While it is entirely possible to roll out of bed in one’s jammies and work out and while it seems silly to get all dressed up to go to the gym and get sweaty and while the focus of exercise should be on form not fashion, it is useful to pay a certain amount of attention to what to wear to work out.
I was a late convert, myself, to workout fabrics. I had several zillion cotton t-shirts and didn’t see the need to buy something else just to get disgusting and smelly. Then I learned that some of the disgusting and smelly came from the fact that cotton holds on to all that sweat. The fancy workout fabrics can keep us all cooler and more comfortable and, in some cases, less chafed.
The most essential thing about workout shoes is that they should be comfortable. That pair that creates blisters every time? Time to get rid of them. Some people prefer the barefoot shoes and some like more support. Choose what is best for your body, what makes you feel most capable.
All of us need to think about proper support, although men and women may want it in different locations. I can’t speak to manly support from experience, so I will simply recommend that good judgment be used. For women, it is worth it to pay for the right kind of sports bras for our various body types. Some of us are lucky and can get away with less support; some of us are lucky and can’t. Take a little time and figure out what really works.
And yes, while we are shopping, boys and girls, we can choose workout clothes that look good and make us happy.
(The quote from Polonius is: "Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,/ But not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy,/ For the apparel oft proclaims the man..." Hamlet, Act I, Scene iii, lines 70-72)
(Polonius was also the name of my dad's teddy bear. He wore no clothes.)