How to Style Workout Shorts For Work

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If you’re trying to strike a balance between hitting the gym and working at the office, you’re not alone. Workout shorts for men can be particularly problematic. Unless you’re working in a very casual industry, you’re probably expected to wear long pants.

To be fair, there are good reasons for businesses to set some minimum expectations. Without rules, people would show up wearing just about anything. Can you imagine a workplace where people showed up in sweatpants, or wearing pajamas? That’s no way to look professional in front of clients.

Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to balance your work day with your workout. How are you supposed to stay fit when you’re wearing a pair of slacks? Here are a few tips to help you to meet all your professional and health needs.

Wear Them Under Your Clothes

One easy life hack is to simply wear your workout shorts under your slacks. When you hit the gym, set your slacks off to the side and get your workout on. When you’re done, wipe down your legs, and you’re ready to get back into professional mode.

The same method can apply for a workout shirt. You can easily wear a tee shirt under a blazer or sweater. If it’s a well-tailored shirt, it might even look pretty spiffy.

Choose a Tighter Fit

Depending on the fit of your trousers, it may or may not be easy to fit your workout shorts under your work pants. This can be particularly troublesome with loose shorts, which tend to be a bit saggy in the crotch.

Normally, we advise people to wear workout pants with a medium fit. However, if you need to wear them under your work pants, there’s nothing wrong with a tighter fit. You’ll look a bit silly at the gym, but your pants will fit much better when you’re meeting with clients.

Try Some Leather Sneakers

If your workplace allows shorts, congratulations! You’re one of the few people who can take advantage of athleisure workout shorts in all their glory. On the other hand, wearing a pair of Nikes can still be a big no-no.

Thankfully, there’s a solution. Get yourself some sneakers with leather uppers. If the soles are well constructed, they can still perform very well at the gym. Meanwhile, as long as you give them the occasional spit-shine, they’ll look just fine at the office. If you’re particularly daring, you can even wear them with a pair of dress pants or khakis. 


Whether or not you’re wearing dress pants over your workout shorts, there’s more to a professional outfit than just clothes. When you’re outdoors, throw on a pair of shades to add an air of mystery to your appearance. A quality watch can also make you stand out from the crowd.

Take Advantage of Casual Fridays

If your office allows you to wear casual clothes for part of the week, by all means, take advantage of it! There’s nothing quite like having a supportive work environment. So if your boss is okay with you wearing workout shorts to work, rock on!

Of course, you still want to strike a somewhat professional note. Throwing on a polo shirt instead of a simple tee shirt is a great way to strike this balance.


Regardless of what you’re doing, we can’t stress enough that not every solution will work for everybody. Some workplaces are more strict with their dress codes than others. But even in the most buttoned-down of workplaces, there’s no reason to struggle with your gym shorts. Worst case scenario, you just have to cover them up.