Soon I will have to run nude (due to the fact I am ‘Running Fashionably Challenged’)

Mary Verdeccia (R), cheers as she wears a princess outfit as she participates in the annual Vancouver Lake Half Marathon Sunday January 26, 2014. (Natalie Behring/for the Columbian)

Mary Verdeccia (R), cheers as she wears a princess outfit as she participates in the annual Vancouver Lake Half Marathon Sunday January 26, 2014. (Natalie Behring/for the Columbian)

Yes, I will soon have to run nude. You may have to run nude too. Get used to this impending fact. Why you ask?

Well it’s because my run clothes are fashionably challenged.  That’s right. I am ‘Run Fashionably Challenged’.  It seems I will have to run in the nude if I don’t want to be made fun of, or the butt of jokes due to my choice of running gear. Your not safe either. That’s right, because it seems there is nothing a runner can wear anymore that is safe for scrutiny, teasing, or critics.

I really started to notice it in 2012. One Blogger, , I thought said it best when she stated “I do not judge other runners for what they wear when running.  More power to you if you wear $10 cotton bright purple sweat pants and crew neck sweatshirt from Wal-Mart. Clearly, I am not a fashion trendsetter myself, as I wear the same outfit for many of my races” but then proceeded to compile a list of Fashion Faux Pas and ask runners for theirs:

  • Male capris
  • Wearing a race day shirt to the race *
  • Wearing just a sports bra on top*
  • See-through white technical shirts with bright sports bra*
  • No mid-calf socks unless trail running*
  • No short and tight spandex for guys
  • Capris with compression socks*
  • Tight shirts with tight shorts/capris/tights*
  • Extra loose shirts with loose bottoms

So I broke all the starred ones 🙂 I violated almost all but the male ones.

Unbeknownst to me this was a fashion faux pas wearing tight/tight, too small clothes.

Unbeknownst to me this was a fashion faux pas wearing tight/tight, too small clothes.

So what else is there?

Yup- I am looking good as a runner….

How about this girl’s what not to wear in winter guide:

  • awkwardly small hats
  • Clown pants
  • Hoodies with holes*
  • ineffective gutwarmers- like sweatshirts too small*

hmm..maybe I am not so bad…didn’t violate many of these!

Then in 2013, Runner’s World created a faux pas when it made fun of runners in it’s Fashion Faux Pas. I have violated not one but FIVE at one point or another, and three of them I still violate on a regular basis.

  • Toe Shoes With Tall Socks
  • Tucking in a T-Shirt
  • Tri-Suit in a Single-Sport Race
  • Running Shirtless in a Blizzard
  • Racing Shirtless in a Blizzard
  • Wild Hair*
  • Shorts Over Tights*
  • “Matchy-Matchy”*
  • Too Much Makeup*
  • Inappropriate Shorts Length*
Wild hair and Jacket around the race (within last month of this article!) will I change? doubt it.

Wild hair and Jackets around our waists (within last month of this article!) Will I change? Doubt it.

Everywhere you turn, runners are being singled out for their fashion choices rather than the great accomplishment of running. Lately it has gotten more brutal. Self Magazine made fun of Running Tutus, basically saying it was a fashion trend that needed to die. “”A racing tutu epidemic has struck NYC’s Central Park, and it’s all because people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster,” the caption reads. “Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it.”

Next it was Outside Online commenting on the Politics of Running Fashion letting us know “Pro runner Maggie Vessey turned a lot of heads last week at the Prefontaine Classic, and not because of her second-place finish. No, the media was more interested in what she was wearing.”

But wait there’s still more, I have been made fun of at one time or another for these ones!

  • Wearing a fuel belt/any belt on any race less than a marathon*
  • Wearing a costume to a noncostume race*
  • Cotton shirts*
  • Sparkly headbands*
  • Sparkly headbands under hats*
  • Mismatched clothes*
  • Running skirts*

I know I am whining a bit. It’s supposed to be all in fun right? Truth hurts? Yada Yada. My thing is, shouldn’t we be celebrating that the runner is running? Not what they are wearing? Shouldn’t a runner be allowed to run in comfort or freedom? Is anything not going to be made fun of anymore? I doubt it.

I say let the runner run without a shirt; small shorts, or what look to be swimmers trunks. Let the runner be in their hot, cumbersome and/or unusual costumed choice. (Although I don’t understand it—> Run free you runners wearing just Depends!) Let the runner run practically naked or dressed in winter gear in the summer. Or heaven forbid, a jacket tied around their waist because they got hot.

Ok, so maybe I bluff, and I won’t be running nude anytime soon. But I assure you, I will continue to “‘Run Fashionably Challenged’. And you can too. Why? Because I celebrate you! I celebrate your running as an accomplishment and I don’t care what you wear! I defy the ones who mock me (and/or you) as a runner. So what if I (we) deserve it? I (we) deserve to revel in joy at the running and our awkward clothing that we thought looked good at 4am while getting ready for the morning run/race. I challenge you to run in anything you want; run in Depends or run nude!  If people are going to make fun of me (us) anyways, I (we) might as well be having fun doing it and giving them something to really talk about!

So let’s end it on a good note from the Runner’s Lounge , giving you permission to be free from running fashion faux pas – “If you can cross the line, anything is fine.”



35 Comments on Soon I will have to run nude (due to the fact I am ‘Running Fashionably Challenged’)

  1. Bravo! Run in whatever you want, and whatever makes you comfortable! The fashion police have too much time on their hands.

    • We don’t care what you wear. You are off the sofa and moving. You are an athlete by doing so. People should not criticize other peoples running clothes. In fact, they should pat them on the back and say “good job!”

  2. Joe Dudman // June 10, 2014 at 7:44 AM //

    Bravo! Run in whatever you want, and whatever makes you comfortable! The running fashion police have too much time on their hands.

  3. Thanks Joe! I agree!

  4. I am right there with you, as you well know 😉 I am a running fashion disaster! I wear tutus, costumes, sparkles, and NEVER EVER run without eye makeup! They take pics at races, I need to look my best!

  5. kimmiepcft // June 10, 2014 at 10:09 AM //

    I am a running fashion disaster, as you well know! Tutus, costumes, sparkles, makeup, you name it, I’ve done it!

  6. Me too Kim! If it helps, it doesn’t sound like you are a running disaster to me!

  7. well said.

  8. Perfect. Finally someone said it. Let’s just celebrate each other and that we got out the door! That’s a challenge in itself sometimes. Not all of us can afford the most beautiful and flattering pieces (and sometimes overpriced). Bravo!!

  9. Yes!!!!!!!! Thank you! I’m a “fashion faux pas” in my every day life, let alone when I’m running. Let’s revel in it. Let’s celebrate the fact that we got up and got ourselves out the door, to the race, all while most people are still sleeping. We rock.

  10. fitnessmomwinecountry // June 10, 2014 at 5:12 PM //

    I am laughing at all this, great post Maryalcia!! Soooooo, what are we to wear while running races?? Right?? 🙂

  11. Brian Bernier // June 10, 2014 at 5:52 PM //

    I may not wear costumes, but seeing those that do makes me smile, in a good way! Have fun out there! This from that one guy that is always running without a shirt once it gets over 55 degrees. Definitely mocked by many, but there is nothing like the fresh air and sun on skin. Those shorts shorts are pretty bad too in the current day and age of men wearing shorts that would be called short pants a few generations ago.

    • But at least most of the time you are going to fast to be mocked..or hear the mocking 😛 I don’t have any issues with guys running shirtless. Nor the short shorts.

  12. I never saw the appeal of the tutus, but I don’t mind that other people wear them. I also am surprised seeing women wearing makeup while running. It just seems like a bad idea. THINK OF YOUR PORES!!! But people can wear what they want, as long as it doesn’t endanger the other runners (some costumes I’ve seen end up shedding and getting all over the street, one time for a Christmas themed 5k there were runners as reindeer pullling a shopping cart “sleigh”…seemed a little dangerous!)

    Wear what you want!!

    • Thanks Stephanie! I usually just wear eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. But on occasion I wear blush, and sometimes for short races a BB cream with sunscreen. I use my Mia 2 Clairsonic afterwards and have no issues at all. but you are right, pores could be at risk for some :P, but I still risk it. What can I say- I am a daredevil! (Now just to get brave enough to run nude LOL)

  13. I love your post!! I live life fashionably challenged. I’m running all my races next year dressed as Tinker Bell in memory of the race I can’t afford to do. And if I end up on some cruel magazines list of fashionably challenged for stuck up elitests, I’m cutting out the picture and celebrating being in a magazine. To heck with people who live life by rules, regulations and opinions of uptight self righteous jerks. Be who you are and dress how you want. I love your princess costume!!!

    • Thanks Noelle! Post your picture, I’d love to see your costume. I was able to do Tinkerbelle through a charity, but even then the flight, hotel, and other expenses had to be meticulously handled with roomies, tight restrictions, and severe budgeting!

  14. runawaybridalplanner // June 10, 2014 at 8:45 PM //

    Your lists made me laugh today:)
    I join you in the fashionably challenged.
    If its a fall race I am almost always breaking the wearing a jacket “or long sleeve shirt” tied around my waist! But frankly I don’t care, they are too expensive to just drop and leave behind:)
    Oh and I break the spandex shorts with shorts over them, I totally do this its the only way I have found to guarantee no inner thigh rubbing:)

  15. Angela Pak // June 10, 2014 at 9:16 PM //

    This is a great piece! These lists are dumb…..don’t they know that sometimes you wear knee socks with capris because your running pants are all in the laundry and it’s cold out? And no sparkly headbands? Also, running skirts are the best thing ever. Right on sole sister!

    • LOL Angela, I wear knee socks and capris to avoid double layering! too hot to put one over the other 😛 And yes running skirts are the best, and in the winter I wear pants/jeggings under them. Soon I am sure that will be on the list ‘pants under skirts’ lolol.

  16. Another bravo! Great read and love the humor. Love the final quote!

  17. I am a long-time magazinaholic, and the “fashion faux pas” thing is the same gig that every magazine has going: Read about ways to improve yourself, and in the process, get the message that you are “less-than.” Then buy the products advertised, because you’re clearly inadequate in some way. If RW (which I love, actually), Shape, Self, and everyone else carries the underlying message that the reader is somehow in need, the advertisers make more money, and the magazine can charge more for those ads… it’s a round business.

  18. P.S. – Tucked in shirts rule! Less flapping and more aerodynamic 😉

  19. I have always been and always will be a fashion faux pas waiting to happen. I proudly shop the sale rack and keep holey tshirts and hoodies for layering – it’s cold in the Hudson Valley half the year. Rock on Maryalicia!

  20. I met you at a race and my daughter was wearing a tutu. People will complain about anything. More power to you for being an Individual!!!!

  21. This is an awesome post! I seriously love it. And I have to say if I break fashion faux pas in running, my daily professional life is just terrible. I wear the absolute minimum I can to get by as dressed “professionally.”

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