Let’s face it: the gym can be an intimidating place when you’re new to it. The Rec Plex at Fairfield University is often filled to the brim with boys grunting harshly while lifting dumb bells and every single cubby is almost always taken up. You can never really find a place for yourself, and self-consciousness can sink in when you don’t feel like you know what you are doing.
One thing I have found that helps me walk onto that treadmill with confidence is what I am wearing. I stand by the mantra, “look good, feel good.” However, you don’t have to wear a strappy sports bra to feel motivated at the gym. Often, I find that it is not just about what the outfit looks like, but if it functions well. This can be hard to navigate with countless workout brands preaching athleisure that looks cute, but does not stand up to your workouts.
Now, I don’t consider myself an expert. However, I have been an athlete for most of my life and am a regular in the weight room. So what follows is simply what I have found to work as a curvy, muscular girl who wants to look cute without constantly having to pull up my leggings or adjust my top.
Sneakers: My Metcon Nike sneakers are my best friend. They are easily the best lifting sneakers I have ever owned. Not only do they look cool as hell, but they are stable and comfortable when I am, for example, squatting with heavy weights. As for cardio, any Saucony running sneaker has served me well.
Tops/Sports Bras: If you are like me, showy sports bras are not my thing. I am a full believer that Nike makes the best standard sports bra. Not only that, but they last forever and have great coverage. When it comes to tops, I still stand by Nike. If you are looking for something a little less expensive, Gap, Forever 21 and even Old Navy make cute, cheap tops. GymShark is also a great online brand that makes fun tops if you are looking for something different.
Leggings: To me, leggings are the most important. I can’t advise on shorts because I refuse to wear them to the gym, but that is just my weird preference. I hate to say it, but LuluLemon Align leggings changed my life. Now hear me out, I know they break the bank. But in my opinion they last forever and you will use them till you simply can’t anymore. I have the same sentiment about Athleta. Runner ups include Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas. I also do like GymShark, however you have to squat test them and understand that you probably will have some level of cameltoe — which personally I can’t stand.
I hope this helps in some way. Again, I don’t claim to be an expert. This is simply what I have found to work for me.