Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shopping in Workout Clothes, Sometimes You Gotta

Whoa. Two weeks ago, when I urged women to make more of an effort with their appearance when hitting the grocery store, I struck a nerve, and my friends been letting me have it.

As long as she doesn't smell,
she's good to go for an hour.
The thing they resent most about my hoity-toity, french inspired, "let's not be slobs" blog post is that it inhibits them from running errands on their way to or from working out. Changing clothes is too much of a pain.

"It isn't necessary!" they tell me. "It isn't efficient! It isn't comfortable!" And, they practically hiss at me, it's hard enough to get their butts to the gym as it is, thank you, and who am I to mess with their overburdened schedules by issuing some bogus dress code edict?

You know what? I think my pals have a point.

Since I wrote that post, I've realized how difficult it is to look put together all the time. I've actually avoided going places, afraid I'd run into a friend who would raise an eyebrow at me for looking sloppy. Why'd I write that damn post anyway?

Look, I'm not the fashion police, I'm just trying to urge busy women to take a little more time for themselves. The way we present ourselves to the world matters. And, to borrow a cliche from L'Oreal - we're worth it!

But, as Americans, we're also a sporty bunch and exercise is a good thing, so sometimes we gotta wear our workout clothes out and about. I like to hit Target after tennis as much as the next girl. I've thought long and hard about some guidelines, and here's what I came up with.

Nicole Ritchie accessorizes to create an outfits
It's Okay to Shop in Your Sweats When....
  1. Your fitness clothes look cute on you.  Wear what you like to the gym, but if you're taking your exercise clothes to the street, consider them as an outfit. The fitted hoodie/yoga pants look, like Reese Witherspoon, above, is always a good bet, or follow Nicole Richie's lead and layer leggings and tanks with scarves and comfy sweaters, right.
  2. You aren't sticky, sweaty or stinky. Perspiration is a by-product of a great workout, but if others can see it or smell it on you, it's time to hit the shower, not the strip mall.
  3. You're not letting it all hang out. At the supermarket, baring too much skin makes other shoppers feel uncomfortable. And when it comes to places of business, a sports bra is underwear, not a top.
  4. You have exercised or will exercise soon.  Many women pull on workout gear in the morning with the vague intention of taking a run or making it to the gym, but never get there - and end up hanging in their sweatpants until bedtime. If you aren't heading somewhere specifically to work out,  it's just as easy to slip into some cute jeans and boots. 
Too sweaty to shop, but at least she actually exercised.

So what do you think? Are these expectations unrealistic? I'd love to hear what you think.


Sylvia said...

Hi there! I live in Paris and I don't leave the gym in my work out clothes. I use the lockers, I shower and I change while there. Parisienne's don't make an effort to please others, we take the extra time to dress well for ourselves.
When I walk out the door looking great, I feel great.
Its also basic courtesy, because if you've really worked out in those workout clothes, well, they should smell.

Marjie Killeen said...

Sylvia, I love how you dress well to please yourself. I'll be visiting Paris in December and I'm going to make sure I bring only clothes I feel good in. Oh, and some comfortable walking shoes.

Groomy said...

Yes, I have been in that situation lot of times. Many times, thought that it will be awkward but then purchased stylish workout clothes which I not only wear for gym session but also in casual routine too. Really love them!