I confess: I haven't been to the gym for months. But I still keep my membership because there's always hope. It's just a matter of time before I finally cut the nonsense and start going again. And once I've started, there will be no stopping me.
Maybe I've been avoiding the gym because I don't want to subject myself to the horrible sight of pink vests sagging down to belly buttons, white trainers with black socks and people who shouldn't be wearing Lycra wearing Lycra.
In the gym there are several types of people: those who are very fit, those who try to get fit, and those who don't really know why they're there. The latter are generally seen doing a chest press here and a shoulder press there, and never more than five lifts at a time. They tend to be the worst sartorial offenders, often wearing shorts that are far too short or T-shirts that are too worn out and threadbare even to sleep in.
Yet dressing for the gym isn't rocket science. If you're super-fit and toned, you can get away with more and wear pretty much anything that's been washed and doesn't have holes. But you can really flaunt it with something like adidas' TechFit PowerWeb Tank (left).
According to the description, the top has a series of thermoplastic urethane bands that supposedly support muscle movement and facilitate performance. If you don't have muscles, there's not much support, but if you do, you aren't just headed for a good workout but also a good showing off.
If you're in reasonable shape - but not to the point you can wing a skin-tight number - all you need do is choose a good T-shirt. You need to find something that works with your hair and skin tone. I find that bright colours generally work for Asian men, even those who are a little pale, probably because of the dark hair.
How about a fluorescent yellow tee from Puma's Runway collection (below left), with a double-layer mesh back panel, laser venting and underarm mesh inserts? Functionality aside (the design keeps the wearer cool during a workout), it's also flattering. It's something you can feel good about putting on and it will probably even encourage you to go to the gym. The same design also comes in black, and in either case would go well with black shorts or sports trousers.
Not many fashion houses invest much in developing athletic wear, but Zegna is one of the few. Its Zegna Sport label is worth investigating as it boasts a good range of calfskin sneakers (below right), some with suede details and the Z logo subtly punched on the side.
Finally, you're not ready for the gym if you don't have a proper gym bag. I have actually seen people carry their gym stuff in a plastic bag (no, I'm not kidding). A stylish gym bag is important because sometimes you'll head straight to dinner after a workout and you don't want to arrive looking like a vagrant. A well-designed gym bag can also be an everyday bag.
Recently I have also seen an ideal gym bag from ISO. It's a silver patent leather number that's roomy enough for the purpose and smart-looking enough for non-gym situations. Puma also makes a style that it calls an LS shoulder bag (left), with gold detailing and a variety of adjustable trimmings.
Adidas, Shop B, 6 Kingston Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2504 2186
Puma, Shop 2605-2606, Level 2, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2377 1775
Zegna Sport, SE 215 A&B, Level 2, Seibu, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 9320
ISO, Shop 105, 1/F Style House, The Park Lane, 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay