Fitness Attire: I have nothing to wear!

Can we talk?

I want to let you all in on a little secret.  Are you ready?  I’m not a model.  I don’t even play one on TV.  In fact, I’m a regular girl in my early 40s who loves to run.  Most of the time my size ranges between a 6 and 8.  Sometimes I find the occasional store where I can get into a 4 and sometimes I wear a 10.  (The fact my size varies from a 4 to a 10 when my weight hasn’t really changed in a year is a topic for another post.) I have boobs.  I have hips and a butt (I’ve birthed twins for goodness sake!).  I even have thighs that *gasp* touch each other.  I’m a very average-shaped American woman.

The problem with this?

I want to look cute when I work out – specifically when I run.  However, it would appear most really cute summer running clothes are designed for women who are shaped like mannequins – no hips, ass or thighs.  I’ve had the worst time this summer finding bottoms that are both functional (ie – keep me cool, don’t ride up, don’t chafe) but also cute (ie – make me look good coming and going because let’s face it, if my race photos are any indication, I probably look like I’m about to keel over when I’m running.)  Gear for winter running is so much easier, IMO, because I’m going to wear tights no matter what.  It’s the summers with the temps in the 80s and 90s where I have the most issues.

It’s come down to this.  I’m tired of overheating on my runs because I’m wearing capris.  I want to wear shorts.  I want to wear cute running skirts.  But, I have nothing to wear!!!  I’m tired of buying shorts and skirts only to get them home, run in them, and realize they are not going to work.  Or to find something but they are so long that I might as well be wearing capris.  I’m even willing to pay a small fortune for good-quality running gear.  I won’t blink twice at spending $60 or $70 on a great running skirt or bra.  I really believe you get what you pay for and you won’t find me dead running in a cotton t-shirt.  I think the running companies are missing out on a great market by not designing shorts that are just a touch longer or have grippies on the thigh so they won’t move.  I know it isn’t realistic to expect every model of running shorts or running skirt to work on every body, but some additional options would be really nice.  I have a 200 mile relay coming up and right now, I have 2 skirts to wear on my 3 legs of the race.  I need at least one more because I’m not putting sweaty, gross clothes back on after I take them off.

So, talk to me…what do you prefer to run in when the temperatures go up?

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  • http://frugaltrophywife.com Brooke F

    i’m practically living in my brooks mesh skirts this summer. true to the twitter warning, the sizing is weird, and my skirt is snug (but better than loose!) i would love a mid length compression type short if i could find one!

    • Bari_F

      I tried those and they didn’t work for me – probably because of the weird sizing. The small was too small and the medium was too big.

  • Betsy

    I love my new Athleta running skirt. The shorts underneath have the grippies and sit just a couple of inches above my knee. They are perfect!

    • Bari_F

      My Athleta skirts are the only ones that work for me.

      • Ashley

        Me too!!

  • http://snailpacetransformations.com/ Victoria Huizinga

    I hear ya on the capris thing! Why is it just a few inches more fabric makes ya that much hotter. I too have thighs that touch so I can’t wear those cute running shorts everyone else in my running group wears because those thighs rub till they bleed (and that is not pretty). Yet all the lyrca style shorts are too short and don’t cover the area I need them too or too long and I might as well capris.

    • Bari_F

      It’s just not fair, is it? You might want to look into the Relay Skort from Athleta. That one works for me.

  • Kimberly Parker

    I could have wrote this..except for the birthing twins part.
    I wish I could find cute shorts but with the compression shorts underneath that would stay down. My thighs have always rubbed together, and they are not friends when I take them for runs. I got you on the rubbing till they bleed thing. That hurt for weeks and was worse than shin splints!

    Have you checked out Etsy.com and the people who make running costumes for your body with your measurements? I think that is where I am headed. I just want them to be perfect!

    • Bari_F

      I’ve never thought to check out Etsy. Running costumes for your measurements? That sounds pretty awesome!

  • jaimemckee

    My favorite running shorts are a pair I bought from Gap last winter. I’ve gone with the bigger brands (the “real” running attire) and I really love the Gap shorts. Wish I had bought more. I haven’t tried running skirts. I don’t know how I’d feel about wearing one.

    • Bari_F

      I’m glad you found something that works. I have mixed feelings about the skirts. I’d love to be able to wear cute shorts or shorter skirts, but that’s never going to happen.

  • Kris Manthe

    YOU have trouble finding clothes? Try being a size 22/24! I’ve recently started walking to get in shape. I went out looking for something to wear that will move well and breath in the heat. I can’t go into a sportswear store and find anything. I tried at a store yesterday and the biggest I found in most lines was XL. And that was regular size XL not plus size. I have to special order online. I ended up buying the bike shorts the contestants on The Biggest Loser wear. I think it’s really disheartening when the world tells all us big people that we should lose weight but won’t make clothes for us to wear to do it.

    • AnnG

      Kris, It is VERY sad that the manufacturers don’t offer larger sizes of GOOD quality workout gear. I’m glad that you found something that will work! Way to go for getting out there and walking! It truly is the best way to get started!

    • Bari_F

      The fact that clothings do not make clothes for fit ANY body is really disheartening. The site teamestrogen carries larger sizes and this blog posted a few other options as well, including Nike online.

      http://fitbottomedgirls.com/2011/10/the-5-best-places-to-buy-plus-sized-fitness-apparel/

    • Christi in MA

      Check out Athleta – they have some plus sizes and the quality is really good.

  • Danielle

    I’m having the same issues! I’m new to running (trying to work up to if from walking) and I’ve got tights and capris I love but can’t find shorts! I just wear the C9 from Target but I’ve tried soooooo many different shorts!

    • Bari_F

      Take a look at the Relay Skort from Athleta and the Brooks Mesh skort. The Brooks didn’t work for me the Athleta usually does. I’ll order a small tall and then the length is perfect on my shorter legs.

  • Calyn

    Happy Girl Skirt by Skirt Sports BEST skirt ever!!

    • Bari_F

      I need to take another look at those.

  • Kathryn Renz

    For some reason, I’ve never really been comfortable in shorts…unless its over 90, u’ll find me in jeans or capris. I’m sure it helps that I do my workouts on the treadmill in the basement… :)
    I’ve also encountered the running in shorts problem that they r too lose and always ride up…SO annoying!

    • Bari_F

      My gym is just as humid as outside, so I need minimal clothing there, too. You need to find what is comfortable for you.

  • PerfectImperfect

    I wear capris or close-to-capri-length tights — running shorts just don’t work for me. I have never tried a skirt but most look too short for my comfort.

    • Bari_F

      That’s why I order them in “tall” even though I’m only 5’2″.

  • Kathleen

    Runningskirts.com!! They have tons of cute colors/patterns and several different styles so you can pick the correct length/fit for you! I love their athletic skirts with the shorts underneath!

    • Bari_F

      Thanks Kathleen!

  • Christi in MA

    My favorite is the Athleta relay skort. I love the grippies on the inner short. The cut is super flattering too on a girl with curves. I don’t understand all the running shorts and skorts out there WITHOUT drawstrings. What’s up with that?

    • Ashley

      I absolutely LOVE those skirts!! Very good for a lady with curves:)