Get in Gear

Tired old sweats won’t cut it. Your fitness gear deserves a makeover.

Words: Melly Neil | Photographs: Steve Marais | Styling: Mandy Nash

We’ve been talking about clothing that transitions from gymwear to streetwear for a minute now. Athleisure is changing the way we dress, no doubt, but let us not forget activewear's original purpose.  

The October issue of Women’s Health magazine, on sale now, includes a fitness awards celebrating the best workout gear for women. That’s lumo gear perfect for night runs, seamless tops that prevent chafing, light tech fabrics and luridly patterned leggings with peekaboo panels that breathe and tease. Heck, there’s even a hoodie that blocks out sound and other distractions so that you can keep your head in the game.

Sure you can wear this to brunch. However, you’d be doing yourself and your #bodygoals a huge disservice if you chose to work out in anything less than the best, which is why we spoke to online editor at Women’s Health, Gina Dionisio, about pick-me-up prints, a solid sneaker game and loving the uniform of fitness.

New gear motivation

When it comes to your workout, motivation plays a big part, and if you love your workout gear you’ll want to wear it while working out more often. The baggy sweats and stretched-out T-shirts you sleep in are no good, as they’ll fill with sweat, chafe, and start to smell. The best workout gear wicks away sweat, helps you to move better, breathes better, insulates your body, cools you down, and will take your workout to the next level.

Solid shoe game

I’ve pretty much packed all my heels away in a box in the garage and live in sneakers now. These aren’t the same sneakers I train in, though. What you choose to put on your feet has gone really hi-tech now, and depending on your workout needs, will do things like cushion your feet when you run and ensure that your gait has been catered for. Watching the most recent Olympics and seeing all the new technology was amazing, Especially knowing how all these advancements will slowly filter into the mainstream so that we’ll be able to buy them.

Now trending

Colour coding happens. It’s a statement-making thing. And of course you want to look as good working out as you do when you’re going out. Another big trend I’ve seen come up in the last few months is sheer. Dual panel pants with a sheer section at the bottom or bralettes that have sheer panels. It all comes down to how much skin you want to show when you’re working out. And then I’m seeing all the girls, especially at yoga, wearing crazy coloured and patterned tights!

The right-price

Look, some stuff can cost a lot, but the fact that you’ll wear it in the street as well as at the gym means more people will be happy to splurge. Also, if you’re the type who lives, eats and breathes fitness then this is something that you’re going to be happy to spend your money on. It’s easy to motivate yourself to buy what you want because when you get new gym gear you’ll be more motivated to work out more. There’s still a lot of good value out there. Look to buy stuff that’s affordable, as you don’t want to be precious about the stuff you stretch and sweat in.

Love the likes

We all want to relate to something, which is why when we see someone filming herself working out we latch onto that. It seems more natural and realistic than, say, a gym poster. We post pictures of our healthy lunches, our training sessions and flatlays of our gym clothes because it’s a way of committing ourselves. Everything’s so public now that you don’t want to disappoint anyone, and we enjoy how our followers react to our healthy lifestyle choices. Social media is great in helping us reach our fitness goals.

Get away from it all

Yes, there’s probably an app for that, and there are loads out there that will help motivate you and keep you on the right track, but sometimes it can be good to switch off completely. So depending on who you are and how you feel about this, you can either use technology to fuel your workouts, or use your workouts as a way to switch off from technology.

It’s a lifestyle

This is more than a passing trend, and workout wear is a category that’s here to stay. The current social climate, how we’re so aware of what we’re putting in our bodies, as well as a general shift towards being more health conscious all form a huge part of it.