Fit to be fashionable

Working out is never an excuse for dressing carelessly

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist,

I have been a group fitness instructor for TWENTY years. Yes, I started at the tender age of 10 in case you are good at doing math in your head.

Over the years, the style of exercise-wear has certainly changed. I remember, like it was yesterday, donning my THONG leotard (pre-childbearing years, obviously) over my shiny Spandex shorts. I may have had a side pony tail and a sweatband on my wrist. I’m not ashamed to admit it. It was the outfit of the day circa 1990.

Being fashionable while you workout seems like a monumental waste of time….right? WRONG. OK, I will admit it: I am “that girI.” The one who will put on make-up to go to the gym. I always have lip gloss with me in my black sequined gym bag. Do I have foundation on? No. Do I curl my eyelashes? No…OK, sometimes…but only when I am not rushing.

WHY? Good question. I am of the mind-set that if you LOOK good, you FEEL good. Within 15 seconds of my feet hitting the bedroom floor, I have mascara and my watch on. That’s just me.

Whether you wear make-up is the least of my concerns, though. Let’s talk about what you are WEARING instead.

Now, I am guilty of not taking proper care of my exercise clothes. I do not hand wash and line-dry them. They are not as vibrant in color as when I first bought them. Good stuff is expensive, too! It really is worth taking the extra time to preserve them.

A proper fit is essential in fitness wear. Too tight makes you look like a stuffed sausage. And, why is it that the people who seem to gravitate toward ill-fitting Spandex also feel the need to wear them BELOW their belly? I guess because the thought of actually tucking their innards into those pants could cause irreparable damage to several organs. Let’s embrace a friendlier fabric that comes up and over! All better!

I understand working out in a t-shirt, I guess (not really, but, I am trying to embrace the fact that I am a chronic over-dresser and not everyone thinks like I do…even though they should). But, make it a form fitting one that is designed for the activity that you are undertaking. Wearing your husband’s XL t-shirts will NOT (a.) make you look cute OR (b.) make you feel good about the shape of your body. Don’t hide under oversized and frumpy clothes! You are AT the gym working out for Pete’s sake! Embrace the body that you have and wardrobe it proudly!

This article would not be complete with addressing the SPORTS BRA. I, personally, do NOT believe that wearing ONLY a sports bra (even a fancy schmancy one) is appropriate. Did I rock that look in the 1990’s? Absolutely. But, let’s keep that frozen in time where it belongs. These days, it’s best to wear them as an undergarment.

It is rumored that some women actually NEED a sports bra for support. I have never had to use them for that purpose; but, I can imagine that they would be important if you did not have the physical appearance of a pre-pubescent boy.

Some of my girlfriends have had to double up so as to “feel secure” when jogging. This concept is about as foreign to me as it gets. However, I think that the solution may be to invest in one that is specially fitted and expertly designed.

Locker room etiquette is an article unto itself. I am BAFFLED by the things that women will do in the locker room buck naked. Clearly, I am not as comfortable with my body as others. I do not blow dry my hair naked in the privacy of my own home! It seems dangerous, if you ask me.

The fact that we are in the gym, exercising to improve our health is a fabulous first step. Dressing the part may not be AS imperative, but, it helps to make for more beautiful surroundings in a room full of half-dressed sweaty people!

Now, go jump on that treadmill…but, don’t forget a little gloss before you do!

   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment