Eye on fashion: workout chic

On Friday my marathon fanatic enthusiast friend Leslie and I visited the new Athleta at Atlantic Station. Having been a long-time Athleta catalog shopper, I am thrilled they have opened up shop here in town.

The shopping trip got me thinking about workout attire in general. And, specifically about Derek Blasberg’s book Very Classy -- the sequel to his New York Times best seller Classy. Derek is a fashion writer and editor, as well as a manners maven. My book club friend Debby recommended the book last year. To say that it is funny is an understatement. Read it. I promise you will have lots of giggles if not laugh-out-loud, knee-slapping outbursts. 

You can look forward to a more in-depth review of Very Classy in a later post.

But for now, I’d like to focus on his advice about appropriate fitness attire. Derek contends: “the gear impacts the performance” in any successful exercise regime. Agreed.

I’m the first to admit that I can look like a bag lady when I work out. I try to look cute on the tennis court (more on my tennis team later) and at my pilates studio. But most days it just doesn’t happen. I do keep up with pedicures though. Let's face it, who wants to look at unpampered feet in the downward dog position. 

Derek suggests buying the best clothes you can afford made of good, breathable fabrics that are not too baggy, but not too tight.
One rule of thumb: wearing spandex and heavily elasticized clothing is a privilege for people who go to the gym often, not a right for anyone. Have the sense to know what is sensible style.
After assessing these considerations, you can start thinking about extras like “what color looks good on me, which shorts make my butt look smaller and my breasts look bigger.”

Here are some questions you should not ask in a sports shop:
  1. Does this bra come with more padding and a cleavage support system?
  2. Do those shorts come in a thong shape?
  3. Does this top come in clear?
True questions. Derek has actually heard them and worse.

To illustrate his advice:

Lady vs. Tramp at the Gym from Very Classy.

So here’s the scoop on my tennis team. After being demoted from ALTA (Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association) C7 to C8 last season, we are now known as the D1ers. For those of you not familiar with ALTA rankings – C8 is the bottom of the barrel. Not taking ourselves too seriously and drinking prosecco before matches, helps to ease the pain of defeat – although we were on the upswing at the end of the fall season. The D1ers all have nicknames. Mine is “Ace” because my serve pretty much sucks and the name might improve my performance. My friend Kelli (aka “Slammer”) is probably the chicest dresser on our team. She doesn’t sweat (no lie), so her hair and makeup always look pristine. Robin, on the other hand, could be ambushed on the court by Stacy London for wearing leg warmers. Guess what her nickname is?

Fess up: do you look chic or shabby when you work out?


  1. Wow. Inspirational. I feel like I need to step up my court fashion!

  2. I swear it looks like that "Lady" is wearing black lipstick. I wear shear gloss or lip balm so my lips aren't dry when I work out, but doesn't wearing lipstick to the gym make it look like you're trying too hard?

    1. Just saw this comment. The model's lips do look dark in this photo, but they're not. Eric advises to skip makeup at the gym. In the side note here it says " a little lip glass can't hurt."

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