1. My friends and I are all absolutely, hilariously and disturbingly bizarre. 2. The combination of hiking all day, drinking all night and being surrounded by people with whom I have completely platonic relationships is detrimental, euphemistically speaking, to my personal appearance. 3. The former two statements don’t bother me in the least bit, because I had the time of my life with the people I love, and that’s more important to me than looking like a supermodel (studio audience response: aaawww!).
I spent the majority of the weekend in a plain white undershirt and gray athletic pants. My hair was in an unfortunate form of a ponytail and my makeup was, well, nonexistent. While I really couldn’t have cared less at the time, thinking retrospectively, and fashion-consciously, there were a few things I should have done to make my future Facebook tags less painful. Below are several tips that I should have observed myself to looking at least presentable while in workout mode.
Keep it clean and simple. Secure your hair in a braid or ponytail that won’t fall apart with physical activity. If you refuse to leave your bedroom without makeup, make sure it’s natural and minimal. A bit of waterproof mascara should be plenty; anything else will smear with sweat and your cheeks will blush themselves once you get your blood pumping. Remember: no truly sporty girl works out with her hair down and perfectly straightened or her face completely made up like it’s prom night. Also: shower. This one I failed miserably at doing this weekend. Sorry to all those who had to ride home with me on Sunday!
Balance the fit of your clothing. I managed to make myself look completely shapeless by pairing a shirt that was two sizes too big with flared pants in my ensemble. If you choose to wear a bigger top, consider sporting spandex on your bottom half. Likewise, if you insist on wearing those ubiquitous Nike Tempo Track shorts or something similarly amorphous, toss on a racer tank or fitted tee. Remember: unless you’re running on the beach and/or have the body of Sporty Spice, donning just a sports bra and shorts is a bit of an overkill. Plus, it just makes girls like me jealous and less likely to give up the treadmill for you when the 30-minute time limit is up.
Be sensible and casual. If it’s freezing out (or below 60 degrees, for those of us acclimated to the South), wear a jacket! It’ll get you warmed up quicker anyway once you begin your workout. Don’t wear jewelry: it doesn’t match your running shoes, I promise. Plus, it can irritate your skin or get lost if you take it off. Drink plenty of water and don’t overdo it. Rosy cheeks are cute; beet red and passed out on the bench press isn’t. Remember: looking mildly mismatched is cool. It’s seriously lame to wear a matching shirt, shoes, shorts and iPod armband.
Finally, save your exercise clothes for when you’re actually exercising! I know I tend to throw on work out gear for class, or in the case of this weekend, for drinking, when I need an excuse for looking terrible. But unless I’ve actually gotten my heart rate up, I never feel as good about myself in sweats as I do in “real” clothes. If you’ve got the time, avoid looking like a lazy bum in your gym attire (oh, the irony!) by throwing on a pair of jeans. I probably wouldn’t have had any more fun this weekend if I had changed into a trendy flannel and plaid mountain woman getup to party in after a long day of hiking in a dingy undershirt, but my friends might have appreciated it if they could have at least told one day from another by the changing of my clothes. Considering the manner of their similarly scant sartorial decisions, however, I seriously doubt it.