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Saturday, July 08, 2006

It's the Clothes that Make the Runner

When I was a kid, I had many categories of clothes, but they could basically be broken down into three categories: school clothes, church clothes, and play clothes. School clothes were purchased new in the fall and refilled as needed throughout the year, but school clothes had to be nice clothes -- no holes or stains, nothing worn or faded -- even though they were mostly jeans and t-shirts. Everyday when I left the house, my mother carefully reviewed what I had chosen, not for style (she insisted I develop that on my own and thus she indured my obscure pairings and strange sense of coordination), but for wear, and she never did understand the grunge faze when I was in high school, so I had to stuff my hole-y jeans and wrinkled flannels into my backpack and change at school. But when I got home, I always had to change out of my school clothes and into my play clothes (in order to preserve the school clothes for as long as possible), and play clothes were often old or ill-fitting clothes that were suitable to get dirty, ripped, or messy.

Church clothes were a whole separate category and mostly consisted of various dresses, skirts and slacks that I was forced to wear for Sunday morning, because God wouldn't love me if I looked like a ragamuffin.

As a child, I thought the clothes stratification silly and vowed that as an adult I would wear what I wanted when I wanted, but the reality of being an adult means that my clothes have become even further subcategorized. I still have "school" clothes since my work is teaching, but I also have clothes for fancy occassions, for going out to dinner/movies/shopping/etc (casual and fancy), for going out to bars/clubs, for wearing around the house, for working around the house, and, of course, to add to these categories are clothes for working out. And even that gets further divided: yoga clothes, clothes for various types of cross training, and clothes for running.

Running clothes are distinctly different from other workout clothes because I wear specific shorts, specific sports bras, even wear specific socks and shoes. And because I have only five running shorts and five running sports bras, this means I end up doing laundry more than I'd like in order to just get my running clothes clean. (Although, I'd probably do laundry just as often anyway since my husband's hamper has a mysterious means for filling quickly.)

Some days, depending upon varying activities or work requirements, I may end up wearing four or five different sets of clothes. It makes me long for the days when things were as simple as "school" and "play" clothes; plus, it might mean less laundry.

P.S. Thanks for all the comments regarding yesterday's survey. It was revealing, and I'm glad to know that the illusion that everyone else is trotting along with their partner holding hands (and in matching running outfits) is merely whimsy.


Firefly's Running said...

Clothes are clothes. It makes who you are.

Juls said...

It sure was a lot easier in high school. This was if you were like me and didn't much care what others thought. Be your own individual. Your running clothes send their own message.

Nicole said...

I also had categories of clothes when I was a kid but my school clothes was my uniform as I went to Catholic School. Now as I adult I still struggle with fashion and wish someone would turn me in What not to wear. As I have worn scrubs in work and during college for the most part. Don't get me wrong uniforms are great but then I never buy anything that is cute anymore.
And I say buy more running clothes because they are fun.

Annette said...

I had to laugh at your 3 categories of clothes. It's so true - I had those, too. But, somehow, as an adult we add more categories. :) That just means we get to buy more clothes, right?