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Helen Geckle / Gavel Media

The Met Gala of the Plex: BC Gym Fits

The very first time I walked into the glistening, bustling building of the gym BC proudly boasts of, I knew I had to upgrade my gym fits. From flaunting vibrant matching sets to sporting a pair of customized Nikes, Boston College students take their gym fits very seriously. After all, there’s no harm in looking good while feeling good. 

It’s undeniable that Boston College students have a Lululemon addiction. You’ll spot a handful of girls wearing matching Lululemon sets in every Pilates class you take. The unmistakable logo, an Omega (but is actually a stylized letter a that refers to the phrase “athletically hip”), can be spotted on leggings, sports bras, and the viral “Align” shorts. Personally, I do not own a single piece of Lulus and do not plan on purchasing any– I think the price tag is pretty outrageous and buying a single matching set would break my bank account. 

Another iconic fit includes flare leggings and a sports bra. Since going viral on TikTok around a year ago, many gym goers religiously wear flare leggings by brands like Aerie and Athleta. Speaking of sports bras, the styles of sports bras are endless. There’s the classic scoop neck or square neck sports bra with thick straps. Some have crossover strappy backs, while others have only one strap. Occasionally seen are sports bras with zippers down the middle designed for high impact and support. For many who enjoy weight lifting, oversized T-shirts and Gymshark leggings seem to be a comfortable fit. Not only does this fit maximize comfort and flexibility, but it also works as a pump cover for keeping the gains hidden. Sometimes I just pull out a random Boston College shirt I got for free and pair it with a pair of black leggings. It’s a reliable and basic fit that I, along with many others, regularly go back to. 

Men also sport Lululemon joggers and shirts, although not as commonly seen as the brand is among women. A commonly seen fit that gym bros pull off are wife beaters and sweatpants. I’ve seen wife beaters of all types: standard ones from Gymshark or Nike, as well as bright yellow ones from our bookstore. Regardless, wife beaters are staples in the closets of gym bros. I’m pretty sure wife-beaters are so popular because it gives people an excuse to flex their gains– particularly their biceps. Then, there are the classic baggy athletic running shorts that come in all lengths. While some prefer knee-length shorts, some gym bros choose to keep cool by sporting 7-inch or even 5-inch shorts. 

Necessary gym accessories include headphones and earbuds to blast music that intensifies both motivation and adrenaline. For this purpose, the most commonly used devices are Airpods. But lately, gym culture has seen a surge in the return of headphones. With increased technology like noise canceling features, headphones are a gym rat’s best friend that helps maximize concentration and blocking of miscellaneous noises. The Sony headphones– both the WH-1000XM4s and WH-1000XM5s– are notably popular among BC students. The Sonys are known for their outstanding noise canceling features, sleek design, and neutral colors like black and gray. Other headphone brands include the expensive Apple Airpods Maxes, Bose, Beats, and JBLs. Those who choose to elevate the gym tech game even more are often seen with an Apple Watch on their wrist, although I suspect that the watch rarely makes the gym experience more convenient or enjoyable. 

Finally, the Gucci handbag of the Plex: the Hydroflask. There will always be a line of the colorful metal bottles waiting at the water filler that can only dispense so much at one time. Hydroflasks are customizable too– whether it be stickers or unfortunate dents (and trust me, these things are prone to a lot of clattering and mishaps). Every time I go to the Plex I hear the clanging, obnoxious sound of a Hydroflask hitting the floor. But the dents in these beloved water bottles serve as proof of the dedication and hard work that gym goers put in as they keep hydration levels high at the Plex. 

Something to consider about popular gym wear is the societal and economic implications they hold. Brands like Lululemon and Athleta are not wallet-friendly as they are some of the most luxurious athleisure brands in the world. Apple Watches can cost up to $350. While there are “dupes” for many of these pieces as promoted on Tiktok, it is undeniable that a majority of Boston College students are in the financial position to be able to afford clothing like leggings valued at over $100. It is important to remember that owning a closet full of Lulus or a shoe rack of Jordans is not a necessity for working out. Furthermore, there is no need to feel pressured to dress a certain way at the Plex. The matching sets and Gymshark apparel might look cool, but the standard for working out clothes should be based on comfort, not brands. And quite frankly, many of these “standards'' are set by a certain type of demographic found on the Internet– usually by white social media influencers in a higher socioeconomic class. Too often are beauty standards based on white people, as seen through trends like “clean girl aesthetic” or “vanilla girl.” Steering away from these widespread aesthetic standards is totally acceptable as often it is not realistic nor affordable for a larger demographic. 

In the end, there really is no right or wrong way to dress at the Plex. I genuinely believe that someone can pull up to the Plex in the wackiest fit ever and no one would bat an eye. And there is no need to purchase expensive gym clothes to impress or to feel the need to fit in. Amidst the Lululemon and Nike, everyone at the Plex just wants to be healthy and feel good. 

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