This past weekend while scrolling through Pinterest, I came across this image:
I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or shudder. I know the pattern is a leopard print, but didn’t anyone–at any point in the design and production process–suggest that maybe a virulent-looking red splotch that appears to be emanating from the crotch of the (female) wearer maybe wasn’t the best idea for a pair of capris? Even though leopard print is totally innocuous and (so they tell me) fashionable? Imagine being out on a run and seeing a woman running toward you with these on. From a distance, you might think she’s had some horrible accident, because at that point the pattern will just appear to you as a big, red stain. As you get closer, you’ll hopefully realize that she’s not in any danger…either of bleeding to death or dying of embarrassment after leaving the house without a tampon. Instead, she just made the mistake of spending $100 on a pair of Stella McCartney capris that may be the best physical representation of the dangers of poor judgment one could possibly ask for.
Okay, I grant you the following: the color of the pattern isn’t red so much as it is pinkish-orange (its official name is “papaya”); I don’t like leopard print so I may be slightly biased; I pay much more attention to function than form when I pick out my running ensemble; when it comes to running clothes, I can be very cheap. I understand that all these things might invalidate anything I have to say about the design of these capris. I can’t help but think, though, that most people would agree that these are pretty ridiculous looking. If you’re not one of those people, though, you should know that you can also get a shirt and a tank with the same pattern–no collection should be incomplete!
The thing about these capris, though, is that they serve their purpose. If you were to wear these, everyone whose opinion you cared about would recognize them as being part of the Stella McCartney for Adidas collection–you’re not wearing them for the design necessarily, but for the designer. The pattern and the way it’s positioned on the capris are sufficiently distinctive that there’s no way they would be mistaken for a pair of pants you picked up on sale at Old Navy or Target. Personally, I recognize the validity of this, but also feel like it has absolutely nothing to do with my running. I’ll stick with my Oiselle lesley knickers, thank you (seriously, they are awesome). But having been on more than my fair share of runs through Central Park, I know that not everyone shares my indifference toward style when it comes to workout apparel: brands like Athleta and Lululemon have flourished in the past few years, proving that there’s more to running than neutral colors and a Nike logo. Some races look like they should be directed down a runway during Fashion Week. And I can see someone wearing these Stella McCartney capris for their cachet. But that person would not be me.
I’m interested, though, in hearing about your fashion choices when running: do you dress up or down? go for designer labels or whatever’s cheap and/or clean? try to coordinate or just make sure to cover all your essentials? When it comes to running fashion, what’s your approach?