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Fashion, Fitness and Function: Talk About Blurred Lines

fitness and fashion

I’ll admit it — the line between fashion and fitness clothing has become pretty blurred for me, but the reasons for those blurred lines? They’re quite clear.

First off, it’s my lifestyle. I often go straight from my robe to fitness clothes in the morning. I work from home, and it’s not unusual for me to take a yoga break or to take a quick jog with the dogs between phone calls and deadlines, so it’s a waste of time (and of outfits) to begin my day in dressier garb. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to create any more laundry than I have to!

Second, many of my social activities during the week revolve around running or group exercise classes, so, really, what’s the point in wearing “real” clothes while I sit around and type, only to change into workout gear when I leave the house?

Third, I have really nice workout clothes. I spend more on most of my workout capris than I do on jeans. My drawers are overflowing with comfortable — but beautiful and well-made — fitness gear. What I’m saying is, I might be dressed in workout clothes, but I don’t look like a slob, I swear.


And my last reason ties back in with the third one — workout clothing has become more and more fashion forward, and it’s gotten to the point that I’m sometimes hard pressed to know whether an item I’m looking at is better suited for running or the runway. For example, I have a pair of lightweight, tapered pants (somewhat like these but less baggy) that I love … but I’m not entirely sure where I’m supposed to wear them. They’re too casual to wear when I’m out meeting friends, but they’re not all that functional for exercise. This works for my super casual life, but where do other people wear them? Just … out? And about? Or at home only?

I’ve gotten pitches lately for items that boggle my mind even more, like, full-body spandex jumpsuits that don’t appear to offer much support, or crop tops that crop up too high to crop out what needs to be cropped, if you catch my drift. Any movement and, well, the gym is no longer gonna be suitable for working out, you know?

So, I’m a bit torn. On a personal and somewhat selfish level, I positively love the fact that so much thought and care is being put into the design of athletic clothing, but, then again, is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed? Should all athletic gear be created with at least some function in mind? I tend to think so, but hey, if I were in the mood to rock a spandex jumpsuit at Zumba, maybe I’d feel differently.

Weigh in and tell me what you think. How do you feel about athletic clothing that can’t really be worn for athletics? Is there a place for it in your closet? I feel like I’ve got a small section devoted to “comfy but not functional,” but I don’t think I would get in the habit of buying super high fashion workout clothes that I couldn’t actually work out in. Kristen

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