When it comes to the gym, guys typically fall into one of two categories.  They’re dedicated athletes who plan their workouts and meals, or they view fitness as a necessary evil.  Guys who fall into the first group tend to dress like the scouting prospects at the NFL Combine.  Compression shirts, running tights, powerlifting shoes.  These men come to the gym dressed like Olympic athletes—even if their physiques don’t always complement the style of dress.  The other guys tend to show up to the gym in whatever rags they could find.  An old t-shirt with a couple holes around the armpits?  Not a problem.  A pair of baggy sweatpants with grass stains?  Why not!  If you fall into this second category, it’s time to make a change.  You may not love pushing weight but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your all to your fitness wardrobe.

It helps your workout

Sure, some of those guys in the gym are wearing expensive gear because they’re cocky.  But that same gear is the secret weapon in their workouts.  Compression shirts keep your muscles in place to increase blood flow to the places where you need it.  This means improved performance and better results.  Not to mention, compression gear keeps sweat from soaking your clothes and adding additional pounds during your run or lifting session.

It boosts your confidence

What you wear helps change your mood and approach to the gym.  If you’re not the biggest fan of working out, an outfit change could help you.  There’s a phenomenon known as enclothed cognition.  Basically, you feel better when you dress well.  Just as wearing a suit to the office can make you feel powerful, rocking the right gear to the gym can make you feel stronger.  Dressing the part isn’t just a professional thing.  It can boost your confidence in the weight room.

It can spark conversation

The gym is increasingly becoming ground zero for business deals and courtship.  You could end up on the treadmill next to the CEO of the hottest tech startup or next to the woman of your dreams.  If you’re dressed like a slob, do you think either of these people will talk to you?  What you wear to the gym isn’t just about what you like.  It’s also about the message you’re communicating to those around you.

What should you do next?

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars revamping your fitness wardrobe.  However, if your regular gym clothes have holes, stains, rips or tears, it’s time for an upgrade.  Look to popular brands like Nike, Adidas and Under Armour for stylish pieces that balance performance and fashion.  Try out compression gear as well as moisture wicking muscle shirts and mesh shorts.  Stay away from those oversized basketball shorts that ruled courts back in the 90s.  Your gym clothes should be just as sleek and tailored as anything else in your wardrobe.

The clothes you wear to the gym might be an afterthought but it pays to exert some effort here.  It could change your attitude, your results and your outlook.