As the UK lockdown ends, and people are returning to the gym, a question I’m getting asked frequently is “What should I wear to the gym?” Gone are the days when there was little choice and black lycra was often the obvious option. Now we realise that a colourful option can lift our mood, energise us and help us feel more attractive in front of the unavoidable gym mirrors. The choice of pattern and colour has become far more varied in recent years just leaving the problem of what to choose. Here are a few things to consider and tips to help you in your choice. 

Body Shape

Think about your body shape. Which areas do you want to highlight and which areas would you like to disguise? 

Strawberry (top heavy) – if you’re bigger on the top half, keep your top darker and plainer than the bottom half. Draw attention to your neater bottom half with colour and pattern. 

Pear (bottom heavy) – if you’re bigger on the bottom half, choose a plain, dark bottom half and lighter brighter, patterned or layered top half. A side stripe or panel can help to narrow wider thighs. Horizontal stripes can help to extend your shoulders and/or bust line. 

Athletic – if you have broad shoulders, a neat bust and lean stomach, a cut away crop top is a great choice to flatter your athletic figure. Sporty stripes are great on your body line. Stars and other geometric patterns are good too.

Apple – if you feel that your tummy is your challenge area, avoid anything too clingy on your top half. Go for leggings and a longer line loose t-shirt with fitted short sleeves that don’t add extra width.

Rectangles and Hourglass figures – you take the same size on top and bottom half so can choose either for pattern, colour and interesting details. 

Petite figures – steam line your colour theme throughout to give yourself the illusion of extra height. 

Tall figures – colour block and break the body up to add more interest. 

Full busts – make sure you choose a well-designed sports bra in the correct size especially for high impact activities and classes. 

Available from SuperDry

Loose Gymwear

Available from Marks & Spencer

Gym Wear Leggings

Available from Sweaty Betty


Even if you’ve never had a colour analysis, you’re probably aware that some colours make you look and feel more healthy and energised than others. When you’re at the gym you really don’t want to be wearing make-up and sweating it off so flattering coloured gym wear is really helpful to keep you feeling fabulous.  

Warm colouring – if your hair and skin tone are warm, peaches, coral, lime, aqua and golden yellows will look healthy and harmonious. 

Cool colouring – if your hair and skin tone are cool, choose cool pinks, blues, purples and greys for a healthy, balanced look.  

Brunettes – you will be able to take deep, bright tones in your gym wear such as red, black, emerald, navy and purple. Light colours near the face will wash you out. 

Blondes – black and deeper shades will tend to drain you so choose lighter colours such as periwinkle, sky blue, light grey, baby pink will be flattering. Navy is fine to mix with these and so much less harsh than black. 

I hope these tips help you choose what to wear to the gym so that you look and feel fabulous while working out. 

Want Some Help?

Many of my clients are midlife women who want to lose weight and although the gym is so useful for our mental health, bone density, flexibility and so much more, don’t beat yourself up if the weight doesn’t come off as quickly as you would like. Get in touch for a colour and style consultation and I’ll help you to look and feel fabulous whatever your shape and size. 

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