Sunday, October 16, 2016

Are there perfect gym clothes?

Although this is how popular culture portrays women look in a gym, the reality is quite different. (Photo credit)
My first experience buying gym clothes was around 2008 when I moved to Mumbai. I learnt that working out is a common thing in the city. Delhi, where I lived before this, does not have a gym at every corner and I had never imagined I'd ever be going to one in my life. But when I started gaining weight a few months into my marriage - well! everyone does! - I decided I should join a gym. And since my spouse worked out for a decade since college and still has the evidence of it, he was my best guide. (Although by the time we got married, he had started traveling quite a bit and his gym membership was more of a donation to the facility without actually using it)

I remember going to Shoppers Stop near my place and buying clothes, shoes etc. While working out in the gym - and a couple others after the first one - turned out to be one of the most boring things I have done in my life. I also went through more rounds of shopping for gym clothes. I gave up typical gyms a few years ago and now I workout at this awesome fitness place that has a new workout every day to keep the challenge going.

And no, no one on our class looks remotely like the people you see on Yoga CDs or even Monica Geller who worked out in her stylish training bra and a jacket! The place I workout in isn't exactly for spandex covered, tank topped chicks. It's a normal people, unisex studio and where butt covering modesty is preferred. We are all seen in long, boring T shirts and on most days half of us are in grey. And that's exactly what set me thinking. And also the fact that despite multiple rounds of shopping and trying to learn from previous mistakes, I still don't think I have the perfect clothes, let alone remotely stylish.

I've had all kinds of gym clothes. From loose T shirts to the right size. And in all kinds of fabrics. And during my last trip for gym shopping, I realised there is so much of technology out there now in terms of fabrics that promise to be soak up sweat in an intense workout. (sorry if 'soak' reminds you something else. Couldn't make this sound any better). Not wanting to waste a lot of time window shopping, I went to the website of the mall to find out where all the gym stores are. Thankfully, they happened to be on the same floor. Armed with my list of places, I stepped out.

To cut the long story short, the bigger the brand name, the more expensive their stuff. I did end up buying a super expensive T shirt which is meant to be great for workouts. When I actually wore it to fitness class, it was shorter than I'd like it to be. I'm not happy when I raise my hands up or do side bends - so much for big brands! Another brand had the most funky looking but equally uncomfortable range of training bras - no, the price tag did not seem to factor in the discomfort. I strongly recommend that these big brands run a survey and actually ask women what we find comfortable and actually want in out work out clothes.

I finally went to a quite popular brand and brought all my stuff for the price of that one T shirt! I am good to go till my next round of experimenting to get it comfort and maybe style too. Do you think gym wear for women can be comfortable and fashionable? Going through all the brands that promise both hasn't been encouraging for me. I'd love to hear what you think about this.

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