5 Common Gym Clothing Mistakes Men Are Making


The power of a first impression is applicable in the gym too. You might have an idea of what to wear when you hit the weights but do you know what men shouldn’t wear to the gym?

In this article, we’ll explain why it’s better to:

  1. Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing
  2. Wear Clothing That Fits
  3. Stop Wearing Cologne/Fragrance In The Gym
  4. Don’t Wear Flip Flops
  5. Leave Jewelry At Home

#1 Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing

Man working out

What men shouldn’t wear to the gym begins with your fabric. When you’re working up a sweat at the gym, stay cool and comfortable in moisture-wicking clothes.

Workout clothes keep the sweat away from your body. Wear a performance t-shirt designed to draw sweat away from your body and to the outer surface.

Wicking or performance fabrics are polyester and Lycra blends. They cost more than your regular cotton t-shirt but will last longer, dry faster, and keep you comfortable throughout your workout.

Don’t make the mistake of wearing heavy-weight cotton t-shirts; they tend to hold on to moisture, making your workouts an uncomfortable experience. Denim shorts will cause chafing; it’s best to avoid them at the gym.

Opt for synthetic materials like lycra and polyester, which are more comfortable during workouts.

Don’t forget to carry a towel.

#2 Wear Clothing That Fits

Believe it or not, workout clothing that is too big is functionally worse to wear to the gym.

Clothes that are too loose will constrict your movement and make you look smaller than you are. If you’re a size ‘M,’ don’t wear ‘XL’ – you won’t look bigger and stronger.

Choose materials (like a nylon-elastane mix) and a fit that gives you freedom of movement. The small percentage of spandex allows for a greater range of motion during exercise and provides a very comfortable fit without being too tight.

Clothing that is a little more fitted will also give you a more aesthetic appeal. Show off those new years resolutions a little bit. Take pride in the fact that you have put in the hours, work, and sweat. Avoid the string tanks, though.

Self-care is not vanity; it’s sanity!

#3 Stop Wearing Cologne/Fragrance In The Gym

stop wearing cologne to gym

When men wear cologne, it tends to be all or nothing.

5-10 sprays for a workout at the gym? Forget about it! You’re going to a gym, not a nightclub.

It could be unpleasant to others if your perfume is intense. Not to mention that you are wasting good cologne as you will have to hit the shower after your workout anyway.

Fragrances tend to linger and carry in closed environments, such as your local gym. Your perfume-marinated sweat is most likely inducing headaches around the gym. It is inconsiderate, especially to women who have a stronger and more sensitive sense of smell.

Ensure you clean your workout clothes daily. That’s enough for good hygiene at the gym.

The only fragrance you should be wearing at the gym is Eau de Sweat.

#4 Don’t Wear Flip Flops

man wearing oversized sneakers to the gym

The footwear you choose for a workout should provide proper support and protection to your feet.

Wearing appropriate footwear reduces your risk of injury and improves your physical performance.

Occasionally you’ll see someone running on the treadmill or preparing a heavy set at the squat machine in open-toed sandals or, worse, flip flops. That’s just an accident waiting to happen.

The only time you should be wearing flip-flops or sandals at the gym is after your workout, in the locker room.

I’m not implying that wearing shoes will hurt less if you drop a heavy dumbbell on your foot. Wearing proper shoes gives you traction and prevents you from slipping.
Choose shoes that provide the support you need for the workout of your choice. Make sure they fit you properly.

Flip-flops are appropriate at the beach, not in a gym.

Removing your shoes and working out in your socks is also inexcusable. You will end up with blisters and possibly causing unnecessary discomfort to the other patrons at the gym.

Be considerate to the gym staff and avoid working out in the same shoes you wear outdoors. Don’t bring in the dirt, sand, and mud from outside into the gym.

#5 Leave Jewelry At Home

Man excessive jewelry (what men shouldn't wear to the gym)

Not only is jewelry unnecessary at the gym – it’s unsafe. This is more than just a style issue, this is a safety example of what men shouldn’t wear to the gym?

You may have one accessory that you never take off. Mine is a wedding ring.

Whether you’re wearing chains, watches, bracelets, or rings, you risk damaging jewelry by banging metal against metal or snagging it on a machine.

Wearing rings while lifting heavy weights can result in scratches on the ring, distortion of its shape, and discomfort for your fingers.

Additionally, sweat can react with the metal and cause an allergic reaction.
Get in the habit of taking off your jewelry and storing them in the locker or leaving them at home before a sweat session.

What Are The Benefits Of Choosing The Right Athletic Clothing?

attractive older man in good shape
  • The Right Athletic Clothing Boosts Confidence by putting you in the mindset to succeed. When you feel good about what you are wearing, you will push yourself harder and achieve more.
  • The Correct Sports Apparel Improves Performance by taking care of your body. When you wear moisture-wicking material, it helps cool your body down and keep you from overheating.
  • The Right Workout Gear Adds Protection & Prevents Injuries. Compression material acts as an extra layer on the muscle, adding to the protection.
  • Well-Fitted Athletic Clothing Improves Freedom Of Movement by hugging you in the right places and freeing others. Imagine trying to run sprints in your skinny jeans.
  • Compression Clothing Can Aid In Recovery After Exercise by improving blood flow and helping to increase the velocity of the blood flow, getting blood to your heart faster.

FAQs: Appropriate Gym Attire

How should gym clothes fit?

Your gym clothes should fit snugly but allow you full range of motion. Clothes that are too tight can restrict your movements, and too loose can get caught in equipment.

Are there any specific shoes I should wear to the gym?

Yes, wear proper workout shoes that provide good support. Cross-trainers are a versatile option, but if you’re doing specific activities like running or weightlifting, choose shoes designed for those activities.

Is it okay to wear sandals or flip-flops to the gym?

It’s best to avoid open-toed shoes like sandals or flip-flops to protect your feet and for better support during exercises.

What kind of socks are best for a gym workout?

Choose performance socks that have cushioning and are made from a moisture-wicking material to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

What type of underwear is best for the gym?

Opt for performance underwear made from moisture-wicking materials to keep you comfortable and dry.

Should I wear a hat while working out in the gym?

Hats aren’t typically necessary indoors, and they can trap heat, but if you’re more comfortable with a cap, look for one made of breathable material.

Are there any benefits to compression clothing?

Compression clothing can help support muscles and improve circulation, which might aid in performance and recovery.

Is a tank top okay for the gym?

Absolutely, as long as it’s made from a performance fabric and doesn’t cut too low to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions.

How many sets of gym clothes do I need?

It depends on how often you go to the gym. Having a few sets is ideal so you’re not constantly doing laundry, but even one can suffice if you wash it regularly.

Is it necessary to wear a workout glove?

Gloves are not mandatory but can provide a better grip and protect your hands during weightlifting or cycling.

Can I just wear regular shorts to the gym?

Workout-specific shorts are best as they’re designed for movement and often have useful features like stretchability and sweat-wicking properties.

Are there any colors I should avoid in gym wear?

Not really, but keep in mind that very light colors might show sweat marks more prominently, and very dark colors can make you feel hotter.

Can I wear sleeveless shirts to the gym?

Yes, sleeveless shirts are great for freedom of movement, especially for upper-body workouts.

Should I change clothes immediately after my workout?

Yes, it’s a good idea to change out of sweaty clothes to prevent bacteria buildup and keep your skin healthy.

What should I avoid wearing to the gym?

Avoid clothes that are too baggy, jeans, clothing with offensive prints, or anything made from non-breathable materials.

How do I know if my gym attire is appropriate?

A good rule of thumb is to wear what’s comfortable for you without violating any gym policies or general etiquette.


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