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How to Dress for the Gym on a Budget

We helped four guys transform their look from slob to swole

Dressing for the gym is more complicated than it seems. If, like many of us, you give zero fucks, you can end up a smelly mess of sweat-soaked cotton. But if you try too hard to look good, you’ll be “that guy” at the gym—you know, the one who’s vainly showing off either a bit too much skin or hundreds of dollars worth of flashy performance wear.

To simplify things, MEL partnered with stylist Adrian Gillillan to make over four guys in need and to help you out too, no matter your #bodygoals or income.

If you work out constantly, like Jacob…

MEL Makeover: Gym Edition (Episode 1)

Dressing for the gym shouldn't destroy your wallet. We showed Jacob how to save over $100 and look just as good.Watch the video and tag a friend for the chance to receive a $50 Nike gift card.

Posted by MEL Magazine on Thursday, February 16, 2017

… Stock up on brand names at a discount at stores like T.J. Maxx

Jacob is an actor, which means he’s at the gym constantly and never knows when he’s going to run into a casting director (L.A. problems, we know). He needs a constant supply of clean clothes to avoid doing laundry all the time but can’t necessarily shell out for an endless supply of high-end sportswear.

MEL’s solution? $9 active-wear tees from Uniqlo and a $15 Adidas shirts from ROSS.

If you hate shopping and you’re new to the gym, like Chance…

MEL Makeover: Gym Edition (Episode 2)

Chance wants to get back into the gym. We helped him pick out a uniform to get past his "doughy problem."

Posted by MEL Magazine on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

… Build a uniform to avoid thinking about what you’re going to wear.

Chance’s hatred for shopping is getting in the way of his attempts to work out more and resolve his “doughy problem.”

Solution: Avoiding bright colors in favor stuffing your gym bag with neutral blacks and grays will make it effortless to mix and match. The appeal of 24–7 athleisure may be seductive, but Adrian recommends keeping gym clothes strictly for the gym. That way putting on the uniform will immediately get you in the mindset to work out (and keep excuses to a minimum).

If you’re just getting into yoga, like Riley…

MEL Makeover: Gym Edition (Episode 3)

Riley’s a surfer who’s hoping yoga can help loosen him up. We helped him pick out the stretchy, sweat-wicking gear he needs to open his chakras.

Posted by MEL Magazine on Friday, February 24, 2017

… Don’t let the world of leggings and Lululemon overwhelm you

A lifelong surfer, Riley feels more comfortable hitting the beach than the yoga studio. But surfers need to stretch too, and Riley’s all-cotton yoga outfit is doing him no favors.

Solution: If you’re trying out yoga, shorter shorts will give your legs more room to bend into the poses (and built-in underwear will keep your junk where it belongs). Sweat-wicking materials are essential—as is a headband for longer-haired dudes like Riley.

If you want to make a statement like Chad…

MEL Makeover: Gym Edition (Episode 4)

At the gym, Chad is a constant nip slip waiting to happen. That's why we helped him pick out workout gear that leaves something to the imagination.

Posted by MEL Magazine on Monday, February 27, 2017

… Let your clothes—not your nip slips—do the work

Chad is not ashamed to admit he likes a bit of attention. But showing so much skin means leaves little to the imagination—not to mention a lot of sweat behind on the bench.

Solution: A bold, camouflage print is relaxed and cool without being too flashy.