The facts are simple – living an active life paves the way for good health. But health-conscious people and gym-goers rarely talk about one of the most harrowing parts of this lifestyle: the clothes.
Itchy skin, chafing, awkward-fitting pants, and sweat-heavy clothes can all become a part of the experience, if you fail to update your wardrobe. As a beginner, many are forced to learn it the hard way that your outfit can get in the way. People with sensitive skin can suffer from sudden flares of rashes due to the material of your regular T-shirts and underwear.
Fortunately, the local market has you covered, especially brands such as SheActive, Dour, and Apex's Maverick and Sprint. You can easily weave style into function. We no longer have to depend on ill-fitting mass-produced fitness wear and can find outfits suited to our needs.
A guide to choosing your next gym outfit
When looking for the best gym apparel, the most important aspects of your outfit are the materials, fit, and compression. They will help you perform better and boost your confidence.
While fabrics such as cotton are the epitome of comfort, they can work against you while exercising.
Opting for a moisture-wicking fabric will be more helpful as the special material is designed to absorb moisture and quickly dry, sparing you from sweat spots and sweat-loaded fabric.
That being said, the fabrics should also be stretchy and durable. Your clothes should be capable of accommodating your movement. Regular fabrics are likely to rip at the seams as soon as you start to test their limits.
Compression and fit go hand in hand. Compression clothes put pressure on your muscles, and are usually tight-fitting. Depending on the type of exercise you are doing, compression clothes can help with your blood flow.
SheActive is heaven for active women. The brand is well-known for its fitness programme, equipment, and most importantly, its activewear. The shop sells everything a woman will need for exercising, including sports bras and biker shorts.
However, what makes this brand such a commendable one is that it recognises the varied needs of women in Bangladesh and designs fitness clothes accordingly.
For example, crop tops and sleeveless tops are what make up the image of activewear among women. SheActive, on the other hand, has modest options in its line-up.
Their Perform Dry-Tech Tunic (Tk1,890) is a great option for those who want a formless fit around the hips, but with a cinched fit around the waist. Even though the top is just above knee length, its flowy form allows good movement.
However, the highlight from their lineup has to be their High-Rise Energy Leggings (Tk1,900). The compression leggings are simple, yet done right. Along with its functions, its form hugs your body without making the contours and curves look awkward.
Dour is another premium activewear brand in Bangladesh. They offer a plethora of options for your fitness apparel needs.
They offer clothes for both men and women, and have options that will cover you from top to bottom.
Even though exercise means exertion and sweating, you still need to layer up as the season gets cooler. Dour's Boxer Pullover (Tk1,650) is a stylish stand-up collar for men and designed for sweat-wicking.
Dour incorporates style with function, which is why they have around 200 options.
A perfect example of their commitment to style is their women's Swing Crop Top. The full-sleeve top has a simple twist at the front that accentuates curves.
Dour also offers options for modest styles, their most stand-out accessory being the DOUR Hijab (Tk999).
Maverick, a brand of Apex, has released a line of clothes that go beyond fitness and gyms; their Traveller's Gear outfits are made for men with an active lifestyle.
If you like hiking, travelling, etc, this line is just what you need. The Traveller's Gear was designed with a traveller's comfort and convenience in mind.
In this line, they have two button-down shirts (Tk2,290 each), which are both stylish and functional. They are made from water-repellent materials so that your outfit can withstand harsh weather without holding you back.
Furthermore, both shirts have secure pockets, allowing you to keep your essentials at close, and incorporates a hidden-button design to create a seamless look.
An active lifestyle is nothing without the perfect pair of pants. Similar to the shirts, the pants are also water-repellent. In terms of function, along with its multitude of pockets, it even includes a d-ring for your keys. However, its most interesting design choice are the detachable legs. You can easily convert it into Capri-length when the weather gets too hot.