Workout wear isn't something I spend a lot of time thinking about, because anything designed to whisk sweat fits squarely into my definition of icky. But if you exercise, the proper attire is imperative.
At the gym, I see all manner of improper attire, including, but by no means limited to, shorts so short I can see your arse cheeks, full on makeup, oversized earrings, and spandex shorts/pants on men (FYI- unless you are in spinning class, this is never ok).
Here is what I advise:
1. Ladies, wear a damn bra, sports or otherwise. Select a bra that actually fits and supports you. It is not only unsightly for the girls to be flopping up and down, but it's actually unhealthy for them. Proper support ensures comfort and discourages Saggy Boob Syndrome.
2. Also for the ladies, if you plan to stretch, do sit ups, etc. wear shorts or pants that actually conceal your business. I have seen an appalling amount of, um, business, at my gym outside the locker room, and it's not even a big, swanky pick up gym.
3. Boys and girls alike, do not show your tush in public. In case you weren't listening, DO NOT SHOW YOUR TUSH IN PUBLIC. Those little shorts you think are so great for running on the treadmill? They are letting it all hang out, and it isn't pretty. I don't give a rat's arse how perky it is, no one wants to see that in public.
4. This should go without saying, but apparently I need to reiterate for the few of you who do not understand hygiene. Wash your gym clothes, people! I can see re-wearing a sports bra once more or maybe even a pair of shorts you didn't sweat much in the first time, but after time number 2, that is IT. Trust me, if you can smell it, so can we. And even if you claim you can't smell anything, we still can. I have asked my gym manager more than once to speak to a gym member whose stench could be (easily) detected from another room. As my li'l sis likes to say, don't be the smelly kid in class.
5. Please know that hiking boots, flats, and flip flops are not gym-appropriate shoes. Seriously, Nike, Reebok, New Balance, etc.- we all know what gym shoes are. The serious lifters wear Converse. But if you look down and see Timberland or Teva or Rainbow shining back at you, get over yourself and get some actual gym shoes.
6. For those of you who hate the gym or all things exercise, wear something other than a giant tee and baggy shorts. It's way more fun to have something a little bit cute on and I am personally more comfortable in something a bit more fitted. I am a fan of Banana Republic tees with Old Navy yoga pants, you can find great stuff at Target, Nike, and discount stores like Ross, too.
7. Locker room etiquette is a topic for another day, but I will say this: the shower is for rinsing off, not your full head-to-toe hair washing/shaving/mole-inspection routine. Maybe early AM gym-goers can get away with this, but at any other time ofthe day, it's just rude.