I distinctly remember hobbling home in my five-inch-tall platforms six years ago, tugging at the short hemline of my new black body-con dress, wishing there would come a day when I could be both on-trend and able to come home after a night out without a single blister or cramped muscle. (I had both that evening.) A time when appearing "skinny," "tall," and "sexy," weren't quite as important as feeling "comfortable," "strong," and "able." Loose-fit pants would be nice. Sneakers, too. But, at the time, I couldn't quite imagine a look that said both "I've got it together" and "I'm so freaking cozy." Blame it on the lack of blood circulating to my brain from that bandage dress, but I couldn't envision it.
Fast forward to 2014, and my wishes have basically come true. Just take a look at the stuff that's filling the pages of magazines and the racks in stores (and selling out, too): slouchy team jerseys, orthopedic-friendly sport sandals, varsity jackets, backpacks, and of course, the loose-fit pants and sneakers I wished for from before. Of Montreal's "Suffer For Fashion" might have been a hit in 2007 (Ye Olde Era of Platforms and Bandage Skirts), but this fashion-athletic movement seems to indicate that we're able to flex our fashion muscles in new ways without inadvertently pulling one, too.
I love that about where we are now. The premium is on clothes that allow you to be a moving, active human being, which is awesome. However, that's the rub, too. These clothes suppose that you're a moving, active human being, and no matter how much I'd like to think that I'm more of a sneaker girl than a heels girl, I can't avoid the fact that I haven't willingly set foot in a gym in two years. I never actually work up a sweat while wearing a sports bra. I never run in my running shoes. And, every time I wear these items, I feel like a total hypocrite. At least I took those Hervé knockoff dresses to the club.
But, as with most transitional periods of my life, I'm once again looking to fashion to be a transformative force. When I first got to college and wanted to ditch my meek, in-the-shadows roots, I adopted a power-sophisticate wardrobe that my personality eventually grew into, too. And, when I graduated and moved to NYC looking for a job, I dressed like what I hoped I'd wear as a fashion editor…until I eventually landed a position in the industry.
Every time I get dressed in something fashion-sporty, I'm too keenly aware of the mental gymnastics I'm going through to justify my affinity for the look (and my aversion toward anything resembling actual gymnastics). However, I can't maintain that discomfort for long: Either I'll ditch the whole look altogether (which is probably not going to happen anytime soon — I'm too comfy), or I'll finally get myself on a treadmill again to see just how much better I'll feel when my arms and legs are as strong as my style. I'm betting on it — the next purchase I'll make will be a gym membership.