How men can improve their style in the gym

I’ve always subscribed to the saying “It’s a gym not a catwalk” when it comes to how I look during a workout, but over the past couple of years I’ve started to take a bit more notice of my style in the gym.

Maybe it’s because I am more of a stylish bloke all round nowadays or maybe it’s because I want to peacock around and feel superior to less dapperly-attired gentlemen. Who knows; but one thing’s for sure – improving my style in the gym has had a rejuvenating effect on my whole relationship with working out.

In this article, we’re going to go through the why’s and how’s of gym chic and you’re going to get some cracking recommendations from yours truly on how to #slay that gym floor.

Ps. I promise I’ll never use the word slay ever again.

Why is it important to up your style in the gym?

Listen, we all know the gym is more about making the gains than it is about showing off your new garms, but it is still important to feel good about yourself when you set foot onto the gym floor.

Feeling like you’re the top dog will inevitably lead to you being the top dog – it’s science (it’s not). If you’re looking fly as scheisse, you’re definitely more likely to hit PB’s and smash through barriers than if you were to turn up in a bean stained vest, socks n sandals and flared jeans.

Now, with that bulletproof justification out of the way, let’s see how you can upgrade your style in the gym so that you can flaunt your excellence in everyone’s face as you deadlift 16 tonnes for reps.


You’re gonna want some options to keep things fresh week-to-week. I like to cycle between a short sleeve t-shirt, long sleeve tee and then a smart active polo.

Short sleeve tee (Reigning Champ)


Long sleeve tee (MyProtein)

Polo (Iffley Road)

iffley road style in the gym


Opt for shorts. Go for these instead of joggers unless you work out in cold temperatures like I did in my garage or if you’ve got disgustingly small legs.

I have garish milk bottle chicken legs, but I still don shorts so you’ve got no excuse.

Here’s a few options that I rotate between;

Running-length shorts (Iffley Road)

iffley road style in the gym

Classic gym shorts (Nike)

Swimmer/Smart short hybrid (Bread & Boxers)

bread and boxers clothing


Ideally, you want comfortable shoes to work out in, but they also need to be healthy for your feet and aid your workout performance. There’s a reason that Chuck Taylors, Vans and Vibrams are popular with gym goers.

Their zero-drop, flat soles are perfect for squats and deadlifts. Not only this, but because there is no heel lift, you don’t get the associated long term side affects such as knee problems, lower back pain and buggered up feet.

The one thing that I don’t like about these shoes though, is that they restrict the foot. Instead of conforming to your feet, they make the feet conform to them, making them weird and bunched together – not ideal if you’re looking for strong feet with a natural toe splay.



For this reason, I opt for barefoot shoes. Vibrams are good but they look like something a mass-murdering virgin would wear, so I found some stylish ones from Vivobarefoot that fit the bill. They set me back over £100 but I literally wear them every day and my feet have never felt healthier.

You’ll also want a pair for after your gym sesh. I like flip flops and have Gucci ones because I’m a big fashionista.

Barefoot shoes (Vivobarefoot)

Zero-drop shoes (Converse/Vans)

Second pair for after (Gucci/Adidas)


Then there’s all the little fiddly accessories. These won’t directly affect your performance, but they are a contributor to your whole gym experience, so pay a bit more attention to them than you might have previously.

Gym bag (British Bag Co.)

british bag company product

Water bottle (Corkcicle)

Wrist wraps/straps (eBay)

Workout Journal (Excel, Apps or A5/6 notebook)

Coded padlock (eBay)

Socks (Primark – nothing fancy here)

Underwear (Whatever you want – just not tighty whiteys. Bring spares for afterwards or incase you kack yourself during squats)

Towel (Primark – again, nothing fancy)

Optional; Trunks for the sauna and/or swimming (Bread & Boxers)

bread and boxers clothing

Post-gym wear

Are you in work? That is the first question you need to ask yourself. If you’re off to slave away for the man after your workout, obviously you’ll be changing into your uniform/suit/thong/whatever.

If you’re not though, change into something comfortable. There’s literally nothing better than getting changed into a soft-ass tracksuit and absorbing those post-workout endorphins in unparalleled bliss.


A separate pair of shoes is always a good idea too. Your gym shoes will probably be very stanky, so opt for a fresh pair to stop your freshly-washed tootsies smelling like a hobo’s colon. I usually opt for flip flops or something equally as breathable.

The ultimate gym style checklist

Here’s a bullet-point list for you to peruse and ensure you have everything boxed off.

  • Gym bag
  • Active t-shirt/polo
  • Breathable shorts
  • Comfortable underwear (and a spare pair)
  • Sports socks (and a spare pair)
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Post-workout clothes & shoes
  • Padlock
  • Workout journal
  • Water bottle
  • Wrist wraps/straps
  • Towel

Now, that may look like quite a long list but in reality, it’s only 15 things and most of them are small stuff (wrist wraps) and a lot of it you’re already going to wearing (top, shorts, etc) so you’re going to have loads of space in your gym bag.

I’m also aware that a good few of these aren’t exactly going to aid you in improving your style in the gym, but they will help you to look like a bloody stylish bugger before and after.

If you’re looking to turbocharge your style in the gym, you’ve just been given the holy grail of rundowns.

Utilise this checklist, refer back to it, bookmark it, share it with your Grandma – I don’t care what you do with it, but just make sure you make good use of it.

You’ll get that excited feeling back before every workout once you feel like a million dollars in your new gear. Obviously it’s not essential so if you don’t have the cash, don’t bloody buy anything, but if you do – it’s a long term investment in your style and wellbeing that you’ll look back on and give yourself a pat on the back for.

Trust me.


*This post contains gifted items