Real Talk: Is It OK to Wear Gym Clothes to Work?

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Leah Thomas866
June 12, 2024 at 9:15PM UTC

It seems as though office attire is becoming increasingly more casual these days. So it’s no surprise that one Fairygodboss woman wrote to the Community to ask for advice on the appropriateness of gym clothes in the office.

“Is it OK to wear gym clothes to work?” she asked. “I work in a really casual environment.”

Various other FGB'ers responded, offering advice as well as personal opinions on the matter.

“I think every now and then it’s fine! As long as you’re not walking [around] with your sports bra out or something. I wouldn’t make it a consistent thing, but making time to workout is so great! one woman said.

“If your work culture is super casual, it might work. But, I would recommend styling it up with a blazer and accessories. Great question!” another wrote.

“Does anyone else wear gym clothes? If they do, then you should be fine. If everyone else is in jeans and t-shirts, then gym clothes may be a bit too casual,” a third FGB’er replied.

It seemed as though each woman respondent had an opinion slightly different from the last. But several women felt very strongly against gym clothes in the office. These women expressed that the way you dress reflects the way you feel about your position and the way others may perceive your seriousness in the office. 

“Not unless you work at the gym!,” one respondent wrote.

“I think regardless of the casual or not casual environment, the way you dress to work is a direct representation of yourself,” one FGB’er said. “If your appearance is sloppy or just looks lazy, I personally think it reflects on the opinions of you. Especially if you ever want to get promoted or manage a team, you need to present your best self at work. I don't mean this to say that you need to get dressed up on the daily. But wear jeans and a sweater instead of leggings. You also never know who will come to your office.”

The answer to this question may be different for every company and management style. 

While one office may embrace workout wear — even offering workout classes or yoga sessions during the day — other offices and managers may frown upon this type of dress. It is important to analyze your own workplace, their beliefs and values and the type of office life they promote. A good rule of thumb, as pointed out by another FGB'er, is to see what others are wearing. If other people in your office are wearing workout clothes, feel free to do the same. But if not, it may not be the best idea.

And there are still other ways to dress comfortably at work. If you’re planning to go to the gym directly from your office, pair your workout leggings with a long blazer and tank or a sweater and boots. 

As another FGB’er advised: “I try to find the happy medium. I work in a really relaxed office, too. You want to fit the culture but still reflect yourself in a positive light.”

Join the Fairygodboss Community for advice on dressing down at work, moving up in your office and more. 

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