Stepping Out of Style at the Gym

Let's talk gym fashion for a moment. Amanda and I have been really good about getting to the gym since the holidays. I went five days a week for a couple consecutive weeks there in January. Overall, the results have been awesome. I've had more energy. I feel better about my fitness.

There's been one drawback: Apparel.

It's not that I don't wear clothes or appropriate fabrics for working out, it's that apparently I don't dress fashionably for the gym. My rebuttal: It's 5 a.m., and at least I'm there.

The rebuttal of course comes from my gym partner, Amanda, who has called me out several times for wearing navy blue shorts with a black shirt, or that reverse color combo. SINCE WHEN HAVE NAVY AND BLACK CLASHED? WHEN?! I thought I got the whole no-brown-and-black message back in junior high when I was also wearing silk shirts, but no navy and black? That's all I got! I mean, go shopping for men's sportswear and there's four color options in bulk: black, navy, grey and red. That's it. To boot, how come women can suddenly wear brown boots with anything? Including black shirts and dresses. I cry hypocrisy!

That aside, Amanda likes to tell me this as she stands in front of me wearing a tie-dye shirt. Amanda tells me she had tie-dye sheets in college and has been revisiting her love for tie-dye recently. I have no explanation for this. She's probably the only tie-dye wearing person walking the earth who has never attended a Grateful Dead concert or been strung out on LSD for a week. She does like Ben & Jerry's ice cream, but that's a loose affiliation to tie-dye apparel.

So, I need opinions. What is the appropriate attire for men to wear to the gym? I don't wear shorts too short or too long. I layer over synthetic shirts, occasionally sleeveless to let the tattoos breathe, with cotton hoodies. I wear the same New Balance shoes every other guy does. I think the challenges have come with color combinations, but how do I get slack for what I wear to the gym when I manage to find shirts and jeans that don't solicit ridicule at work? What's gym fashionable?