This is an ongoing struggle for me and I’ve written a lot more about it than I expected to! I suppose I am picky when it comes to choosing clothes anyway, but not being your average size eight gym bunny, I have certain requirements when it comes to covering myself at the gym or exercise class. “Covering myself” being the operative words here – I am not going to be wearing a crop top and hot pants….
It’s the top half that proves the biggest problem, because the top needs to go over my biggest problems – my stomach and my bum. Yes, AND my bum. I am simply not comfortable in even the baggiest of t-shirts if it doesn’t cover my bum. It needs to have short sleeves – not long, because then I’d get too hot; and not a vest top because I’m not overly pleased about the bulges of fat that appear from nowhere around the straps of a sports bra (worn over the top of an ordinary bra because I am yet to find a sports bra that actually works).
It doesn’t seem too much to ask does it? Or does it, because this particular item of clothing seems to be rarer than a full water machine (with cups) at a 1610 gym. By chance I have, in my entire lifetime found two. One, I bought in Peacocks about five years ago and was perfect, but is now bobbly beyond recognition. The other, I bought at a jumble sale and did the trick, but too clingy, so I wore another, baggy t-shirt over the top, but anyway, annoyingly I can’t find it. The laundry fairies have stolen it, so, it’s time to go looking for another one.
I cancelled my gym membership about six months ago to pursue my exercise elsewhere (mainly at home), but I’ll talk about this properly in another post. My point is, at home with the curtains drawn, I can wear whatever top I like (or not at all), but the one thing I do do in public (apart from running, if I’m feeling really good) is an adult gymnastic class. This poses a whole new set of problems, as if finding workout clothes wasn’t difficult enough. The main problem is the tendency to be up-side-
down rather a lot; giving the additional difficulty of the top falling down to your elbows and revealing everything. Now this Peacocks t-shirt I have actually has cuff fabric at the hem, keeping it in place so on all but my very thinnest of days, will keep my modesty even when doing an impressively long handstand. Unfortunately this gathering-in effect, right below my most sticking out effects (my stomach and my bum) is seriously unflattering, but beggars can’t be choosers and the forced need to hold my tummy in is good for the core anyway!
So, like I mentioned earlier, this t-shirt has really had it’s day, and I’ve honestly been getting quite panicky about how to replace it. Luckily we were killing time in Bristol the other day, and where better to do that than Primark? Anyway, having found no long t-shirts at all in their sports and leisurewear section, I happened to spot the ‘vest dress’. It is a skin tight (or “body-con” as they call it nowadays) dress, very much like an extended vest top, in cotton jersey. I have considered dresses before, but they usually have a flare in the skirt, which just doesn’t look right over tracksuit bottoms and I’m not yet prepared to wear leggings instead. The tight style works though, as long as I go back to my doubling up option again, and wear a baggy t-shirt over the top so I feel more comfortable. I went with two t-shirts I found in very thin fabric (so I don’t get too hot); a plainish grey one and a much cooler (also grey) Harry Potter one (even though I think I’m a bit old for it really). Both are a nice style – fairly long and fairly loose so I don’t get sweat patches in the armpits. I was still surprised that even in a huge Primark it was difficult to find tops to meet this criteria and would’ve liked a couple of different colours.
The dress I bought is plain black to match my tracksuit trousers and exclude the effect of highlighting my arse, like
any other colour would do. The tracksuit trousers must be black. This is because, well, just in case. Black trousers disguise anything embarrassing. I am the only one at gymnastics to have had (two very heavy) children, so the others there probably don’t understand the anguish I’m going through when asked to attempt a springboard jump and somersault in-front of everyone. Landing on my back and breaking it is the least of my worries. Incidentally, these trousers I bought from Tescos are perfect – baggy enough for my big thighs, but not so baggy they get in the way when kicking off into a cartwheel. I also tend to trip over boot-cut trousers, so the fact that these are elasticated at the ankle, but not in a naff way, is perfect.
So if you, like me, struggle to find ideal workout wear, please click on the links below, which will lead to the shops to buy similar things online. (When will Primark start online shopping?!) And please leave a comment if you can recommend any other items of clothes you think I’d like, or if you’d just like to share your workout issues!
Find the same trousers by F&F here.