To me, spending good money on gym clothes just seems like a waste. It's the same way I feel about pyjamas. I have all these old clothes lying around the house I no longer wear, so why not use them? Aztec printed leggings from the period I wore nothing but said leggings and oversized printed tees with the sides cut out to reveal a triangle bikini top underneath. There's my American Apparel men's running shorts I bought for my camping trip to Greece, then released I looked totally boss wearing them with heels. My bright purple Adidas tracksuit I wore to sign up inspired the 21 year old employee to comment that not enough people wear full tracksuits anymore.
I have honestly never seen anybody else at my gym dressed like me, they all seem to have actual gym gear. The women wear those über expensive leggings with air vents or built in fans or whatever the hell they have that justifies their $150 price tag. They wear little crops and tight vest tops and perfectly white high performance trainers. They have the kind of sporty jackets you buy specifically to go with your gym gear, I have a huge Unicorn jumper.
My body under my clothes is alright. I'm not trying to hide it away and I'm certainly not ashamed of it, but I have always abided by the rule that only one item can be tight. If I'm wearing leather leggings, I'll wear a flowing sheer shirt or a long line blazer, not a skin tight bosom displaying top. Gym gear just totally conflicts with all my natural instincts for dressing.
Of course there are completely practical reasons your clothes should be form fitting at the gym. It would be mortifying to get an item of clothing stuck in the equipment and have to be extracted from it with the jaws of life, or at the very least, enormous scissors. I worked in retail OK, I have cut girls out of dresses (broken zips, tried on the wrong size). I have also haphazardly hemmed maxi dresses on girls being pulled into escalators. On the flip side, too much clothing can also work against you when trying to get physical. Wearing too many layers or fleece could bake you like a potato. You're not Rocky running through the snowy streets of Philadelphia, your gym probably has a regulated temperature of about 18 degrees.
There's a fine line to tread and once you've nailed it, you can exercise in comfort knowing you're a card carrying member of the gym elite. Or you could be me. I'll say one thing about my approach, unlike my friends, I have NEVER been hit on at the gym. One friend can barely walk into the gym without men swarming over her like bees on honey. Not me. Crazy cat lady and likely drunk, that's the vibe I give off. Fine by me, just means I've got more money in my pocket to buy smokin' hot outfits to blow people's minds on the dance floor.