In Defense of Ugly Workout Clothes

workout clothes
A workout don't: She is looking WAY too good.
Like most women, I try to look decent, if not good, for work, for dinners, for happy hours, for my friends, for the boys, for my family, for anyone who might see me on the subway, for fashion, for meetings, for movies, for rodeos, for grocery shopping, for trips to the ATM, and for myself. It can be exhausting, if not exasperating. What should I wear? Is this a hair-up or hair-down kind of day? Should the shoes stand alone, or should I accessorize? Sure, these aren’t topics discussed in the U.N., but they play a role in my daily routine, and sometimes, I’d rather not think about it.

So my outlet is the workout.
I used to wear Lululemon pants, used to make sure I had washed off my mascara lest it smear, used to care what my sneaks looked like. But care I do no more, little grasshoppers. I now look like a total wacko in the gym, and I don't care who knows it.

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I’ve found that my exercising outfit is the one each day (OK, OK, four times a week) that I will just throw on whatever’s nearby and not give two shakes of a dove’s tail what it looks like. Not clean? Don’t care. Salsa stains? No matter, and also, yum. High-waisted elastic shorts that I have to wear up near my bra line that hang down to my knee? Perfect. Mismatched socks that I have to scrunch '80s-style? Don’t mind if I do, Kimmy Gibler.

Not caring how I look is so freeing
, and I find it changes my attitude, too. When I don't dress to impress, I find I can really let loose, run Phoebe-style through the park, and on occasion, blow some snot rockets and wipe the residue on my sleeve. TMI? My bad -- but hey, what goes better with salsa than a little human phlegm? Who’s hungry.

Know what else? I’ve found that trendy workout clothes are a scam. A scam, I say! Think how many old tees you have in your closet from team building sessions with your company, or college intramurals, or radio station giveaways. All those will help you look really fashion-challenged when hitting the gym, and I say embrace the fugly -- that tie-dyed Hot 99.5 muscle shirt is not going to wear itself.

Hair is another way to really go nuts not giving a damn. Behold the no-mirror updo, behold its power and its flaws. I feel gross and relaxed just thinking about it. And kinda smelly. Look your worst during your workout and it might be the best you’ve felt all day. Now if you’ll excuse me, they’re giving away free t-shirts at the bank today.

What do you wear to work out?


Photo via lululemon athletica/Flickr

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