Most women know about the delicate balancing act of turning an office appropriate outfit into a look worthy of post-work drinks. At some point, we’ve all squeezed into that cramped cubicle at work, peered into the too-small mirror, and wished for any other lighting than fluorescent as we swiped on an extra layer of mascara and pulled our fingers through our hair.
This day-to-night transition is challenging. However, what about morning-to-day? Rewind the clock eight hours and you’re standing half-naked in the communal changing room at your local gym, trying to dig through your duffel bag for the hairbrush that you forgot to pack the night before.
The day I joined my first gym was also the day that I started carrying an overnight bag to the office. No, I wasn’t sleeping at work. That was just the only bag that could fit all of the stuff I needed to get from home, to the gym, to the office and back again each day. It was also the day I realised that, if I was going to commit to my morning workout, I would need a strategy.
From laying clothes out on the floor the night before to making dry shampoo your best friend, here are five tips for switching from gym to office like a pro.
- Pick the right workout
If you don’t have time to shower after your workout, skipping the box-fit circuit class or treadmill interval sprints is probably a good idea. Instead, opt for exercises that won’t make you sweat too much, like Pilates or yoga. You won’t have to miss your workout and you’ll still be able to arrive at the office looking and feeling fresh.
- Double duty
To save space, time and style, try to find products and clothes than can double in use. Find a pair of stylish sneakers that you can wear both in the gym and the office, invest in a leather duffel that won’t make your co-workers cringe, and save space in your makeup bag with an all-in-one BB cream that serves as sunscreen, moisturiser and foundation.
- Give yourself extra time
Though it may only take you fifteen minutes to shower and throw on some makeup at home, it will probably take you longer at the gym. Whether your spin class runs overtime, you have to wait in line for the hairdryer, or you just can’t quite seem to shimmy into those skinny jeans after a steamy shower, allowing yourself an extra half an hour to get ready after your workout could save you a whole lot of stress.
- Simplify your makeup routine
Along with allowing yourself extra time, your transition from gym to office can be improved by trying to save time. Grab your makeup bag, toss out that half empty foundation bottle and silver sparkly eyeshadow, and prioritise what your essentials are for a normal day at work. Clean skin, a swipe of mascara and a spray of perfume may be all you need. The more you can simplify and streamline your morning routine, the better.
- Be Prepared
Being organised is the best way to ensure you don’t find yourself in a post-gym sweat after forgetting to bring a clean pair of socks. Pack your bag the night before, lay your clothes out before you go to bed and keep a gym-specific toiletries bag at the ready. Wearing your work clothes to the gym is also a great way to avoid wrinkles; just hang them up while you’re working out, ready to change back into.
Solving the gym-to-work puzzle is perhaps one of the greater challenges the modern woman will face. We want to be fit. But we also want to work hard. And we want to feel good doing both.