Fashion: Is it really best to splash out on your workout clothes?

Picture the scene – you have a brand new gym membership, your enthusiasm for exercise is at an all-time high and you can’t wait to get started. There’s perhaps still one significant choice you have to make – how much should you spend on your workout clothes?

It’s a serious question. How much you spend on your workout gear is obviously completely up to you; how much of a budget you have to play with, and how prepared you are to spend money on sportswear compared to, for example, other items of clothing.

Let’s be honest, for the vast majority of us who need to decide whether to splash out on a new pair of heels versus a new pair of trainers – it’s one or the other this month not both – or a new sports top over that shirt you need for an upcoming social function, it’s a case of balancing want over need.

In the case against splashing out is the likelihood that you’ve probably got enough in your current wardrobe to get by – over the years you’ll have cobbled together various sporty items to at least dress appropriately. That’s the stance Michelle Persad of the Huffington Post took – at least initially. ‘I hate spending money on workout clothes,’ she wrote here, preferring instead to wear some items that dated right back to high school.

It’s worth reading the rest of her account, though, because after trialling some new sportswear, she had a change of opinion. The reasons support the view of those who think it’s worth spending a bit of money and splashing out on some decent stuff.

The advantages are typically that clothes fit better – comfort is important while working out – and, because they’re more stylish, can sometimes inspire the wearer to attend the gym more frequently, run that bit further or faster, and generally show greater commitment to their fitness goals. Yes, good workout clothes can be a motivation; once you’ve spent money, you don’t want to waste your cash by rarely wearing the gear.

There’s another plus, too. If your clothes are of a decent standard, you might feel more inclined to socialise in them afterwards – not sitting down for a fine dinner, of course, but having a coffee or a drink with fellow gym goers instead of slinking off home in shame at your tatty leggings or 15-year-old sports team replica shirt.

Of course, ‘splashing out’ doesn’t always mean having to spend a fortune. This article offers some useful tips on how to save some money when putting together your sports wardrobe, including what to prioritise in terms of items.

And the encouraging news is that sportswear is available now from multiple sources and not just the traditional giants such as Nike and adidas. Thus, you’ll find many high street stores stocking workout clothes, men’s gym clothes from brands like Superdry and even larger supermarket branches. Bottom line? You can look great in the gym without spending a fortune!