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What NOT to Wear to the Gym

Ritu Goyal Harish | Aug 02, 2015, 13:24 IST
What NOT to Wear to the Gym
Photo credit: Marcel Jancovic / Shutterstock
One has to admit it. Gymwear has undergone a metamorphosis in the past decade or so. We remember those days with fondness, when most of us kept well-worn tees aside just so we could use them ‘a bit more’ at the gym, where it didn’t seem worthwhile to spoil an expensive or new garment. The track bottoms we bought as ‘gymwear’ would probably double up as loungewear or nightwear. And honestly, no one really cared about the underwear. Out-of-shape bras and ill-fitted panties didn’t show up as eyesores because the outer garments were all loose and baggy.

Today, stores offer workout gear with an enviable range of products. You can pick runningwear, gymwear, yoga clothes and even clothes for track events. Gymwear constitutes bottoms, tights or capris that are often skin-tight, stretchable, breathable yet comfy (and we must thank Lycra for the evolution). In recent years, bras have also been revolutionised and you can buy a good sports bra that not only supports your assets but also retains their feminine look (instead of flattening them).

However – and pay attention, ladies – most premium gymwear, across brands (we are talking Rs. 2500 upwards for these breathable gym bottoms) that we pick off the racks are virtually see-through.

Shocking, yes, especially when you spot a woman on the gym floor bending over to do a dead-lift and are welcomed by a sight of her posterior. The tight bottom leaves nothing to the imagination as every stitch, seam and cut is visible, especially when the lady is bending over, doing squats or push-ups.

Nothing wrong with showing off your underwear if you ‘intended’ to, but most such sights are unseemly. Most women intend to hide their backsides, but their butts are ensconced in underwear that hasn’t been given as much thought to as the outer garments. Some are too tight, some were gran’ma panties but look like a bikini-cut (too small), some are asymmetrical (one butt cheek is covered while the other may not be) and so on.

What you will find, therefore, are butts in the gym, all shapes and sizes, snugly packed into too-tight and transparent gymwear. Showing off your butt (shapely or not) is an individual choice, but to have it exposed in this manner is an aesthetic nightmare.


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  • Photo credit: Antoniodiaz / Shutterstock2 of 2
    Photo credit: Antoniodiaz / Shutterstock
    If you wish to avoid this unintentional show of your posterior, follow these rules:
    1. Buy the right size of panties for yourself; the ideal pair should be snug but not tight (if your butt cheeks are pushing out from the seams, the garment is too tight)
    2. A thong works well in the gym but it takes a lot of getting used to.
    3. Leading women’s apparel brands also make panties without seams.
    4. When trying out a pair of gym bottoms or capris, do stretch the material to check for transparency.
    5. When it comes to these stretchable garments, it’s always advisable to buy a size larger. Even though you may probably fit into a medium, it's better to buy large because, while stretching, the garment will become even more transparent especially around the butt.
    Ritu Goyal Harish is a journalist, photographer, music lover, full-time mommy and activist in disguise. Read all her posts on her Fashion101 Blog.