8 Ways To Look Your Best At The Gym

Looking for someone fit and toned to date? Follow these tips for showing off your assets in the best possible light during your next gym workout session.

By Maura Kelly

ou go to the gym so you can look good on dates — but why not look for dates there while you’re at it? After all, you’re not the only one trying to stay in shape for the sake of your romantic life. To ensure you’re making the most of your time spent in the ideal place to meet someone who’s toned and taut, let these experts advise you on what to wear when you work out.

What others can’t see affects how you look
To look your best on that Stairmaster, start with a foundation of good undergarments, says Karen
If you’ve got amazing arms, wear a tank or cap-sleeve t-shirt.
Klopp, founder of the online boutique As she points out, “There’s nothing more annoying than running on the treadmill while holding your bouncing boobs in your hands.” So ladies, toss out that old jogging bra that lost its rigidity years ago and buy one that hugs you tight in all the right places. Choose your lower underpinnings carefully, too. “Whether you prefer thong, bikini or full cut, the undies should be seamless and fit snugly without creating bulges,” explains Klopp.

Dress for your body type
No matter how much our exercise regimens help us to stay slim and trim, we all come in different shapes and sizes — and that means it’s important to dress for your body type, says Argy Koutsothanasis, fashion director for Fitness magazine (and Klopp agrees with her). Bigger on the bottom? “Wear long, lean pants and a form-fitting tank shirt that comes to about mid-hip,” she suggests. Those who are larger around the waist area should wear tight-fitting pants and a looser shirt, according to Koutsothanasis. Those who are bigger in the chest should “wear shirts that fall closer to the neckline,” Klopp says. V-necks and scoop-necked shirts tend to be flattering on all people, regardless of body type, since, as as Koutsothanasis points out, they draw attention up to the face — and at the gym (like everywhere else), wearing head-to-toe black is an easy way for anyone to look slimmer.

How to present your assets in their best light
Concerned that you haven’t been spending enough time working on those glutes? No worries! Says Koutsothanasis: “Under Armour has a boot-cut legging that makes everyone’s butt look amazing.” But don’t forget to show off your strongest features, she adds: “If you’ve got amazing arms, wear a tank or cap-sleeve t-shirt. If you have toned, sexy legs [and you’re female], try wearing an ‘active skirt’ — which comes with attached shorts.”

New clothing materials can work wonders
In recent years, fitness clothing manufacturers have been making tops and bottoms out of so-called “compression fabrics” which not only reduce muscle fatigue, but also help to tuck your body into place, like body shapers do. “They make you look more toned and fit than you really are,” Klopp notes. Companies like Champion offer inexpensive options; Lululemon makes stuff on the higher end of the cost scale. Look for the word “compression” on the label, no matter where you shop.

What your t-shirt reveals about your lifestyle
“Use your top to express a little of your personality,” Klopp advises. Choose one in a style
I’ve never seen an unhappy person in a bright color.
or pattern that conveys something about your personal aesthetic. Or take a more direct approach by wearing clothing that communicates something factual — like where you went to college, which local coffee shop you frequent, or what half-marathon you’ve run in the past. “Aim for something that could start a conversation,” suggests Klopp.

Have fun with color
Wearing bright hues is a great way to attract someone’s attention at the gym, says Koutsothanasis. “My advice is always to have fun with bold color, even if that means wearing a neon sports bra under your favorite black workout tank,” she says. “I’ve never seen an unhappy person in a bright color.”

Should you try to smell sexy?
If you must wear a perfume or cologne to the gym, don’t spray on too much. “If it’s too overpowering, it will certainly offend any human in close proximity,” Koutsothanasis points out. She explains that a natural scent — like tea tree oil, lavender, or something citrusy — is any gym-goer’s best bet.

Go minimal when making yourself up
“Exercisers should keep make-up pretty low key,” says Noelle Bonham, the lead artist and owner of About Face Makeup, a company that provides make-up services for special occasions. Women should skip the heavy concealer, Bonham advises, and go for a lightweight tinted moisturizer instead. One of her favorites is made by Laura Mercier. “It’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores and gives natural-looking coverage,” she says. If you want to add some tint to your lashes, waterproof mascara is fine. Bonham thinks the best kind for less than $10 is Maybelline’s New York Full ‘N Soft. If you want to spring for something a bit more expensive, try what Bonham calls “the mother of all mascaras” — Lancôme Definicils. Wearing lipstick or gloss means you’ll probably look like you’re overdoing it, so Bonham suggests sticking with a simple lip balm instead.

Maura Kelly is a personal essay writer and author of Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not-So-Great-Gatsbys and Love in the Time of Internet Personals. Find out more about her at
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