The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Features

January 6, 2014

Workout Wear Friday? No sweat, boss!

(Continued)

In his own life, Porcari clearly sees the influence: "If I'm teaching a class across campus and I have a jacket and tie on, I'll take my car. If I don't, I'll walk." And if he can get away with wearing exercise attire all day, he does.

Among certain populations — exercise science researchers, personal trainers, fitness writers — there's nothing eyebrow-raising about stretchy fabrics in the workplace. But in most offices, gym clothes are expressly verboten, says Lauren A. Rothman, a fashion consultant and author of the new book "Style Bible: What to Wear at Work."

On the off chance that Workout Wear Friday gets the go-ahead, Rothman would want to establish some ground rules. For starters, nothing ripped, faded or stained. If you're wearing pants that are tight around the crotch or backside, you'll also need a looser-fitted cover-up, such as a jacket or sweater, she says. And please don't show too much skin.

Any exercise attire for the office has to be an upgrade from what you'd throw on to go to cycling class. "Match your shoes to the outfit. It should almost be equivalent to a suit. Don't just hodgepodge it," Rothman decrees. Even tiny details matter. ("An ankle sock is best — there's no need for excess sock," she opines.)

One factor in my favor, Rothman says, is that activewear has gotten a major upgrade in recent years. Brands are focused not just on the technical aspects of their products, but also the fit and the styling. So even though there aren't many places out there selling Dress Pant Yoga Pants, it's not such a stretch to find articles of clothing that serve the same dual purpose.

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