Gym Shoot Outfits


Let’s Talk About What to Wear to a Gym Shoot

By: Fitness Photographer Sharon Lewis

First question I get asked when scheduling a fitness photoshoot is, “what should I wear?” Luckily, I basically live in gym clothes all day and have opinions on this type of clothing. Currently, I’m finding that fitness fashion is all the rage with many more clothing brands from small startups like Gevity, niche brands like GymShark or Better Bodies, to brand name designers like Tory Burch and Gucci offering lines for “Sport” getting in on the action. Of Course this is all based on my own experience where I constantly see women walking around grocery stores, eating at restaurants and socializing at trendy bars in their LuLuLemon leggings (umm… guilty as charged..). The good news is, there are so many places to find stuff! So where am I going with this?

Because I find gym fitness clothing to very common place I think to achieve a bigger impact in your fitness photographs, the clothing needs to be an elevated version of the every day mundane fitness wear. It’s throwing on your gym attire but with more intention and careful planning. Think about the overall cohesiveness of your attire. Basically, does this top go with this bottom? … and so on. With that said, however, simple is best. Your face and body should be the center of attention not the clothing. The clothing is there to amplify who you are. You want clothing that will help accentuate your assets and detract your own perceived flaws. I want you to feel confident and powerful (and sexy of course). It should be something that reflects your style and personality. Photoshoots are part fantasy, so don’t be afraid to release your inner creativity. If you want to glam up for a gym shoot, I totally encourage it! Would we ever be caught working out in high heels, full blown makeup and hair, with fishnet tights and long earrings at the gym? Or even a sexy bikini and cropped shirt? Probably not, but fitness shoots are intended to highlight the hard earned physique you’ve been working for months on.

So how should you get started? Like with my own way of finding inspiration, I open myself up to absorbing what’s out there. Inspiration can come from anywhere. I would start looking at fitness magazines, Pinterest boards and even fashion magazines (I think a few still exist out there). I’ve also started a Pinterest Board that may help.

My Tips on Fitness Photoshoot Outfits

Start with the basics:

Plain black and plain white are always a great standby. They work great alone or paired with other things. Always bring plain black or white fitness bra top and bottom (legging, shorts) to a photoshoot.

There are a few general styles to think about when doing a fitness photoshoot. All these styles can be shot in a gym, studio or at a location.

Traditional Gym Fitness Photoshoot:

This type of style is what is generally seen on someone working out.

Capris, leggings, boys shorts, sports bras, t-shirts, tank tops, gym shoes, chucks, hand wraps, sweat pants, sweat shirts, hoodies, track suits, hair tie, leg wraps, towel

Fashion Fitness Photoshoot:

This incorporates traditional fitness clothing but with elevated styling. these looks provide a little “extra”.

One piece bodysuits, one piece swimsuits, ripped denim shirts, shorts, pants, high heels, fashion boots, headpieces, jewelry and accessories, mesh

How to Make your Fitness Photoshoot “Edgy”

When I think edgy fitness, I think badass, attitude, dark colors, mysterious, kicking butt.

cut up shorts/ pants, leather, metallic, netting, camp, torn up tops, scrappy sport bras, booty shorts, chucks, wraps, vintage sweats or sweatshirts

How to Make your Fitness Photoshoot “commercial”

When I think commercial looks, I think bright, positive, energized, friendly, welcoming.

Go for traditional gym attire but use bright or pastel colors. You can pair a colored top with black or white bottoms or vice versa. Tennis shoes and gym shoes (clean!).

Add some style and interest:

You can add some extra style to each outfit by considering pieces with unique cuts or features such as:






If you choose to wear color:

Keep it simple. Not too many colors in one outfit. Although, I want to encourage self expression patterns and print tend to be distracting in photos. We want the viewer to see you as the focus point, not the leopard print on your shorts! Along with that goes the same for logos. I prefer minimal logos because we want people to see your amazing physique and not only see “Victoria Secret Sport” or “PINK” or “Nike” plastered across your chest. If it’s a tiny logo to the side it will be fine but I’m not a fan of a massive swoosh across your chest. Although if you absolutely love Nike and can’t imagine an image of yourself without it, ask your photographer to shoot both (with and without). These thoughts are the same for other accessories such as hoodies, jackets, socks, headbands etc.

Other things to consider for your fitness photoshoot:

– Nails need to be clean and preferably manicured (if you plan on wearing open toed shoes or bare feet for some reason then same goes for toes)

– Hair and Makeup need to be done. (Get that scheduled in advance.)

– Everything that needs to be shaved should be shaved a few days prior so as to not have red irritated skin the day of the shoot).

– Shoes/Gym Shoes need to be clean. Dirty shoes will show in your photo.

– Clothes also need to be clean. No armpit stains etc. Please Please make sure clothes are not super wrinkled. Photoshopping wrinkles out takes forever!

To tan or not to tan, that is the question.

I encourage people to feel their best, most confident, most beautiful selves. If you like that look then go for it but it is not a requirement. If you are going to tan, I encourage spray vs tanning beds but that’s just my opinion. Tanning generally looks better in photos.

HELP! I can’t decide!

If all else fails and you absolutely can’t decide, then bring it all! Better to have more than not enough. Sometimes what you wear ends up being chosen because how you feel that day or what works best for a certain location. Most photographers are very knowledgeable about what will look best in an image and will work with you to help you decide.

What about Lingerie?

You can totally rock lingerie during a photoshoot. But better to do it during a boudoir specific photoshoot or a glam studio shoot which I also do! For lingerie think about bringing: Bodysuit, corsets, heels, lace bra, panty set, booty shorts, boy shorts, thigh highs, garter.

My thoughts on this will evolve over time but this was just a post I needed to get out there to help some of the gals get started. Comment if you have other ideas I’ve missed! And don’t forget…

“Self confidence is the best outfit. Rock it! Own it!”

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