Do You Even Sweat, Bro?
When it comes to exercise gear, there’s a lot of bad stuff out there. Read on for our suggestions on the best stuff to wear while you get your sweat on.
The gym, in many ways, feels like the last frontier of style. Guys with otherwise impeccable taste often fall into one of two camps when it comes to workout attire: 1) a ratty, Iron Maiden tee with the sleeves ripped off, or 2) a highlighter yellow “tech shirt”, replete with flashy lines and stitching (and likely some matching shorts and sneakers to boot).
If you’re a sponsored athlete, a color-coordinated getup is great. Otherwise, we say leave the over-designed uniforms to the pros. And unless you frequently run at night, all those reflective, neon-colored “stretch panels” aren’t really necessary either. Ultimately, when you’re sweating it out doing your thing, you simply want items that move with you, keep you cool, and make you look and feel good. And while there are plenty of options out there with moisture wicking and stretch, finding those with the right fit and styling can be a challenge. Case in point, a number of the shirts we tried out were cropped pretty short, which unnecessarily reveals your navel while doing overhead lifts and pull ups.
We put a number of brands to the test to see which land in the center of the venn diagram of performance, comfort, and style. Worn by friend of Classfare and personal trainer Rajiv Harry, here are our recommendations of the best items to take you from the track to the yoga mat to the squat rack. 7% body fat not included.
(Model is 5’10” and 180 lbs. He’s wearing a size Large in all tops (Corey Vines, Nike, and Lululemon) and a size Medium in all shorts (Myles Apparel and Lululemon).
The Path Half Zip, by Corey Vines
Corey Vines makes great basics in a pretty trim cut that are available in a number of classic colors. This half-zip is made of a super soft moisture-wicking fabric, offering breathability and a brushed lining – so you can stay warm without breaking a sweat. (Available in 2 colors).
Dri-Fit Heathered Tee, by Nike
Nike is ubiquitous with sport for a reason, and their basic Dri-Fit tees are proof that performance, comfort, and simplicity can go a long way. The fabric is stretchy, soft, and breathable. The shirts are cut slim but still roomy enough through the body and biceps for a broad or athletic build. (Available in 8 colors).
Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve, by Lululemon
We’ve never looked forward to the gym for the sake of putting on a shirt before – until now. The Metal Vent Tech tees from Lululemon are, in a word, luxurious. The fabric is ridiculously soft, the colorways are unique, and there are no logos in sight (save for a tiny circular brand mark on the upper back). The fit is similar to a Nike Dri-Fit, albeit a tad slimmer through the body and bicep.
At $65 each, they’re not inexpensive. But If you’ve got the coin to invest, you won’t be disappointed. (Available in 11 colors).
The Everyday Short, by Myles (8” and 11” inseam available)
The Everyday Short from Myles is just that – a short you’ll want to want to wear every damn day. These are one of the few pairs of athletics shorts we’ll wear confidently around town. There’s no contrast stitching or aggressive patterns – which make for simple style and strong performance.
Speaking of performance, the Everyday Shorts feature four-way stretch fabric and are water resistant (water basically beads off of them), while mesh slant pockets are ready for your phone and keys. (Available in 8” and 11” inseams and six colors).
Surge Short (7” inseam), by Lululemon
For those looking for something a little lighter weight but equally strong, the Surge Short, from Lululemon are some of our favorites. 7” are a great length for the slightly shorter guy or those who simply like more movement while on the run. And the specially-designed waistband loop for tucking in your shirt means you can go shirtless and hands free.
Boxer Briefs, by Mack Weldon
You’re probably just fine wearing your everyday underwear at the gym, but we’d be remiss to neglect mentioning Mack Weldon. Not only are Mack Weldon’s boxer briefs and trunks incredibly comfortable and minimally stylish, they also offer odor-fighting tech and “stay put” legs. The latter of which basically means that after several sets of lunges and a half hour on the elliptical, the legs haven’t ridden up. Less picking. More comfort. (Available in 13 colors).
Roshe One, by Nike
With a full mesh upper and injected unit midsole, the Nike Roshe One Men’s Shoe offers breathability and lightweight impact protection. In a classic gray/white color combo, they’ll not only go with all your athletic apparel, they’ll go with just about anything during the weekend as well. (Available in 10 colors).
Free 5.0 Print, by Nike
While some basic trainers are perfect for going with everything (see the gray/white Roshe One, above), your sneakers are the best place to throw in a unique pattern or color. We love the camo-inspired design of these Nike Free 5.0’s. (Available in 3 colors).
Roshe One Print, by Nike
The Nike Roshe One Print offers breathability, lightweight cushioning and bold style with an injected unit midsole and colorful mesh upper. We’re fans of this unique pattern against classic gray. (Available in 4 colors).