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Can You Wear Shorts to the Gym?

If you think gym clothing is boring, perhaps you haven’t spent a lot of time in the gym, which is okay. There are lots of different gym attires you can try, from fun crop tops to stylish leggings. And if you want to break Instagram with the hottest gym selfie, you can try some shorts too.

Yes, you can wear shorts to the gym. Shorts allow for both breathability and flexibility. However, short or “booty” shorts may be prohibited at some gyms due to strict dress codes. Alternatively, wearing leggings or sweat pants is more acceptable.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Why You May Not Be Able to Wear Shorts to the Gym

There are actually a few reasons you may be prevented from wearing shorts to your gym, at least not certain types of shorts, depending on the place itself. So let’s take a look at the possible reasons…

Every Gym Has Different Dress Codes

The gym’s dress code comes into play here. Many gyms don’t allow women to wear shorts or sports bras that show off too much skin, as the gym may be more conservative. However, no one will complain if you wear long pants or yoga leggings.

When You Feel Self-Conscious

Also, this one might come down to personal preference, but many people don’t actually like wearing those booty shorts anyway as they are not comfortable with their own body and feel self-conscious. A lot of women can be self-conscious about getting stared at.

In that case, you can opt-out from wearing one and instead go for something like full-length leggings or sweatpants. We even put together an article talking about the pros and cons of wearing sweatpants to the gym.

Causes Chaffing

Sometimes clothing like denim shorts causes chafing when you exercise. Therefore, you should avoid wearing it as you can feel discomfort. 

How to Wear Shorts Correctly 

Yes, there is a correct way of wearing gym clothes. An unwritten dress code suggests that you should always wear underwear underneath your pants, socks with your gym footwear, gloves for heavy deadlifts, and avoid wearing jeans when working out

So, obviously, there’s also a correct way of wearing shorts. Let’s see how you can select the perfect pair of shorts for the gym. 


Comfort comes first when selecting any clothing. So naturally, you would want your shorts to be super comfortable as well. Many women and men wear leggings compression tights, and honestly, and while those can be great, they can sometimes be too hot.

So, if you want to be comfy, you want to wear something that would not only hug your thighs comfortably but also offer that extra support and a full range of motion during workouts.


The appearance of your gym attire is something a lot of people care about. Obviously, you’ll be working out so your clothing can’t be too fancy. So, you have to choose a great pair of shorts that look like you’re here to exercise, not at fashion week. 

When it’s about choosing shorts for looks, color and graphics play a pretty significant role here. You want to wear something subtle that won’t make you overly stand out.

Also, you want to avoid wearing those shorts with obnoxious prints or loud colors that scream for unwanted attention. But if you want to be a little flirty sometimes, don’t hesitate to pick something intriguing without compromising your personal style. 


Your gym wear should serve a purpose; that’s the main thing, to be honest. While selecting a pair of shorts for your gym, you have to mind what kind of workout you will be doing. 

You shouldn’t get tight clothes to wear at the gym. If you wear clothes that are too tight, it can disrupt your blood circulation, leaving your body feeling worse than it should after workouts. 

But then again, baggy ones can do the opposite effect. You’ve been doing those sets on the leg press and the elliptical machine for a reason. You’ve got to show off those gains, so why hide your legs wearing shorts that are too baggy? 

The perfect pair would be a pair of fitted shorts that still offer an enhanced amount of support during an intense workout. 

Pair It with the Perfect Top and Gym Shoes

The perfect pair of shorts should match the perfect T-shirt. Whip out your best muscle t-shirts or boxy tees for the guys out there.

And if you’re a woman, pair your cute shorts with your best crop tops, tank tops, and a stunning pair of gym shoes. As gym-goers, you want to put on clothes that go with your style while still maintaining some guidelines to look stylish and feel comfy. 

Can I Wear Shorts or Yoga Pants with Sports Bra at the Gym?

Yes, you can wear your sports bra with your gym shorts or yoga leggings during your gym session if you want. Instead of wearing a full-length tee shirt and a crop top, wearing sports bras will make you stand out in the crowd. 

So, Can Shorts Be Worn at the Gym?

Obviously, you can wear them, just make sure you’re following the rules properly to look and feel your best. Here’s a quick guideline of which shorts you can wear and why you should or shouldn’t wear them. 

  • Booty shorts can be worn, but don’t wear them to gyms that don’t allow them. For the same reason, you shouldn’t wear short shorts. And if you have any confusion, you can always ask your personal trainer about the rules. 
  • You should avoid basketball shorts because they look tacky. Instead, you can wear running shorts which are super stylish and functional. 
  • You can put on tight shorts depending on how muscular your thighs are. 
  • Never wear loose clothes at the gym unless you want everyone to find you scrawny!

Final Words

So, can you wear shorts to the gym? Hopefully, you’ve got your answers. The clothes you wear to the gym don’t define who you are as a person. But they sure do give off the kind of message you want to send to the world. 

So we’d suggest wearing the most appropriate shorts that would complement your legs, especially during leg days, and will help you to show off your posture without revealing much. This way, you will be the center of the crowd but in a good way.

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About Ben Adler

I'm Ben, a passionate fitness enthusiast on a mission to help you achieve your fitness goals. With a love for lifting and building a well-rounded physique, I founded Swole Class to provide beginners with the guidance and knowledge they need to navigate the gym and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Join me on this journey as we unlock our potential and inspire greatness together. Learn more about me