15 Ways to Look Stylish in Workout Clothes When You're Not in the Gym

Real Style on 12.03.12
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Photo Credit: Richard Masoner/ Cyclelicious'/ Creative Commons

Are you guilty of wearing workout gear, but not actually going to the gym? You’re not alone. Busy women everywhere are running errands, picking up their kids from school, and spending most of the day in their exercise clothes. Despite well intended advice from What Not to Wear stating you should only be wearing workout clothes while actually exercising, it’s easy to understand why we break the rule so frequently.

Workout clothes are comfortable and easy to care for, so it’s hard to resist putting them on first thing in the morning. Make a few minor tweaks in how you wear your exercise gear out of the gym to look stylish. One or two touches to your basic black leggings and microfiber tank are enough to turn you from frumpy into a fashion do.

Compliment Your Body-Type

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1. Form-fitting is best. Select the pieces that fit you the best and that flatter you. Avoid baggy sweatpants and loose t-shirts. The benefit of stretchy material is it can compliment your figure by highlighting your frame.

2. Skip the capri’s. Avoid wearing running shorts or capri pants because it’s hard to pull them off out of the gym. Long pants streamline your look which can make you appear thinner and leaner.

3. Layers are the key. Use your workout clothes as the foundation for the rest of your outfit. Throw a simple dress or a cardigan over the top of your basic clothes to keep your look fresh.

4. Add some color. Basic black pieces go with everything, but don’t be afraid to add other colors. Dark grey and chocolate brown are other great basics that create a solid foundation. Compliment the neutrals with a splash of any bold color like red, purple, or yellow in the form of a long sleeve t-shirt or a wrap sweater.

Accent the Positive

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5. Utitlize a signature handbag. Leave the backpack and fanny pack at home. Make a statement with a great handbag or a fashionable tote.

6. A touch of makeup. Spend an extra two minutes getting ready by adding a hint of mascara, lip gloss, and tinted moisturizer.

7. Finishing touches. A big colorful scarf and a stylish hat can complete a look and mask that you are really only wearing workout clothes.

8. Simple jewels. Sparkly earrings, a chunky necklace, or a few wrist bangles will add some pop to your outfit. It won’t look like you just rolled out of bed in your pajama’s when you wear something that shimmers.

9. Tailored jacket. Make an investment in a few classic tailored coats to round out your look. A properly fitted coat in a remarkable bold color adds the right tone to any outfit. 

10. Dressy hoodie. Update your college hooded sweatshirt with a detailed and streamlined microfiber zip-up sweatshirt. Today's sweatershirts are designed to look like jackets, but at a fraction of the cost. They also contain great details like ruffled collars, puffed sleeves, and ruching.

Dress Your Feet

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11. Take advantage of all your footwear options. Save the bulky, white running shoes for the gym- it’s easy to change shoes and up your style points. Take a tip from Europeans by wearing a casual lace up  that’s comfortable to run around town in without looking like you should be on a treadmill.

12. Think boots. What better way to draw attention away from your clothes then wearing a great pair of boots.  They’ll not only keep your feet warm and dry, but also add some pizzazz to cover up your exercise tights.

13. Flattering Flats. Even if you are coming from a dance class, classic flats work great with a workout pant. They come in terrific bold colors, animal inspired prints, and even dressed up with detailed hardware.

14. Socks come in all colors of the rainbow. White socks echo thoughts of gym class. Keep your toes stylish by wearing colored socks, especially if they'll be seen under your hem.

15. The 80’s are back. Leg warmers and knee-high socks are making a comeback. Highlight your legs by wearing a fun pair of patterned, textured hosiery over your leggings. 

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