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What To Wear To Work Out

You may have heard the phrase “dress for success” for your professional attire, but does it also apply for workout wear as well?  The short answer is yes.

There’s actually a reason (other than simply looking chic) why coordinated workout tanks, leggings and sneakers have become the standard at the gym and in the studio.  They give your brain a boost. When you put on a fun, colorful tee and cut-out leggings with wildly fun shoes, you might experience something the experts are calling “enclothed cognition,” which refers to a sort of mental shift you experience when you wear certain clothes. So, if you wear a fun crop top sports bra hybrid, you might, in turn, feel more “fun” and happy yourself.  One study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that clothing influences behavior and attitudes because it carries a symbolic meaning. So, what you wear is actually subconsciously changing how you act.

Dr. Jonathan Fader, sports psychologist for the New York Mets, says these findings totally hold up in real life. He believes that when you put on new fitness gear, you begin to get into character, like an actor putting on a costume for a performance.  As a result, you could expect to have a better performance, making you more mentally prepared for the task.

Basically, when you wear flattering workout wear, you are more inclined to be active and feel more confident in your abilities, which could lead to improved focus, motivation and gains.

Luckily, RVA has lots of choices to find the perfect workout gear for your next session! In addition to fitness sections in the major department stores, discount stores offer a plethora of options to suit up. But what if you don’t know what you need or what’s best for your chosen exercise method? It might be best to seek out the professionals before hitting the course.  

Athleta, a GAP Brand company, is a premium fitness and lifestyle brand that creates versatile performance apparel. According the company’s website, their goal has been to “inspire a community of active, confident women since 1998.” Designed by female athletes and active women, Athleta integrates performance and technical features “to carry a woman throughout her life in motion.”

The stores offer fashion-fueled fitness and lifestyle apparel for women and girls, as well as free fitness classes with local instructors. They also host complimentary events to fuel your active way, plus all the must-haves: customer service, personal styling and perks for fitness pros. 

Located in Short Pump Towne Center, 11800 West Broad St., Suite 1066, Richmond, Virginia. 

Founded in Vancouver, Canada in 1998, lululemon is a yoga-inspired, technical athletic apparel company for women, girls and men. What started as a design studio by day and yoga studio by night soon became a stand-alone store in November of 2000.

“The vision for our stores” their brochure says, “is to create more than a place where people could get gear to sweat in, we wanted to create a community hub where people could learn and discuss the physical aspects of healthy living, mindfulness and living a life of possibility.” 

When starting out, the first designs were made for women to wear during yoga.  After receiving feedback in the early years from their customers wanting more choices, Lululemon began designing yoga, running, cycling and training apparel for women, girls and men. 

Located in Short Pump Towne Center, 11800 W Broad St., Suite 1128, Richmond, Virginia.

New Balance first began by designing arch supports for shoes over 100 years ago, and then branched out to creating running shoes and baseball shoes in the 1930s.  In the mid-1970s, the soon-to-be famous athletic footwear company started designing performance alternatives for the “sneaker” class of weekend warriors, as well as a full performance range of foot solutions for every level of fitness. 

Now at their stores, you find the perfect shoe for your sport, as well as  clothing, accessories and more for women, girls, men and boys.  

Located in Short Pump next to Trader Joe’s. 11341 W Broad St., Suite 171, Glen Allen, Virginia.

Susie Galvez is an international image consultant, esthetician, speaker, author and beauty industry expert. For more, visit Top photo courtesy of Athleta.

In addition to writing for local publications, Jody Rathgeb contributes to Times of the Islands in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where she lives part-time. She also writes fiction that is based in the islands. In 2018, she placed her fifth short story in The Caribbean Writer, the literary magazine of the University of the Virgin Islands, and her second story in Poui, literary magazine for the University of the West Indies in Barbados. Her author/mosaic artist website is


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