I Just Joined a Gym and Realized I Need Only These 7 Things

So, I just joined a gym—four weeks ago, to be exact—and for the first time in my life, I decided to be responsible and hold off on buying anything new until I really assessed my needs. That’s right: As tempted as I was to start overhauling the workout wardrobe my new hobby called for, I tamed the over-shopper in me for what felt like an eternity, and I’m so glad I did. Now, I know from actual experience what the athletic-ish lifestyle requires, and I’m happy to report it’s not that many things. To read about and, of course, shop the seven essentials that make up my workout capsule wardrobe, keep on reading.

Outer Layer

Think something (machine-washable) like a hoodie or windbreaker you can wear or tie around your waist to go to and from the gym, and you won’t worry about ruining if you end up putting it on while you’re still a little sweaty.

Workout Tops

For me, this is either an old tee or an actual activewear tank, depending on my mood. Nonetheless, it’s good to have multiple in your arsenal so you don’t end up in a pinch and have to wear one of your good T-shirts to the gym.

Reusable Water Bottle

My first week at the gym, I forgot water every time and had to keep purchasing (and overpaying for) bottles. Then, I’d occasionally remember to bring an empty plastic water bottle with me, and eventually, I realized the best thing (financially and for the environment) is to bring a reusable bottle every time.

Sports Bra

Personally, I’m a fan of super-simple and minimalist styles, but this really depends on how much support you need and coverage you prefer.

Leggings and/or Shorts

I've always been more of a leggings person than an athletic shorts person, but the new wave of cool, workout-ready bike shorts has me tipping my toes into both categories. Either way, I’d say you need at least two bottoms on hand, or more, depending on how often you exercise and do laundry.

Gym Bag

I started off by using old promotional totes to transport my extra clothes and shoes to and from workouts, but I think it’s time to invest in a gym bag that’s not only more functional but also adds to my overall look.

Simple Sneakers

As much as I love a fashion sneaker moment, I realized that most often, the best sneakers for actually working out are the simplest. Additionally, I personally like to opt for black pairs because they take longer to actually look worn out or dirty.