Fitness Wear: A Workout Helper or Fashion Statement?

Fashion and fitness have become a growing trend, especially for #TeamCoco. People want to look good while working out. But are fitness items helping you, or are they merely a fashion statement? While workout wear has indeed become a bit of a fashion statement (think leggings), some items such as proper running shoes or compression socks can help you get the most out of your workout.

While functionality is important, designers and companies have not failed in their efforts to combine function with fashion. Comfort and fashion have created a blossoming fitness wear craze that has led to people wearing this clothing as everyday wear as well, and the line becomes a bit blurred as to what you need for a comfortable and safe workout, and what is merely fashion. Leggings are quickly becoming a fashion trend, replacing jeans or other pants for everyday wear and not simply fitness wear. The Telegraph reported that £4.5bn was spent in the UK alone on fitness wear, and that “half of those buying sportswear have no intention of using them for actual sports.” The trend of workout wear has also spread to the US, with stores and companies capitalising on the growing trend.

Gone are the days that workout clothing is boring and drab. Patterns and colours vary and there are plenty of options to appeal to a variety of tastes such as fun, loud colours and prints, to more conservative prints and colours. Styles also vary – from shorts, pants and capris, to sports bras, T-shirts, tank tops and more, there are plenty of options to fit your own personal style.

Fitness wear, like normal clothing, is made to follow the weather and seasons. Jackets, sweaters and heavier fabrics will keep you warm in the cool months, while lighter, more breathable fabrics and shorter cuts (shorts, tank tops, etc.) will keep you cool during the hot and summer months.

So is fitness wear worth the money for your workout routine, or is it merely a fashion trend? Each individual needs to think about what kind of workout they are doing and what would be most appropriate for them. Form-fitting wear is great to reduce drag for cyclists and runners, but it can also provide a comfy outfit for other activities, such as yoga or weight lifting. Loose workout wear, while comfortable, may not be the best for cycling, or for those activities where it may snag on equipment, but it will provide free range of motion for certain activities.

Workout wear and new technology have evolved and developed together, producing materials that are moisture wicking and antibacterial, improving comfort and function. Comfort is also important in workout wear such as compression socks, and companies have worked to provide consumers with clothes that are not only functional, but fashionable and comfortable as well. Workout clothing is now being created with anti-chafe, breathable fabrics that will keep the wearer cool, dry, and without a post-workout chafe. Other fabrics such as the CopperZnergy blend are not only lightweight, but also designed to prevent odor. UPF protection is another quality that is being incorporated into a lot of today’s fashion wear to keep you protected while outdoors. Fitness wear can be a worthy investment for both professional and novice fitness enthusiasts alike. The gradual compression helps improve circulation, which can help in muscle recovery as well as help to reduce or eliminate aches and pains. For women, proper breast support is also important, and something that must be considered when purchasing clothing for your workouts.

In the long run, having high quality, supportive clothing for your workout can be a great investment, and in most cases will pay off. However, gone are the days when fitness wear is boring, ugly and only for the gym. Now, you can hit the gym in your cute fitness wear, or look like you are following the latest fashion craze. No one will ever know the difference. While you should definitely do your homework before you buy, companies today are merging the world of fashion and fitness wear, providing fashionable and functional clothing for in and out of the gym.

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