This seems like a ridiculous topic. However, after encountering a number of wardrobe issues while running, shopping for running clothes, and trying some new things, I find myself compelled to discuss a running wardrobe.
When I first re-started my running career I was just wearing whatever I had. Years ago I bought a metric ton of thick cotton yoga-ish pants I wore for a wide variety of situations (I really, sincerely tried to avoid leaving the house in these). These met my basic requirements – they weren’t too tight, they didn’t fall down and they didn’t rub or anything weird. A while back I bought one-of-every-color set of FILA workout shirts from Kohls and with some socks, I was set.
This was great! Until the pants started to be too big. I spent a handful of runs repeatedly tugging my pants up and once, when booking it at about 9 mph I nearly launched off the back of the treadmill while hoisting my pants. One day I ran in a pair of shorts with compression shorts underneath. As I’ve become smaller and they stayed the same size, the compression short was riding up. Then my thighs were rubbing together which became rather uncomfortable. Rather uncomfortable became insanely painful a few hours later. One day I got frustrated and tried running in just my undies. One would think that new pants were in order.
So I started looking at what in the world to buy next. I learned a few things through this search. First, companies feel quite justified charging an obscene amount for workout clothes that you, ideally only wear a few hours a day. With the rise of the hideous “atheleisure” trend – where non-working out people wear work out clothes like they are real clothes – the redonculous pricing of these garments has intensified.
Secondly, there are just a lot of options. Like there are a ton of options. Long pants, capris, shorts, running shorts with or without compression pants/shorts underneath. Then there are pant leg styles. There are tank tops and t-shirts and long sleeve shirts and on and on. There are different fabrics and seam placements and colors and thicknesses and rises and whatnot.
Don’t even get me started on socks. Or the bras.
In the end I went with man-made fabrics, thin ones as I typically run indoors only, especially now it’s winter time. I ended up with a lot of capris which I’m not crazy about (who has time for all the shaving?!?) but they are amazingly, stunningly comfortable. I didn’t even realize before that my heavy cotton pants were supposedly annoying. But these new ones are akin to air. Ah-mazing.
In essence, you’re going to need to experiment and you aren’t going to be able to hide in your workout clothes. But do find something you love and that makes you feel good when you’re wearing it. Choose something that doesn’t get in your way and fits your style.
However, I recommend saving workout clothes for the workout.