A woman in step class was wearing a black lace bra. Not underneath anything, as bras are generally meant to be worn. Not even on top of something, Madonna-style (is it just me or is she coming up an awful lot on here lately??) which quite truthfully would have been preferable. Nope, it was black bike shorts, a large expanse of untoned pasty flesh and then black lace, delicate straps and underwire. In the gym.
I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt
It was as if she had rushed to the gym, forgetting she wasn’t wearing a top. Except that the aerobics room is flanked with mirrors so it’s not like it was something she could miss. Or perhaps she was on her way somewhere else and saw the gym and thought “I really ought to take a step class today. Drat, forgot my clothes! Oh well, I’ll just strip down to my skivvies and no one will be the wiser.” I really wanted to ask her what the deal was. Or offer her pasties. But that would have been rude. So instead I’m blogging about it to an Internet full of strangers. Because that’s not rude.
I’m Too Sexy For My Pants
All of this reminded me of another tragic episode of Gym Fashion that I witnessed several months ago: an older fellow in a red polo shirt, black knee socks, dress shoes and… tighty whities. Riding the recumbent bike. He definitely wasn’t demented as he was carrying on a very loud conversation with the woman next to him who, to her credit, seemed completely unaffected. He was also speaking with a thick accent that made me wonder if perhaps he was from one of those countries where everyone strips down to go hang out at the bath house together and it’s all very social and non-sexual and what’s wrong with you American prudes anyhow.
And yet. Tighty whities. At least go with boxer shorts next time.
Proper Gym Attire
I’m not one of those people that dresses up to go to the gym. No makeup, bedhead and a cotton tank top with pants (if it’s winter, like it is here nine months out of the year) or shorts (if I’m on vacation somewhere warm or if I’m running outside and need to use my white legs in lieu of reflective gear). You remember this:
So it’s not like I expect other people to be Gym Tyme Barbie or anything. But really there are a few rules one should follow.
Charlotte’s Rules For Dressing Yourself (because your mother just can’t drive that far every day so stop asking already)
1. No visible underwear. I realize that some women wear just a sports bra as a top but in my book those are closer to a tank top in coverage than to an actual brassiere (hee – whens the last time you said that word?). This includes thong straps. I heart that you heart thongs but I don’t need to see the actual heart on the back triangle.
2. Some people might read the previous rule and think they should wear no underwear to the gym. This would be false. Please wear appropriate underwear. I will never forget the day when I witnessed a grandpa in old-skool shorty shorts lift up his leg to stretch. I learned things no middle schooler should ever have to know unless they want to go into nursing or professional waxing when they grow up. And women? The wrong pants + no undies = camel toe. Just do a mirror check, is all I’m saying.
3. No clothing with inappropriate words or words in inappropriate places like, say, your butt crack. I know, I know, freedom of speech and all that. But if I crash into a wall because I’m concentrating so hard on reading the 10 lines of text on your shirt (that’s backwards because I’m staring at you in the mirror) that explain your world view on how they should open baby seal clubbing to everyone and not just those lucky park rangers, then I’m totally blaming you.
4. Wear shoes you can actually work out in. This means no flip-flops, stilettos, cowboy boots, slippers, or construction boots. Moon boots? If you have the chutzpah to pull those off then you have my permission to work it, girl.
4. No hammer pants, men.
5. Lastly, no excess bling. Unless you’re Mr. T. Or can at least rock a mohawk like him. This includes ladies.
You Wouldn’t Think We’d Have To Say This Stuff
And yet… lace bra. Tighty whities. Shirtless man wearing a heart rate monitor that I swore was a bandeau bikini top for about 5 laps until he turned around. Some people need our help.
What’s the most egregious Gym Fashion sin you’ve ever seen? And what’s your standard gym uniform? Got a pet peeve? I gotta know these things!