After transferring to a private high school my junior year, I developed quite a reputation. No, not that kind of reputation. Instead my friends all knew me to be relentlessly matchy-matchy. Given that we wore plaid kilts and were limited to three colors of shirts, sweaters, and socks, it wasn’t too tough. But I took it to a new level, matching my undies to my outfit. (Come on, we wore flap-in-the-breeze kilts—it was tough to keep a secret.) Eventually I kept the tradition alive to entertain my pals. It still gets a laugh 25+ years later (and, yes, I am sporting black bra and panties since I’m wearing a black sweater today).
No shocker, then, that I wear color-coordinated outfits when I put in my miles. Maybe it’s the way my (bossy) brain works, but I think it’s as easy to match as it is to clash. I do it even when my workout starts and ends in pre-dawn darkness. Let’s say I’m wearing my purple Sugoi running vest (my new favorite running essential!), why not slide on a vivid pink Asics long-sleeve instead of a yellow one? At least I mix brands. And I don’t intentionally take it all the way to my kicks: I was chagrin after Saturday’s 10-miler, when I realized my Saucony ViziPro vest was the same screaming shade of orange as the laces on my charcoal grey Nike Lunarglide+ 2s.
I’m not bragging about my color coordination—far from it. The fashionistas I admire are the chicas who dress with funky flair to stand out in a crowd or make a (lovely, loud) statement. Like RLAMer Ginny Flynn and beloved, tall Mel Faulkner. The bright pink knee-highs, leopard print or argyle running skirts, vivid tops, and the occasional pigtails. Now those girls know how to rock style!
I'm hyper-conscious of style this because I’m writing a feature for Runner’s World about the merging of fashion and function in women’s running wear. Now it’s your turn to talk about your running style—or your disregard for it. Part of the article is going to be comments from real women runners about why they dress like they do when they're on the move. I’m hoping to get a dialog going here. Part of it may even appear in the magazine (with your permission). So start talking (typing!), gals: Tell me why you dress like you do when running. What’s clean? What matches? Or what tells the world to look out, here you come?