The universe always punishes me when I cut corners. I don’t do it often, but when I do I always get that little feeling like should I do this? Nah. Then, when that thing I knew wouldn't work out doesn't, it's ugh, I knew it. This happened recently in a barre class. I got a foot cramp so bad I had no choice but to fling my sock asunder and hop around, then just duck out early. I realized that the culprit was my cheap, cropped leggings, the seam of which cut me right in the back of my knee — a crucially important place for circulation, I guess.
I didn’t even like those pants. They were kind of ugly and not at all comfortable, but I had bought two of them for the price of one pair of leggings made by a more expensive brand. And, when I wore them, I felt like everyone else — mainly because we were literally wearing the same clothing. Whether I went to barre class, Pilates, or yoga, the outfits around me were the same: black elastic tank top, black capri leggings; colored elastic tank top, colored leggings. There was practically a uniform. Instagram and Facebook gave away that my friends across the country were wearing the same stuff, too. So were strangers.
And, as someone who makes an effort to express my individuality through fashion, playing this game of match-the-masses is a bit weird. It was also only happening inside the gym, mostly because these were the kind of gym-only garments we're told should never see the light of day. I’m not one of those people who thinks sporting a legging all day is tacky, but I never seemed to own gym clothes that fit my style. And this, going with a lame pair of leggings I don't even like, is that thing I knew I shouldn't have done, but went ahead and did anyway, and then did it all the time as a matter of habit.
This all got me wondering why we even bother with clothing that's uncomfortable, unflattering, or just not representative of our own style. Even if we do only wear this stuff for a few hours a week, It's not like there’s a shortage of fun fitness clothing out there. Maybe we're just channeling all of our energy into the workout itself and being lazy when it comes to shopping. I sure was. With loads of retail nearby, I could grab a pair of yoga pants in a minute without giving the purchase much thought; I was completely letting convenience dictate my style. But, there's plenty of unique, well-made workout wear for the fitness freak who's also fashionable.