Obviously, comfort is key when it comes to your workout clothes, so many choose to wear old t-shirts, leggings, and worn-in activewear to their gym sessions. 

Looking good in the gym is often not a priority to gym-goers because their hair will be messed up and they’ll be sweaty once they’re done anyway.

While there’s nothing wrong with prioritizing comfort, many research and polls suggest that looks might matter just as much.

Read on to find out how new and cool-looking activewear can benefit you. 

1. It Gives Your Confidence a BoostWoman in a black dress and sunglasses posing

Confidence is key to, well, everything
Photo: Johnny Edgardo / Pexels


You know that feeling when you take new clothes out of paper bags and put them on the first time? When you feel like a million bucks and you just can’t stop posing in front of the mirror.

New clothes do that to you, and new workout clothes are no exceptions.

Your confidence levels soar when you’re wearing something new, well-fitted, and cool-looking. There is even a term for this kind of phenomenon, which is enclothed cognition.

Enclothed cognition is a term describing how clothes can affect their wearers’ psychological processes. According to enclothed cognition, clothes you wear could affect the way you think, feel, and function. Attention and, of course, confidence are also among the areas of influence.

To put it in simply, looking good gives you more confidence, and wearing new and cool-looking activewear is one way to achieve that. 

According to a study, 85% of participants said wearing cool-looking gym wear makes them more confident, and 79% agreed that cool workout clothes contribute to better performance in the gym.

On the other hand, having low confidence could affect your resolve at the gym, and you will more likely stay in your comfort zone. 

When you feel confident at the gym, you'll be more likely to push yourself and try something new. 

New activewear helps you look and feel the part at the gym, and it will give you more confidence to do more and give it all you got.

2. It Ups Your Motivation Level

Woman wearing black bra and white tank top raising both hands on top
We all need an extra dose of motivation sometimes
Photo: Tirachard / Pexels


Other than giving you the confidence to tackle your workouts, looking good in the gym also has motivating powers.

According to this study of 2,000 fitness enthusiasts who regularly hit the gym, a staggering 88% of participants reported that simply putting on workout clothes is the biggest source of motivation for them. 

Furthermore, 69% see donning your workout clothes as the “real key to motivation.”

By putting workout clothes on, these gym goers feel motivated to hit the gym even when they did not feel like it before.

These gym rats also reported that having cool-looking workout clothes is important, which is backed up by Angie Fifer, a performance consultant. 

According to Angie, you’ll want to wear your workout clothes more often if you love them, which could lead to exercising more.

With new and cool workout clothes, you’ll be more motivated to hit the gym.

3. It Enhances Your Performance

Woman in white tank top warming up

Who doesn't want better performance?
Photo: RF._.studio / Pexels


This has to do with confidence, motivation, and the design of your workout clothes.

When you feel confident, you feel like you can tackle anything. You’ll in turn be more willing to try new workouts and do a little more in each session. All of that contributes to making you stronger and enhancing your performance.

Activewear specifically designed for your chosen activity can also improve your performance.

Have you seen Olympic athletes wearing old t-shirts to a match? No, that’s because they need well-designed performance activewear that helps them reach their full potential.

I’m not saying that you have to buy something crazy expensive. Just wearing workout clothes suitable for the exercises you do is enough. Activewear specifically designed for your chosen workouts provide support and are strengthened in areas that experience more wear.

For example, basketball shoes have a high-top design, which is there to give players more support around their ankles and minimize chances of spraining. Running shoes, on the other hand, have a low-cut design because lightweight shoes and freedom of movement are more important to runners. 

You probably won’t be the fastest runner in a track and field event if you wear a pair of basketball shoes. At the same time, you might risk getting your ankles sprained if you play in a basketball game in running shoes. 

Wearing cool-looking activewear designed just for your chosen exercises ensures comfort and will give you a boost in performance.

4. It Gets Restrictions out of the Way

woman in gray leggings and black sports bra doing yoga on yoga mat

Less restrictions = More comfort and better performance
Photo: Elly Fairytale / Pexels


Here’s another good reason to wear activewear instead of just any comfy tee. 

Activewear is imbued with lots of stretch, and it’s specifically designed to give you freedom of movement while you’re engaging in the physical activity of your choice.

Well-designed workout clothes are tight to prevent any piece of free-flowing fabric from hindering your movements. Loose gym clothes could also be dangerous since they could catch in equipment, and the wearer might get hurt.

When you can move unrestricted, you can fully focus on your workouts.


5. It Protects You From Injuries

Sporty woman in boxing gloves punching air in gym

If the previous reasons don't persuade you, this one will
Photo: Jonathan Borba / Pexels


When you engage in physical exercises, you are in the process of making yourself stronger and healthier (yay!). However, you also increase your chances of getting hurt.

As many as 8.6 million people get injured in activities related to sports and recreation in the USA every year, and 41% of British gym-goers have reported having experienced injuries. 

That doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get hurt while working out, but what those stats tell you is that injuries are common. Wearing the right workout gear, however, can greatly decrease the probability.

High-impact sports bras give you support during high-intensity exercise, preventing breast pain post-workout. Sweat-wicking clothing keeps you dry and cools you down. If you exercise outside, there are even workout clothes that protect you from UV rays so you won’t get sunburned. 

Now, if you have owned a piece of activewear for a long time, and it has seen better days, then you might want to consider getting a new one. Old activewear could be full of bacteria, and it might protect or support you as well as it should.

6. It Decreases Recovery Time

Tired woman lying on bed after workout
A faster recovery means you can get back to getting stronger faster
Photo: Tim Samuel / Pexels


Soreness after workouts is caused by lactic acid build-ups, and compression wear can help with that. 

Good compression wear promotes blood circulation, which gets oxygenated blood to your muscles and takes deoxygenated blood and waste (including lactic acid) away. This way, you won’t feel as sore after a workout or a run, and you won’t have to rest as long. 

With a shorter recovery time, you can go back to tackling your workouts sooner.

Like everything stretchy, compression wear tends to loosen over time, which decreases its functionality. If yours doesn’t offer as much compression as it once did, it might be time to invest in a new one.

7. It Fits You Better

A woman in black tank top being measured with a measuring tape
A better fit isn't just important for looking good'
Photo: cottonbro / Pexels


A good fit is crucial to looking like the bomb, staying comfortable, and preventing injuries.

Gym clothes that fit you make you feel confident about your body, and you will have freedom of movement to take on your workouts. They will not get caught in equipment, and they will ensure comfort during your exercises.

In contrast, ill-fitting gym clothes are not flattering on any body type, and they might not be too comfortable, either. Chafing and scratching could occur in areas that have lost their stretch.

Stretch wears out over time and styles become outdated, and what was form-fitting could become too loose. When any of that happens, it’s best to hit the mall and get new gym gear to continue working out with all you’ve got.


The Takeaway

Now that you know the importance of good-looking workout clothes on your gym efforts, it’s time to reexamine your activewear and see if they are still what you need to keep crushing it at the gym.

If all your current activewear works for you, yay! If you think something new would boost your confidence and performance, here are some things to remember:

  • You don’t need the most expensive items and the latest styles to feel great at the gym
  • Get what you feel confident and comfortable in
  • Watch out for the quality
  • Remember to buy activity-appropriate gear


If you follow those tips, you’ll have no problem finding suitable workout clothes. 

With workout clothes that suit your style, body type, and exercises, you’ll look great, feel great, and truly conquer your workouts.