I know that in the past, I have denounced gear for the common runner. And I hold true to that statement, continuing to run in apparel that is years old, running t-shirts that are baggy and unflattering, with my hair always piled into a ponytail. Nothing fancy here. However, I know someone who manages to, while donning well-worn clothing, making running look chic and almost hipster-cool. Her name is Sarah:
Check her head — that’s a sparkly, soft headband pulling her hair back from her face. A good choice, considering the length of her hair. Plus, as an added bonus, I bet it keeps sweat from rolling in her eyes (not that she would ever have that problem — she’s a rock star like that–and only non-rock stars like me are prone to blindness via perspiring).
Now direct your eyes into her eyes — oh wait, you can’t! Sarah has popped on some sensible yet stylish shades for her half-marathon. They’re a very classic shape, which means they’ve always been in style and will never go out of style. Maybe she got them two weeks ago, or two decades ago. Either way, healthy and suave.
The double purple tank topping that she’s sporting is extremely handy — layering could replace both diamonds and emotions for the best friend spot of female runners. Having the option to remove clothing is always a plus when on a long run. And the color purple is so majestic, and not often seen on runners so that Sarah stands out even more (not that her natural shine wouldn’t get her plenty of attention without the purple).
Matching her purple upper half is a purple lower half. Sarah’s purple shorts aren’t fancy. They don’t wick anything way, or have thirty extra hidden pockets that are specially sized to hold keys, Luna Bars, Advil, socks, or other half-marathoner desires. Her shorts are non-descript except for their color, which is the most important feature. Also, she’s artfully pinned her number to her shorts, something I do not see often but think is a brilliant plan. Her number is securely out of her way, and she won’t have to listen to it crinkle each time her arms move.
Of course, what really makes Sarah’s running attire stand out are the little touches, such as her white knee high socks with purple banding around the upper calves. These look like she might have pulled them out of her boyfriend’s drawer, and while I’m sure it was much more planned than that, the effortless appearance makes her outfit even more appealing.
Without the help of big corporate names associated with fitness like Nike or Puma, and without Under Armor, high-tech socks, or a fanny pack, Sarah easily lets her personality show through her totally appropriate and cost-effective road race outfit. You can look cute without shopping at Sport’s Authority.
(Oh, and what she’s wearing best: her smile. Tell me you don’t want to be running too after seeing her grin.)