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UNIMPRESSED WITH THE best-and-worst dressed recipients that appear in a tattered 1997 issue of People at the gym? Take a look at some of the fine specimens around you, like Commando Carl, who makes no attempt to hide his underwear preferences—or his junk. There’s also Kardashian Kopy-Kat, who has to adjust her weight on the elliptical machine to accommodate her makeup, hair extensions, and accessories. My personal favourite is Camel Toe Christa, whose miniscule shorts took a detour at Left Labia Way and Right Labia Avenue.

How do you avoid becoming one of these worst dressed gym goers, but stay cool and comfortable at the same time? Follow the dos and don’ts of gym fashion, my friends.

Don’t: Bother with makeup and hair. I’m always surprised by the smoky eyes and Snooki poufs I see at the Sports Complex. Fancy makeup and hair might prevent you from working to your full potential since you don’t want to become a sweaty mess. I currently rock a makeup-free face and a headband that gives me the quintessential Steven Seagal look.

Do: Stay in your comfort zone. The gym is not a place to take fashion risks. The ideal gym clothes should allow for free movement, be stretchy, and wick sweat away from your body. Yes, brands like Nike and Under Armour are expensive, but as long as you wash them in cool water and hang to dry, they will last forever. I’ve had my favourite Nike capris for seven years and they’re still going strong.

Do: Make sure you have proper-fitting running shoes. I have seen all kinds of footwear atrocities at the gym—Converse sneakers, Keds, Crocs, bare feet, etc. It may be tempting to wear whatever is close by and comfortable, but it won’t feel good when you drop a weight on your foot or run a few miles on the treadmill. Head to a specialty store and have yourself fitted for a good pair of running shoes.

Don’t: Forget standards of modesty. I know the gym is a place to get sweaty, grunt, and lift heavy things, but that doesn’t mean there are no standards. What you find comfortable might make people around you uncomfortable. Ladies—I can assure you that you look fabulous in tiny booty shorts and sports bras, but not everyone is interested in getting the same view as your gynecologist. Guys—the only balls I should see at the gym are medicine balls, so please wear some boxer briefs under those loose-fitting shorts.

—Sarah Horlick