Reporting to you live from Flagstaff, AZ for a fashion week without runway shows, ent-sized models, or hordes of intimidatingly cool and chic designers in big sunglasses. We’re here to introduce you to our second ever themed week: Fashion and Style.
Running and fashion are usually contradictory concepts. Think of all the times you’ve seen a nice wide bootleg, mid-wash denim pant that refuses to quit (i.e. refuses to taper toward the ankle), but instead ripples downward into the opening of a hearty stabilizing running shoe that announces itself in bright, primary colors. This lewk can usually be glimpsed in line at convenience or grocery stores, or anywhere within a ten mile radius of your town’s local running shop. It’s been normalized throughout the years and apart from becoming widely accepted as a typical Dadfit (portmanteaus are big in fashion–get on board or get out), it’s also common to see runners sporting their sneaks out and about, in restaurants, even at bars. Everywhere they go. This, along with the inescapable camel toe and unfortunate clinging that tight running clothes and sweat inevitably combine to produce, is what gives running its inherent anti-fashion designation.
But, in the history of running there have been rare moments, bolts of lightning gifted directly from the heavens to our sport, where fashion has come off the sidelines, into play. When a runner decides to step outside of the norm in gear, in appearance, and in uniform in order to make a statement about themselves, their identity, or for running efficiency purposes, my heart soars. Seeing runners individualize their style adds to the allure of competition. An athlete lays more on the line when they show up to race in something that draws additional attention to them. I’m reminded of the dreaded women’s half-tight shorts my college team had in its uniform repertoire and how the consensus was that to wear those strangely long, decidedly unattractive shorts in a race, you had to know you were gonna be fast.
This week, we’re looking at notable running fashion moments and track and field accessories through time. We’ll tackle the gamut: from Gail Devers’s nails to Dave Wottle’s hat and Craig Mottram’s mullet; from running skirts to running hoods and those weird pseudo-science copper bracelet things. Is there anything to the old maxim of “look good, feel good”, or does it come back full circle to those terrible crimson half-tights where simply by squeezing into them, you ensured added pressure and incentive to perform well.
Slide into our DMs, or comment with any specific moments you want investigated and we’ll think about obliging.
Can’t wait, this is going to be fun.