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 Céline (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