Crop tops are making a comeback, ladies! Especially when it comes to fitness. The off-the-shoulder 80’s variety has been happening for a few years and “tasteful midriff” has been all over red carpets this past year but now the shrunken 90’s belly-baring style we all remember from our Gwen Stefani posters is back big time too – in fitness.
Just got this ad in the mail from Dancewear Solutions! Anyone want to sing Tragic Kingdom with me??
And I’ll admit that with a tank underneath, I kind of love the look. I’ve always been a fan of layers!
True story: At a previous gym a woman was spotted lifting weights in a tiny crop top, similar to this but a bit shorter:
That last detail is important because every time she lifted her arms to do her shoulder press, her shirt went right up with her – at which point everyone discovered she wasn’t wearing a sports bra underneath. Oops. There were a few awkward minutes where everyone wondered if we were really seeing what we were seeing but yes, we were all watching Twin Peaks, no TNN channel required. A gym employee hurriedly offered her a large gym tee to cover her goodies. I love the cut-up-tee trend as much as the next girl (probably more than the next girl, actually) but that was a bit over the top. (haha, see what I did there? I’ll be here all day.)
Now, I’m not normally the kind of girl to worry about what someone else is wearing at the gym. Old, holey sweats? Head-to-see-through-toe Lulu? Unremitting black spandex? Sauna suit? Leotard? Do your thing, girl! And I also don’t clutch my pearls when ladies workout in just a sports bra (although that’s not something I do myself). Plus I’ve been known to wear my fair share of really weird looking stuff to the gym. But I’m having a hard time not giving the side-eye to the under-boob trend.
I blame “fitspiration” pics like these, as evidenced by the multitude of similar selfies showing up in my feeds:
I tried to pick a really tame example so it wouldn’t get anyone in trouble at work! Also purposefully picked one where the woman’s face is obscured since it’s not my intent to call out any particular person – just the shorty shirt trend!
Another reason why fitspo sucks. Just…how is this practical? The only time under-boob doesn’t become total-boob is if you’re a) holding perfectly still or b) holding your top with one hand at all times – both of which kinda preclude exercising, right? But of course they’re not meant to actually exercise in. Other than the woman I cited above, every instance of a crop top I’ve seen at an actual gym has at least had a sports bra underneath for modesty (and chafing!). Yet despite how practical real women are, fitness mags are still trying to sell us on under-boob! Fitness supplement ads are the worst.
On the flip side (hee!), I have seen plenty of “cheeky” shorts at the gym, showcasing the other hot trend: underbutt. While Daisy Dukes have been a thing since… Daisy Duke… I hadn’t realized they’d become such a thing in fitness until a company recently sent me a sports bra and pair of their new shorts line to try out. When I took it out of the package, my friend standing nearby said, “Oh, did you get a new swimsuit for Jelly Bean?” Jelly Bean is four. And my friend made an honest mistake as it definitely looked like it would fit her better than me!
They were very similar to these:
Oy. The only thing I could think about was how unhygienic I would feel sitting on the weight bench in these. Okay, and embarrassed. That’s just a lot of southern exposure for this girl.
I can see how in hot yoga, it might be helpful to wear something closer to a swimsuit than gym clothes but for everything else? I dunno if I can get behind (Okay, I’m done now, I swear!) this trend. Less is definitely not always more.
For me it’s not about judging people at the gym (and I am really worried this post will come off judge-y) but more about how fitness seems to have this expectation that women have to be sexy before we’re allowed to be anything else – like comfortable or functional.
So what do you think of the selfie underboob trend? Can you really not show off your abs without flashing the girls? What fitness clothing trend would you like to see go? Do you have a fit fashion trend that’s totally impractical but you love anyhow?