I got my workout swag on, yo. Image courtesy of Creatas Images/Creatas/Thinkstock.

I feel it is my duty to write about this subject, since I’ve never seen an article on it, and obviously some people out there are clueless.  Of course, loyal ESM reader, I don’t refer to any of you.

The other day I was at the gym and I saw a guy with a white shirt that had wings on the back.  I got closer and realized that he actually was sweating profusely, and the hair on his back was making the wing design for anyone unlucky enough to notice.  Yeah, I know.  That’s a problem.

We’re men.  We’re not sissy men.  And when we go to the gym we are going there to kick some ass and we are NOT going there for a fashion show.  Unless of course we are speaking on the female patrons parading around in Brazilian workout pants.  Mm hm.  Proper!

What was I saying?  Oh yeah.  Let’s start with appropriate footwear.  Let’s keep the flip flops for the beach, and designer kicks for cutting a rug.  Nike, Reebok, and any of the other major brands have cross trainers, or running shoes that look cool and are also functional.  New Balance, Asics, and newcomer Newton are available for those who may focus a bit more on running. Don’t start right with the shoes and then come in dress socks.  Bad move.  

If you are wearing long pants, they should be loose fitting and not made of denim.  Adidas makes great workout pants.  Styley!  Lululemon also makes great workout pants, shorts, and tops that feel great and wick sweat away so that when that girl in the kickboxing class is asking for help, you don’t drench her.  With Nike’s Dri-Fit, UnderArmour ColdGear and HeatGear, and REI’s options you can find exactly what you need.  

Let’s keep the jewelry to a minimum, as well as accessories and cologne.  And unless you just came from the optometrist and your eyes were dilated, let’s keep the sunglasses at home, shall we?


Richard has been in the Essential Style for Men mix since its inception in 2009. When he isn’t busy serving as the ESM’s Director of Fashion & Style, you may find him on the beach playing volleyball, or working hard in Thailand shooting with a beautiful Brazilian supermodel.