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  • Writer's pictureKatie

The Scourge of the Gym, or "Where have all the sweatpants gone?"

I just Googled "women's workout clothes." Here are the results:

Google image search results of a bunch of women in tight workout pants
Look closely.

Notice any patterns? Here are more results:

More leggings from a Google search
Do you see it?

You have to be onto it now.

So, I work out a lot. Like, pretty much every single day. And I have just one question:









I simply CANNOT be the only woman for whom this is a problem. Sure, I recognize the appeal of leggings for working out -- they're suctioned to your body, so there is no excess fabric getting caught in the cogs of a treadmill. Also something about moisture-wicking, maybe? And if you've got a body-ody-ody, the leggings help you show it off.

However, when I go to the gym, I'm there precisely to minimize the appearance of my fat, not draw more attention to it! Leggings make me feel inordinately uncomfortable, and it affects the quality of my workout.

So don't wear them, you're thinking right now. If you don't like them, there's no law that says you have to work out in them.

To that I say, WERE YOU NOT JUST PAYING ATTENTION TO THE SCREENSHOTS I PUT UP?!? Sexy workout leggings have over-saturated the gym clothes market. I have reached the end of the Internet trying to find some long and loose-fitting shorts to sweat in. Leggings are more ubiquitous than Starbucks locations, and I literally was just in a small suburban shopping center that had two. Side note: I gotta say I like the Christmas cups this year. They're minimalist, yet classic.

Anyway, you can't tell me that this leggings trend is somehow borne of science. No woman's workout has magically improved from wriggling into some tight-ass pants. If that were true, leggings would be all men wore too, and a similar Google search disproves that:

Google Image search of men wearing various pants and shorts that are loose-fitting.
Men get to wear normal shorts.

I think what it boils down to is that we live in a world where women are sort of required to be showing off their bodies at all points in time. You can't even work out in peace without being a potential object of men's desire.

What a crock of shit. Your male gaze ain't gonna lower my blood pressure, bro. That's what this fancy $35 spin class is for.

How I long for the days of yore, when all we wore was Umbro shorts, and workouts were soccer games punctuated by orange slices at the half and chips and soda at game end. (Ahhh, the athleticism of my youth.)

By the way, I just looked up Umbro shorts to see if they still exist. They do... but apparently the only workout you'll get while wearing them is that of a dominatrix.

Extremely short umbro shorts inexplicably paired with patent leather boots.
Mistress Umbro wears these boots to bed.

Is it really too much to ask for pants that A. aren't skin tight and B. my butt cheek won't fall out of?!? Can a girl get a few more inches on the inseam?!?!?!?

If there are any clothing manufacturers reading this, I beg of you: Please, for the love of all things holy, make me some long/loose shorts for the gym. I will buy them in every color of the rainbow. Twice.

Tell me what you think: Do you also hate working out in leggings? Or do you love it? Hit me up with a comment or tweet at me and tell me why.

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1 Comment

Nov 27, 2018

So while I cannot empathize (I like leggings - they make me feel I'm ready for battle and like I am kinda sexy despite all the jiggling that they reveal), I do sympathize. If you wanna wear sweats, you should be able to! At first I was going to say, just buy some men's sweats, but that doesn't address the bigger problem that you so rightly point out: the patriarchy strikes again. I will add that I am addicted to some very *fancy* sweatpants from Canadian brand Roots. Definitely check those out and ask Santa for them - they are amazing for lounging or working out! I literally sleep in them every night.

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