I love the Olympics. I've been glued to the screen, holding my breath through Simone's balance beam routine and yelling at Phelps to get it done yet again. With all of the apparel sponsorships and product placement throughout the games, I got to thinking about stylish fitness-wear.

While visiting my parents in suburban Texas, I accompanied my retired father to the gym just outside of their neighborhood. This was months ago, but I clearly remember being surprised (this being Texas after all) and impressed by two young men whose workout outfits were, well, fashionable. I immediately thought they must be 'in the know'. So much so, I mustered the nerve to ask them which hip local spot they would recommend I meet a childhood girlfriend the following evening.

Your fitness-wear not only affects how other gym-goers perceive you, but also has major impact on your athletic performance.

Wearing clothing you associate with a certain quality, such as athleticism, actually increases your performance when that quality is required, reveals a 2013 study published by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

During this study, researchers asked participants to perform cognitive tests while wearing white “lab coats” – an article of clothing associated with attentiveness when generally polled. Those physically wearing a “lab coat” demonstrated significantly increased attentiveness compared with those not wearing the "lab coat" - and with those wearing an identical white “painter’s coat”.

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘mind over matter’ but when it comes to clothing the opposite holds true.

Dress better for a workout and perhaps you'll workout more effectively.

Under Armour, Nike and Adidas remain the go-to brands for fitness-wear. However, emerging brands, Live Fit - or LVFT - and Gym Shark have gained style-cred and serve as a good option when looking for something unique. Below I've laid out what's on trend right now in men's fitness-wear. 

A major trend in men's fitness-wear that has stuck around for a few years now is the tapered-ankle pant. Instantly look fashionably aware with a slim ankle. Click to shop.

As always the fit is paramount. A well-fitted tee or long-sleeve will always look good. Try an above-the knee short to give the appearance of longer legs. A high armhole on a tank is not only flattering for your chest but doesn't expose too much armpit while you show off your pull ups.

I personally like to see someone bold enough to wear a piece out of the ordinary. A pop of color, a well-placed print or an unexpected detail can transform your gym look. I've picked my favorite unique workout items below. Click to shop.


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