Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fit Kit - Get the Right Gear; Health and Fitness

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fit Kit - Get the Right Gear; Health and Fitness

Article excerpt

Byline: TANIA ALEXANDER

THE first thing to bear in mind is that most people are far too busy looking at their own bodies in the mirror to worry what you're wearing - but there's more to gymwear than trying to impress other gymgoers.

Wearing the "right" gear can be important for your self-esteem and can actually make you work out harder. The most common mistake is to cover up in a giant baggy T-shirt, which shows a lack of style and can also affect your performance. You need to be able to see your abdominals so that you can check if they're working properly. This doesn't mean you have to bare all in a cropped top, but you should wear something fitted. The next thing to wise up to is breathable fabrics (such as Nike's Dri-Fit), which are designed to take moisture away from the skin to help keep you cool and dry. Cotton has the opposite effect - it gets wet when you get hot and sweaty, and then turns cold and clammy.

"Before splashing out on a wardrobe, get a feel for the gym you're joining," advises Lisa Minoprio, marketing director for women's sportswear shops Sweaty Betty. "Members at trendy establishments such as Third Space and Naked are bound to be more styleconscious than members of local gyms."

Choose a look Holistic: Pilates, ballet and yoga continue to be popular and require loose, flowing clothing. Keep an extra layer to hand because it can get chilly when you're relaxing at the end.

Combat: works for men and women.

Surf: the baggy shorts look.

Seventies and retro: check out Nike's new range. Lots of the tops have photoprint designs.

Super-trendy: Third Space members are apparently cutting off and fraying their trouser bottoms and teaming them with cropped tops (women) or sleeveless T-shirt/zip top (men). Airbrush tattoos complete the look.

Not to be worn at any cost Women: thonged leotard and tights instant give-away that you haven't been to a gym for 20 years; big baggy cotton T-shirts - draws attention to the fact that you're out of shape; unitard - no one with any taste wore these when they were in.

Men: Lycra shorts - you'll look about as sexy as a naked man in a pair of white socks; T-shirts with large logo - even worse if emblazoned with a message; tight-fitting vest - not flattering. …

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