Fashion Faux Pas For Runners
We’re die-hard believers in the saying that, if you still look cute after your workout, you didn’t train hard enough. A belief that makes the term “fashion for runners” seem like a bit of an oxymoron. Aren’t we, after all, living in a time where, despite the abundance of fashionable fitspo stereotypes, more and more individuals are breaking the mold and setting their own trends? Wearing what works for them instead of blindly following every passing craze? And isn’t it more important to get out there and move, no matter how you look or what you’re wearing, than to sit in a coffee shop, sipping lattes in your stylish active wear?
There is, of course, nothing wrong with looking good while running. So if colorblocking or day-glo from head to toe floats your boat, then by all means, rock it on your runs too. But here’s the catch: Never get so caught up in the latest (or most archaic…) active wear craze that it starts interfering with function, comfort and performance on the run.
No idea what we’re rambling on about? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Dressing for running success: The golden rules
1. Decade-old cotton is a no-no
Yes, we know that your first ever race t-shirt from the early 90s is a gem. And that you have some really strong emotional connections to it too. But apart from the fact that it’s doing you zero favors in terms of both comfort and style, the chances are pretty good that it reeks too. It’s more than two decades old, for goodness’ sake! So do yourself (and your running buddies) a favor, and get rid of it. Stat.
2. New cotton is a no-no too
And before you rush out the door to replace your old, lucky cotton shirt with a new one, stop. Cotton and running does not mix. And that doesn’t only go for t-shirts, it goes for underwear, socks and oversized hoodies too. So spare yourself the nightmare of blisters, chafing and heavy, sweat-drenched fabric limiting your every move, and invest in some moisture-wicking technical gear. Yes, it can be pricey. But, trust us on this one, you’ll never look back.
3. Strap in those sisters
Ladies, this one is for you. There’s only one thing more painful than watching a fellow running sista suffer without enough bust support during a run, and that’s having to endure a run without having enough bust support yourself. It sucks. So do yourself and your sole sisters a favor, and invest in a good quality, supportive sports bra.
No, it won’t be as cute as the trendy one modelled by your yoga icon. And yes, you’ll feel like you’re harnessing up for war every time you get dressed for a run. You’ll also struggle like a mad woman to get rid of the darn thing once you’re done. But, by Jove, your runs will be a whole lot more comfortable. For everyone.
4. Never skimp on shoes
Whoever said that running doesn’t require any pricey equipment has not looked at the price of running shoes recently. They’re expensive as hell. And while there are many good entry-level models available, the chances are good that you’re going to need a higher-end shoe if you’re really serious about running. So if there’s one thing in your running wardrobe that you don’t skimp on when it comes to shelling out the bucks, make it your running shoes.
And no, ladies, color scheme is not the No. 1 consideration when it comes to choosing a new pair of running shoes. Get properly fitted for a pair that works with your feet and your stride, and, if at all possible, invest in a second pair to allow you to rotate between the two. Bonus points if one of them comes in hues of your favorite blue.
5. Less is more and layering is key
We’ve all been there. You hoist your very reluctant carcass out of bed on a freezing winter’s morning, ready (well, sort of) to brave the elements and set off on a run. But, in order to make the process somewhat more bearable, you put on every, single square inch of fabric in your cupboard. Almost. Just to overheat within ten minutes of leaving the house, leaving you with a mountain of clothes to lug along until you’re done.
So dress to feel slightly cold at the start of a run, and remember that layering is key. Invest in some lightweight, quality layers that can easily be taken off and tied around your waist, or stashed away in your pockets while you run.
In running, function always trumps aesthetics
In closing, then, it basically boils down to this: In running, function should always trump aesthetics. Well, almost. The exception? Shooting for a Guinness World Record. When doing the latter, by all means, chafe your thighs to threads by running 26.2 miles in an ill-fitting banana suit. Pain is, after all, temporary and world record glory lasts forever, right?