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Functional fashion: workout edition

Tens of thousands gather at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Ga.

The Fourth of July weekend means a lot of things in Atlanta: barbecue cook-outs (while pretending to ignore the blazing humidity), lake outings (while pretending to ignore the red-neck-crowded waters) and memorable fireworks shows (while pretending to ignore the swarm of southern mosquitoes around your ankles). However, as any true Atlantian knows, the Fourth of July weekend brings one thing extra special to the great Metropolis of the South: the Peachtree Road Race.

Every year, roughly 60,000 people from around the nation awake with the sun to brave the sweltering temperatures and terrible traffic that come along with running in one of the largest road races in the country. Competitive sprinters, leisurely joggers and out-of-shape walkers alike gather for the holiday tradition, many sporting their most obnoxious red, white and blue attire obtainable. However, for those opting to evade the costume route, the world of exercise fashion has grown leaps and bounds in recent years. And—better yet—styles have become cute and functional.

Certain products on the market have developed cooling technologies and absorbent aesthetics, inspired by the aerospace industry, to keep users dry and refreshed. Equipment from the cookware industry led to the application of Teflon to workout apparel to keep rain from inhibiting athletes’ performances. Other new developments include clothing with handy pockets for keys and phones, specific color designs to increase visibility in low light, anti-bacterial wicking to avoid emitting odors and even compression materials to pack on extra resistance or help avoid shin splints.

One particularly incredible piece of gear that deserves attention is a new line of exercise shirts from OMsignal. With intricate, specially-woven threads, the material is able to track vitals including heart rate, breathing rate, calories burned, stress levels and breathing regularity. This information is transferred via Bluetooth to an app for easily accessible readings. Unlike similar watch-style products available, the shirt is less obtrusive than the typical monitor and it gets the vitals from the most accurate location: your heart. And, best of all, the shirt comes in a variety of styles.

Since the typical gym rats stay active throughout the day, they need attire that is durable, distinct and fashionable enough to be able to run additional errands afterword. With all of the choices and advances in workout fashion, the days of baggy, grey sweats and sneakers are officially over!

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