When you worked at Bally Total Fitness, you had a polo shirt, a few promotional shirts and black sweat pants. For two years, that was my uniform most nights and weekends. When I headed to a private trainers gym (Hifi fitness -- one of the best gyms in the city), I needed a new wardrobe.
My own workout attire had been cut-off t-shirts (usually ones that should've been thrown out) and old cargo pants or shorts I'd owned since high school. Being a trainer on a budget, I wasn't sure where to turn. Enter the Adidas Triple Stripe program.
Back in the day, (early 2000s) Adidas had a clothing discount program for trainers, 30-40 percent off anything in your size, and twice a year they allowed you to buy stuff for other people.
When my first package of clothes arrived at the office (at the time I was working full time at LaSalle Bank) I couldn't contain my excitement. My coworkers showed the right amount of enthusiasm as I displayed for them my various pieces of fitness attire.
Style aside, I now had science to back up my wardrobe choices. Whether you call it dry-fit, wicking, or dry-fast, the various clothes that help keep you cool worked for me. Although I liked my Triple Stripe clothes for some time, eventually I had a new love -- Lululemon.
My good friend from college, Brooke, was hired by Lululemon to bring the Canadian brand to Chicago. Being super smart, Brooke hosted meetings with trainers to talk about what they like, and give them a gift card for the store. We also received a discount on clothes. Once you had one super comfy workout shirt with fibers controlling sweat and odor, there was no going back. (Side note: That doesn't mean you can skip deodorant). Since then, Nike and others have upped their style and function.
My personal style hasn't changed too much, but I have been into compression wear. In the interest of full disclosure, I always made fun of my guy trainer friends who wore compression shorts (tights). I thought it was a millennial thing, and then I bought a pair. The benefit of compression clothes (not a lot of scientific evidence) is increased blood flow, which aids in muscle recovery and athletic improvement (not validated). I wear them because they make my legs feel great. My old, overworked legs get tight, and I have occasional knee pain. Toss on some tights and my knees feel great. It might be more of a placebo effect but I'm a big fan.
Here's a brief walk down my fitness wardrobe -- don't laugh!
Love the compression pants a.k.a. tights
Most comfortable shorts … spoiled in Lululemon
Old school boot camp shirt made by my friend
First Lululemon shirt … #dated
Triple Stripe in full effect. (Why did I buy that shirt?)