Nabbed by the fashion police

ready for the race

I subscribe to a “walking newsletter” which offers daily tips and motivation on how to train for a half marathon.  Today’s edition was on “what not to wear.”

Would you believe I’ve broken ALL the rules – everyone of them. At left you can see the outfit I was planning to wear for the Music City Half Marathon.  Guess I’d better go shopping for something more “hip.”  Here are some more of my fashion faux pas.

1. Granny shoes. White orthopedic shoes are my worst offender.  Nothing says “Granny’s Still Walking” like white or taupe clunky walking shoes, says Wendy Bumgardner, editor of the newsletter distributed by  Even worse if they have Velcro closures, they score another demerit – those were designed for assisted living centers!

Model 1000 White Leather Elastic But my whiny alter ego complains I can’t walk without them.  I do have some gray ones – no wait, they were once white I think.  They’ve just faded to a dirty shade of gray.

2. Big Loose Top, Tight Bottoms

Loose Top, Tight Bottoms

Fashion maven Cynthia Nellis says she supports everybody who is out there exercising, no matter what they wear. But if you want a good look, she says, “The baggy over skintight silhouette doesn’t really flatter anyone. I see lots of women wearing this look, when they would be so much better off in a more relaxed fit pant.” But they make my legs look slimmer, I retort. Who cares if I look like a beach ball impaled on two toothpicks!

3. All Spandex, All the Time

Wendy in Spandex circa 1987

Spandex is good. Many of us need spandex bike shorts to prevent thigh chafing. But there is a time and a place for spandex in public. You are allowed to wear spandex shorts when participating in an actual athletic event. It helps to be wearing a bib number to erase any doubt. But for everyday workouts, the public would appreciate if you layered them under looser shorts or chose a cute running skirt instead.

4. Fanny Packs (Bonus for Wearing in Front)

This is where fashion is the opposite of function. A water-carrier fanny pack is an essential for walkers. But fashion dictates that they are oh-so-80s. Instead, mini-backpacks are the style. I gave away over a dozen fanny packs at my last garage sale in the “free” bin. They went like hotcakes. I should have put price tags on them. A fanny pack is less likely to give you poor walking posture and a backache (not to mention chafing from the shoulder straps), so go ahead and risk Fashion Police arrest on this one.

5, All Black After Dark

I wear black day and night. But dressing like a Ninja and walking after dark is an unsafe fashion choice. Cars and bikes aren’t expecting you to be crossing streets. Give them at least a chance of seeing you. Choose your after-dark clothing to have lighter colors and reflective stripes. Or, for pity’s sake, wear a reflective safety vest.  (I know how to solve this problem – no walking after dark – the couch is so much safer!)

6.Who Wears Short Shorts?

No problem here.  I wouldn’t wear short shorts if I were the last human on the planet. I’d sooner wear Depends without outerwear. You can, however, layer short shorts over bike shorts for a more flattering look.” Teeny tiny running shorts are popular, but you have to have the right body to wear them without regret. Like if you’re ten.

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