In which I enter a world where, on occasion, leggings are conceivably pants

13.11.13

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Maties, if you've known me for a while you may want to sit down.

I wore this - exactly this, no sexing up or slumming down for photos - consciously, out in public. Running shorts, a singlet and sneakers. RUNNING SHORTS AND SNEAKERS, MATES. MEN'S RUNNING SHORTS FROM KMART.

Does it matter, I hear you ask? Well, no. There are a million more important things happening in the world. But that's almost precisely why it does. This marks a turning point. Not so long ago this apparent lack of effort would have been inconceivable to me. Shorts were for children, sneakers for corporate chumps powerwalking to work. I thought ponytails were a waste of a real hairstyle. Sport was something people at school I didn't particularly like did. Leggings in any guise were never to be worn as pants. But my attitude has been shifting. Things that were once 100% NO WAY NOT EVER have become, at the very least, grey area.

What made me change my mind? Athletic minimalism from Alexander Wang and CĂ©line (both of whom I'm coincidentally sporting here, with equal weighting to General Pants & Kmart. All class, all the time)? The sportsluxe vibe that's been sneaking onto the streets since circa 2010? Getting old? Getting fit? Everyone else giving less of a shit?

In the same way that I accepted (to be fair judged, but still accepted) someone wearing a beanie, board shorts, socks & pool slides yesterday, so too am I accepted in gear that I bought to sweat in at 6am before the world expects you to be polished. Because, it seems, in a scarily large number of situations it's become perfectly acceptable to keep your (hopefully sans-sweat) 6am style all day. Ex-Tigerlily designer Jodhi Meares' new activewear brand The Upside is pegging the yoga-studio-to-dinner angle. People buy gym clothes to wear instead of normal clothes. Lorna Jane has a whole section dedicated to 'leisure' wear (including 'Lorna's Fave Track Pant!') which looks suspiciously like sportswear to me. It's ok to do a Barre/Attack/Pump class (or not) on Saturday morning then go to breakfast/shopping/a home open in your fluoro singlet and 3/4 tights. Businessmen wheel & deal in cycling gear as much as they do tailored suits. We're not merely casualising our nation- we're wrapping it in highdensity performance micronylon with moisture wicking technology.

I scoff - but it's not entirely a bad thing. Getting active was a major player in my life shift and I'm certainly not going to discourage anyone else from doing it. It does concern me that people are missing out on the beauty of clothing that ISN'T designed to stretch and move and be thrown in the wash after every use, and that the notion of occasion-appropriate dress has already slipped through our fingers, but the concern I use to have for myself stooping to the aesthetic level of the gym bunnies? Gone. I've found more important things to worry about.

Disclaimer - I have worn leggings lycra running pants to nip in to the shops post-run, AND to the cafe at uni before a practical running lab, but I don't feel good about it. Promise I won't make a habit of it.

4 comments:

Hannah McAll said...

I work in Cottesloe and feel completely out of place whenever I'm not decked out in the latest fluoro Lulu Lemon gear*

*I'm never decked out in the latest fluoro Lulu Lemon gear

Jenelle Witty said...

Sports influenced styles excite me more than sports do. Growing up I did play a little (my pointy elbows were perfect for wing attack on the netball court) but this was never permitted into my clothing choices. Netball had a 'uniform' just like 'school', and lets face it, I may have spent ten years on the ice, but only about 10 people in the world legitimately consider figure skating a sport. I thought shorts were cool if they were long, and you were channelling Gwen Stefani circa 'Rock Steady' with a little dancehall influence, but short shorts were never okay. Until apparently a year ago, in which I subscribed to them and now own them in leather, denim, cotton, silk, linen, etc etc. (I definitely enjoy wearing them with a knit or jumper most though). Last year, while at a group sports thing, someone from Lulu Lemon (which I had never heard of) told me to come into the store, and they will give me some 'actual' sports gear. I had no idea that my oversized promo tees (or the one that read "Vote for Pedro") wasn't the most efficient to run around in. What the heck was wicking technology? But turns out they are creating all kinds of cool stuff in the world of sports wear. Paying actual money for this stuff?? Not heaps convinced- these things are not exactly going to make their way past a casual day to going to a runway show… but the knock off versions at K-Mart? Why the heck not. Yoga is only so strenuous.
xx

Kirby Bee said...

And therein lies the beauty of fashion. The ability, and often the desire, to evolve and change and shake shit up.
That said, I'm not a leggings gal. Or more disturbingly; a skins girl. And the way in which the 'trend' of wearing such items as pants has infiltrated the fashion psyche of, seemingly, everyone makes me a little sad. Sad for all the torn up denim and tweed trousers and velvet pants and white wide legged trousers that will never be worn.
And therein lies the second beauty of fashion. It's subjective and personal and we are, luckily, able to wear whatever the hell we want.

kb xx

The Fashann Monster said...

Your blog is hilariously good. I'm glad I chanced upon it!

The Fashann Monster