Workout Wear

Where to Wear and Where Not to Wear

By Ann Marie Stonecypher | Photography by Dan Doyle 

The holidays are behind us. The resolutions are firmly in place. If you’re one of the many who asked Santa for fancy workout wear to help tackle your No. 1 resolution, but are too unmotivated to follow through, you’re not alone. I have a key tag that claims I belong to a gym, but I haven’t set sneakered foot there in years, so I’m not judging anyone.

The good news is that workout gear has found its way into everyday dress under the pithy moniker: Athleisure wear. My hope is to give you some guidance to utilize the clothes you bought with good intentions, and look good doing it.

Full disclosure: I’m one of those people with a silly number of yoga pants, but I wouldn’t know a downward dog from Under Dog. I do know the pants are comfortable. They’re convenient for a visit to the grocery store, chores around the house or a protracted trip to the mall to try on clothes. They work for me!

You know I love to play with the rules, so here are a few guidelines for wearing your Athleisure wear out and about. Most are for you, but some can impact the people around you.

A friend recently texted me to say she was sitting in a coffee shop reading, when a woman walked in wearing yoga pants — and nothing underneath but what God gave her. That’s too much to take in while innocently trying to enjoy a latte and scone.

This leads me to Rule No. 1: A lot of workout clothes are made of not only unforgivingly clingy fabric, but can also be very sheer, even in dark hues. They might be black, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got you covered. Do remember to undie-up and check yourself in a mirror – 360 degrees please.

Rule No. 2: Certain articles of athletic wear are really just for the working out. Bra-style crop tops should stay at the gym.

The Gigi Hadid’s of the world operate under another set of rules. They can go from gym to cafe in their crop top, have the paparazzi snap their picture and send every bit of clothing, chapstick and bottled water in the photo shooting up in the NASDAQ.

The reality for us mere mortals is we need to keep our midriffs covered when we dash from the gym to the drug store, gas station or wherever. A cute coverup or long-sleeve hoodie like the one donned by model Emilya is a stylish and comfy choice.

Rule No. 3: Comfort doesn’t necessarily mean fashion chaos. Coordinate your workout clothes like you would your everyday clothes. I put the same forethought into wearing these clothes as I would if I was wearing non-athletic wear.

Fit still matters. As with your regular clothes, they shouldn’t be too tight or too oversized. There’s a lot of fun and stylish workout clothing out there, it all wears and washes well and it’s comfortable. I imagine it would feel nice if I actually worked out in this stuff!

Rule No. 4: Workout wear doesn’t mean wear to work. Unless you actually work at a gym, wearing this to work is usually a no-no.

The bottom line: Workout wear has come a long way from the baggy gray Champion sweatshirts and pants of my youth, and has worked its way out of the gym and into our lives. If you follow a few simple rules, wearing them outside the gym is no sweat. SWM

Ann Marie Stonecypher is an award-winning business woman and the owner of AMS Models & Talent. She is also a stylist, inspirational speaker, two-time breast cancer survivor and freelance writer. She lives in the Syracuse area with her children Taylor and Steven, and her dog Cocoa. If you have any style questions or comments, email Ann Marie at [email protected]

Model Emilya Washeleski appears courtesy of AMS Models and Talent.