Ah, the gym. A glorious place, filled with the promises of celebrity bodies, the fantasies about the guy bench pressing across from the treadmills where you are, furiously marching against a fifteen percent incline, chasing the super slim version of yourself that you are trying to summon in the mirror.

If it’s a scenario you find yourself in often, then you are one of the courageous few, taking cardio head on – and, unfortunately, not looking too great. That’s something of a downfall, right? Women’s sportswear hasn’t really earned a particularly positive representation. We spend all this time toning up, shaping up and stepping up, and though the end result might be a fabulous bikini figure, the process is nowhere near as pretty.

The remedy? Well, you can’t stop yourself sweating; we can’t help you with that. But you CAN throw out that moth-eaten once-white-now-yellow tee that finds its way into your gym back three times a week and replace it with something that compliments you better.

Let’s start with sports bras. Lack of support leads to a lack of drive thanks to, let’s face it, a lot of pain, especially if you are particularly busty. Running is a nightmare without a sports bra, so find one that gives you the support you need, and fits you well. Bras like the Sugoi Verve and the Athleta Shirred are a well-designed alternative to cheap, ineffective sports bras, making exercising like running and rowing far more comfortable.

Shoes are important, too. Always wear sports socks to prevent blistering and to absorb sweat helping the shoes you invest in last longer. Reebok’s RealFlex trainers are a really cool and ultra comfy option for treadmill runners, and are versatile enough to endure cross-country runs if you choose. are another style, with a vibrant aesthetic that’s a little more eye-catching, and goes well with dark leggings and an otherwise colorful style.

The choice between leggings, jogging pants and shorts can be a tough one; to decide, you just have to look at the pros and cons. Leggings help emphasize definition and look wonderfully sleek, but shorts don’t get as hot. Joggers help emphasize your upper body but can be quite heavy and, if too loose-fitting, become something of an obstruction.

So there you have it; a few ideas to get that chic creativity of yours kick-started. Hopefully, it’s reminded you that you can hit the gym hard and still come out looking as you went in. Although, nothing you wear can stop you from pulling those stupid faces on the cross-trainer. Sorry.

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