gets wet (when you inevitably sweat buckets), it can cause irritation to the skin. As for tank tops; try before you buy. Everything might seem fine and dandy whilst you’re standing up straight, but as soon as you get in to plank position, you might be accidentally flashing the guy opposite you. Long, baggy bottoms can catch on exercise machines, as can a long sleeved top tied around your waist.

How to Make Gym Gear Look Good Outside the Gym

We’ve all been there; you want to fit in a workout in between a day of running errands, or you just want to wear gym clothes to run your errands because it’s pretty damn comfy. Either way, you’ll want to be wearing fashionable workout clothes.

If you’re not actually headed to the gym, you don’t have to wear proper gym attire; throw on your trendiest gym leggings and trainers with a lightweight jumper for a relaxed look. If you are on your way to a workout, then opt for gym styles that could pass for casual, everyday clothes; mesh panels, strappy tops, Nike trainers and a chic holdall are all must haves.

how to wear gym clothes outside the gym

Sweaty Betty – £90 | Fabletics – £52

How to Look Good at the Gym

Looking good in the gym takes a culmination of things. Having an extensive collection of cute fitness tanks and other hot workout gear is all well and good, but knowing what works for your body shape is ultimately the most important factor.

Dress For Your Body Shape

Feeling comfortable and confident is the best way to ensure that you look good. Choosing clothes that suit your body shape is a great place to start.

  • Pear Shaped: Flared bottoms can help to balance out your hips, whilst bright coloured tops draw the eye away from your hips and thighs.
  • Rectangle Shape: Tops with ruching down the sides and bottoms with a pop of colour at the hips can create the illusion of curves.
  • Apple Shaped: Loose tops that cinch in the middle help to define your middle, whilst leggings will draw attention to your legs.
  • Hourglass Shape: Tight workout shirts with V-necks and detailing around the waist will flatter your figure, as will skorts.
how to dress for your body type womens


Your Quick Guide to How to Look Good at the Gym

  • The best clothes to work out in are the ones that you feel comfortable and confident in; know what works for your body shape.
  • Investing in a high-quality pair of leggings and trainers is well worth it; if you choose something fairly plain then you can accessorise around them with cheaper items.
  • Go make-up free and make the most of the natural glow that your skin gains from exercise.
  • Mesh panel leggings, shorts and tops. When in doubt, mesh always looks good.

Read more great articles on women’s fashion

You may also like