IN STYLE Building a stylish yet functional workout wardrobe will simplify your morning sweat sesh, while keeping your style game intact, whether you are running errands, getting breakfast, or doing push ups

If you’ve been stepping up your exercise game in 2021, it’s probably time to up your workout wardrobe too. Picking the best workout clothing isn’t as trend-led as other areas of dressing, because the priority is performance-focused clothing designed for comfort, but just because exercise gear favours function over fashion, doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel great while wearing it.

Onituska Tiger Cardigan

We’ve seen athleisure and sportswear make their way into mainstream wardrobes for good, so your track pants, trainers, and even sports jackets are likely to be worn as much for lifting weights as they are for brunches. Developing a capsule workout wardrobe of the very best performance clothing is a helpful way to strike the right balance between sporty and stylish. It’s about building an interchangeable collection of pieces that all work together.

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“Workouts or sports have different movements, and thus, different requirements. The right set of clothing would enable flexibility, agility, moisture management, and performance, as per the need of the game. Additionally, various external factors can also change the gear requirement, like the surface/floor, indoor or outdoor, running on a treadmill, or on a synthetic track. The right gear for one can only be determined by keeping all these elements in mind, as well as level of performance. For example, athletes and trainers prefer a dedicated set of gear for different movements considering the expectation of each workout is at a very high intensity, while someone at a beginner stage can have different requirements from his/her training,” says Saurabh Sharma, head of marketing at ASICS India, when asked about whether it is necessary to have different clothes for different types of workouts.

Umar Bajaria, captain, Adidas Runners Mumbai, says, “Yes, different workouts should have different clothing. Usually, cardio is slower, which means you need to wear something that dries quickly and doesn’t get heavy during the workout. Whereas, in HIIT Workout, you need to have a training specific shoe that allows smooth movement in all directions. For yoga, you need something well balanced — clothing that fits well, is quite stretchable, and durable at the same time.”

Celebrity stylist Atrayee Duttagupta says, “Ever since Covid-19 hit, we have been working out at home, so it is important to change into your workout clothes even when you are indoors because they are designed to give you, a functional experience. According to me, the key pieces would be the dry fit T-shirts and vests. The fabric is great for gym wear as the movement is not restricted, so it’s important to go for that rather than normal fabrics such as cotton. Brands like Nike, Reebok, and Adidas, all use a similar kind of fabric, in which your sweat dries up faster, and doesn’t leave your skin damp.”

To add a style element, she advises, “Just keep them simple and you are good to go, but if you wish to experiment with your athleisure wear while running errands or during casual outings, you can go for shirts and shorts, and add a bomber jacket.”

A good pair of training shoes is extremely important, and you can go for the Quantum Series of ASICS, which is a great everyday shoe for an active lifestyle, along with good running shoes for cardio on treadmills or for outdoor runs. Another option would be Adidas’s ULTRABOOST 21 as it is a well-balanced shoe that provides decent heel support, a good arch, and has a great cushion.


In terms of clothing, compression clothing like FINISH ADVANTAGE 2 compression running tights for men by ASICS will work. Adidas’ Aeroready Tee is yet another option that fits perfectly in this category as it dries quickly. Pair these shirts with similar fabric shorts, and you’re ready to sweat it out.

Also, if we’re talking style and functionality, we can’t forget the fitness tracker that’s not only useful, but also adds a touch of cool to your look. Bracelet-style fitness bands are suited to smaller wrists, generally less techy, and easier to use. Go for FitBit or Xiaomi Mi Bands to keep a track of your daily workouts.

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