How to Work Out in Style

Finding elegant exercise gear needn’t make you break out in a sweat. These luxurious garments will help you maintain sleek, rakish style while you work out.

Muhammad Ali (right) training on Pall Mall, London ahead of his first fight with Henry Cooper. 1963. (Photo by Arthur Sidey/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

It’s not braggadocio. I can honestly say that I look better than 99 percent of the men in my gym. This is not down to my physique. Mine is amongst the blobbiest of ‘dad bods’ in the place. Nevertheless, I look great walking in and out — and working out. (In between, there are a few less-than-spectacular towel-clad moments. But let’s skip over that for now, shall we?)

Years studying the art of flattering, formal menswear in the service of this publication and others guarantees that the office attire I sport pre- and post-gym is, in the words of Biggie, “sicker than your average.” As a Rake reader, you’re doubtless equally adept with booting and suiting. Workday gear is straightforward. Digest Flusser, Boyer and Roetzel, you’re good to go. Workout garb, meanwhile? Not so simple.

Unlike men’s style magazines, most of which get masculine fashion at least sorta-kinda right, there’s little literature guiding what to wear during exercise, and what there is tends towards the garish and ghastly. Like all commercial periodicals, publications dedicated to (ahem) the health of men have to take care of their advertisers. One of the biggest spenders in this area is an inexplicably popular brand whose name recalls one of the body’s sweatier orifices, and which directs men to dress as fluorescent lycra-wrapped pseudo-superheroes. In servicing their clients and maintaining cashflow (protein supplements are expensive, bro), fitness mag editors have little choice but to promote this type of aesthetically abhorrent product.


January 2022


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