The right gym, a solid playlist, and some stylish gear can do a lot to keep you motivated to work out long after the New Year's resolution hype dies down. If your gym wardrobe looks 75% worse than your regular wardrobe, it might be time for a few upgrades. Here are the essentials we think every active guy should own, as modeled by our favorite stylish guys.
Shorts You Can Move In
The best workout shorts give you room to breathe, allowing you to run, squat, and crunch your way through your routine without flashing innocent gym-goers in the process. This year we named our favorite workout shorts for every type of exercise (Lululemon Pace Breakers FTW). If you need a visual on how they should fit, just look to Prince Harry here.
If you're an Adidas Primeknit or Nike Flyknit man, a full-on sock sneaker is an upgrade that'll...give you an excuse to buy new sneakers. You can take these puppies from the gym—or in David Beckham's case, the spin studio—to the street and back again. If you aren't quite sure how to wear these futuristic kicks outside of your workout, we can help there. Earlier this year we put together a handy guide to styling them in your wardrobe.
A Moisture-Wicking Shirt
If you don't have the ab definition to pull off a compression shirt, not to worry. A regular old moisture-wicking T-shirt, like the one Justin Bieber has on here, will give you that gym-god look without clinging quite so tightly to your mid-section. For what it's worth, it's also infinitely more comfortable than your old cotton T-shirts, especially if you're prone to sweat or are working out in humid conditions. Not quite ready to go shirtless in your hot yoga class? You need one of these in your gym kit.
Especially this time of year, and especially if you're a skinny and/or super-pale guy, running tights are key to a stylish and comfortable workout look. While we recommend wearing them with shorts overtop at all times, you don't have to stick to basic black. Justin Timberlake happens to be a camo man. If that's not your speed, white, gray, and navy are also good options. Match your shorts to your tights for a minimalist feel or mix and match different colors and do your own thing.
Half-calf socks have been making a comeback for a while now, and we dig the retro vibe they add to an otherwise ordinary workout look. Jonah Hill's all-black boxing 'fit is a little more Rocky Balboa, and a lot cooler, with those red-and-blue socks, for example. If bright red isn't your scene, try a solid color of a pair of old school striped socks for more of a varsity jock feel.
A Heavy-Duty Hoodie
Whether you stay classic with a Champion Reverse Weave, or upgrade to a designer spin on the staple, like John Elliott's superior-in-all-ways sweatshirt, your workout wardrobe will be a lot cozier and cooler with a heavy-duty hoodie in the mix. It also happens to make you look a little more swole which helps if you're a skinny rocker type like our friend Harry Styles.
We're assuming you own a pair of tailored sweats by now, but why not add another pair to your rotation in the name of getting fit? Charlie Hunnam's basic gym style is saved by his excellent navy pair, which have convenient zippered pockets. That's a key feature for gym sweats; losing your credit card under a treadmill is the quickest way to kill a good workout. New Balance and J.Crew make a similar pair in navy and gray for $90. Catch them on sale and you can pick up both colors.
A Respectable Workout Tank
Sleeves can feel constricting during a workout, whether you have guns like The Rock or a punk rocker. And yet, tank tops are cheesy territory. Follow Wiz Khalifa's lead and grab one that's long and boxy, a.k.a. a muscle T-shirt, to give your pits some air without making you look like the worst kind of gym rat. Consider trimming your armpit hair while you're at it.
A Work-to-Gym Bag
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