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For The Guys: Fit, Form and Function

Long gone are the days of grabbing any old t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers before hitting the training room or basketball court. Today’s athlete understands that the fit, form, and function of the clothing makes a difference and that what you wear during your workouts is an expression of who you are. Thanks to brands like Lululemon and NIKE, men finally have what we’ve been looking for-- athletic wear that is functional and fashionable, with a variety of colors, patterns and styles to choose from.

The downside is that with so many options now available to men, finding the right fit that complements your style and sport can take time. As a way to help you get started I have listed the six key items every guy needs in his summer workout wardrobe. From basic tank tops to crazy camo tights—whatever your style, I’ve got you covered!

#1: Hats & Headbands

Whether you’re running your favorite three-mile loop, or pushing through an intense circuit class, having something to keep the sweat from rolling into your eyes is helpful when you’re trying to stay focused. Dry-FIT Headbands are great because they are light, absorbent and easy to clean. I recommend staying away from cotton materials if you don’t plan on washing them immediately---they typically don’t dry as quickly and can start to smell.

If you prefer a more casual look, a trucker hat with mesh backing is a great alternative. The mesh is important because it provides ventilation, allowing your head to breathe rather than trapping the sweat.

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My Favorites:

Option #1: Bondiband ~ $9.00 Heavy Sweat Wicking

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Light weight, breathable and extremely absorbent

2. Fits comfortably under a hat

3. Variety of Colors

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Option #2: Nike ~ $17.00 Nike Headbands

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Dri-FIT absorbent fabric

2. Open-ended construction for a personalized fit

3. Variety of colors

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Option #3: REI ~ $25.00 The North Face Trucker Hats

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Mesh back for increased ventilation

2. Snap back for custom fit

3. Stylish designs

Item #2: Tank Tops

As the temperatures rise, you want to keep your body cool and comfortable. Tank tops are an essential part of my wardrobe because they allow full range of movement during weight training exercises, while keeping me dry during cardio sessions. Whether you prefer a tight or relaxed fit, here are some of my favorites:

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My Favorites:

Option #1: Adidas ~ $28.00 Team Issue Base Tank Top

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Climalite fabric keeps sweat away from your skin

2. UPF 50+ UV Protection

1. Fitted fit

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Option #2: Lululemon ~ $58.00 T.H.E. Tank

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Sweat-wicking, anti-stink fabric

2. Lycra fibre for shape retention

3. Normal Fit

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Option #3: good hYOUman ~ $38.00 Just Do You – The Aguilera

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Pre-washed so it won’t shrink

2. Raw edges and deep drop arm hole

3. Relaxed Fit

Item #3: Shorts & Tights

Many men default to shorts as their bottoms of choice, but tights are a great alternative---especially if you have sore legs. Why? Because the compression provides extra support and increases circulation. They also serve as a level of protection against the elements—both cold and heat.

The brands below give us what we’ve been lacking in athletic wear---colorful, fun pieces that look great. Don’t be afraid to layer your favorite pair of tights under a good pair of shorts---show some personality!

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My Favorites:

Option #1: Lululemon ~ $78.00 Repetition Short

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. 7” short with built in 9” tight

2. Sweat-wicking, stretch fabric

3. Variety of patterns and colors

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Option #2: Lululemon ~ $78.00 It’s Asana Short *Silver

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. 8 ½” Tight

2. Anti-stink, sweat-wicking and stretch Lycra fabric

3. Internal front panel keeps the boys covered

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Option #3: H&M ~ $39.99 Running Tights

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Quick-dry, breathable material

2. Zippered pockets for keys, cards etc.

3. Variety of patterns and colors

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Option #4: NIKE ~ $60-$150 Tights

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Quick-dry, breathable materials

2. Variety of lengths and overall fit

3. Great mix of colors and patterns

Item #4: Underwear

Let’s face it, there’s nothing more annoying that having to pause your workout to make an impromptu “adjustment," or worse having to stop completely because your underwear is causing you to chafe. If you find yourself wearing the typical cotton brief or boxer under your athletic shorts, it’s time to upgrade to a high performance garment!

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My Favorites:

Option #1: Saxx Underwear ~ $26.00- 40.00 Kinetic Collection

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Ergonomic front pouch design

2. Variety of materials including: spandex, nylon, viscose and Modal

3. Patented mesh panels to prevent friction and reduce chafe

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Option #2: Under Armour ~ $25.00 UA Iso-Chill Mesh 6” Boxerjock

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Fitted, next to skin without the squeeze

2. Iso-Chill mesh, keeps you cool

3. Anti-odor technology

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Option #3: 2xist ~ $26.00 Crosstrainer No Show Brief

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. No fly, simple contour pouch for a slight lift

2. Low-rise waistband sits two inches below waist

3. Moisture wicking for maximum cooling and dryness

Item #5: Socks

Similar to wearing the right underwear, finding the right socks can make or break your performance. One size does not fit all activities--- you should customize socks to your activity and shoe type. Pay attention to the thickness, material and form of the sock and see which one provides the most comfortable fit for your foot. Finding the right pair can help you avoid dealing with blisters and aching feet.

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My Favorites:

Option #1: Feetures! ~ $15.00 Feetures Elite Ultra Light No Show Tab

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Targeted compression at the arch

2. Anatomical design for an enhanced fit and max comfort

3. iWick fibers to wick moisture

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Option #2: Stance ~ $15.00 Bandit Too Tab

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Reinforced heel and toe with 200 count stitching

2. Anatomical design for an enhanced fit and max comfort

3. Articulated footbed to enhance airflow and padding

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Option #3: Drymax ~ $30.00 - $50.00 Running Lite-Mesh

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Breathable mesh that allows heat to escape

2. Dual layers to keep feet dry

3. Anti-Slip Wedge

Item #6: Shoes

Not only do they protect your feet, but they directly affect your performance. For example, you wouldn’t want to wear a lightweight running shoe with minimal traction at they gym while working on your walking kettle bell swings. Focus on the function of your activity and select the appropriate footwear.

Similar to tights, shoes are a great way to show diversity and add personality to your wardrobe. Some brands like NIKE, offer the ability to customize colors and add your personal ID to your footwear.

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My Favorites:

Option #1: Adidas ~ $180.00 Ultra Boost Shoes – Running Shoe

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Primeknit: engineered to expand with your foot to reduce irritation

2. Elastic, snug-fitting heel for natural Achilles movement & stability

3. STRETCHWEB, lightweight and elastic rubber outsole

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Option #2: NIKE ~ $130.00 NIKE Metcon 2 – Training Shoe

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Flat, stable platform for explosive lift

2. Zero-drag heel

3. Firm rubber in the outsole heel and sticky rubber in the toe for stability and traction

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Option #3: GIRO ~ $100.00 GRYND – Cycling Shoe

· Website

· Why It’s Essential:

1. Versatile shoe for pedaling and walking, indoors and out

2. Athletic shoe inspired styling, wide around the toes

3. Recessed 2-bolt cleat design for compatibility with clipless pedals