Date: July 28, 2011
Time: 8:30 am
Weather: Overcast/61% Humidity/81 degrees F
Location: Lower Cascades Park/Bloomington, IN
What I Wore:
Top: Adidas Fave Run Tee
Bottom: B-Skinz “All in One” Skort
Why: When the August issue of Runner’s World magazine hit the stands, the cover image (a woman in a plaid running skirt) and feature article on “Fastinistas” immediately caught my attention. Having launched this blog a month prior to the magazine’s release, I was thrilled to find running fashion discussed.
While I enjoyed the article, it has been intriguing to hear the reactions of others, particularly in regard to the cover image. With the magazine on sale at Indiana Running Company, I have been surprised how many negative comments I have overheard, such as: “Fast women don’t wear skirts,” “I run for enjoyment not to put on a fashion show,” and “I swear I will never be beat by a girl in a skirt.” Rarely do people make passing comments about Runner’s World so it has been noteworthy to hear such negativity.
Dressed nicely or not, what critics fail to note is no matter a person’s attire, comfort always trumps style. Fashionable or otherwise I am yet to meet someone who intentionally runs in discomfort. While men may not face identical challenges, they encounter apparel dilemmas as well. As a strong advocate for split-shorts, because they are comfortable and freeing, I often attempt to persuade male customers they are “fast” enough to wear what they please. Plagued by the stereotype only serious and fit runners wear short-shorts, many men are reluctant to purchase revealing apparel despite the fact it may be the most comfortable option.
The aspect that becomes lost in all of this is that what defines a runner as fast or serious is not what they wear but rather how they train. There will always be comfortable apparel options available but when it comes to racing, whether a person wears all-cotton, an adorable skirt, or a simple pair of shorts, the fastest person - not the best dressed - always wins.
Regardless, I will still always put thought into what I wear. When I am comfortable, put together, and well-dressed, I feel more confident. The more confident I feel, the more I am able to train in a way that ensures what happens in a race will reveal more about me than my outfit ever will.
As for today’s outfit, I find this skirt to not only be comfortable but adorable and flattering as well. With a fun pattern, spandex short underneath, and a large interior pocket, B-Skinz is doing a great job with this product line. At a reasonable price, B-Skinz skirts are made of the same material as Moeben skirts, but are slightly thicker and have a short rather than brief underneath. From a storage perspective, B-Skinz can hold approximately two gels or a phone/ipod. For women who desire more storage (a functional advantage of wearing a skirt), Lululemon, Moeben, and Skirt Sports all offer models with at least three pockets.
As detailed in a previous post, skirts afford women the ability to wear light, spandex bottoms while remaining modestly dressed. Additionally, opting for a skirt can help avoid chaffing and the rub of sweaty shorts on a long run. While skirts may not be for everyone, and unfortunately the male running kilt and sport kilt are yet to take off, it is hard to criticize something without trying it.
I may enjoy well-matched outfits when I run, but above all I value comfort and sometimes that means wearing a skirt. Whether or not I am taken seriously is of little concern, as long as I am confident and fit, my legs will hopefully do the talking not my apparel.