Why we wear what we wear


There’s a price to pay for exercise. Not just in terms of muscle soreness or sweat, but in money.

Between July 2013 and June 2014, Americans spent $33.7 billion on active wear, according to the information company NPD Group. That’s 16 percent of the total clothing market.

The significance of the question, “Why do you wear what you wear?” goes beyond mere dollars.wholesale nfl jerseys Whether your go to duds are a pair of threadbare sweatpants or some cute Lululemon outfit, your workout wear is an expression of who you are and why you’re exercising.

We asked six athletes, whose attention to fashion ranges from a “whatever” to someone with running shoes to match every outfit, to explain why they wear what they do. Here’s how they answered.

LaMar Fue, 46His sport: Running.

His wardrobe: “I’m going to guess: 40 pairs of shoes. Shorts? 50 pairs. Shirts? Oh, God. I have matching visors that go with all my outfits. That’s for summer. In winter, I have caps that match. I have every color pullover as well.”

Philosophy: “I buy running outfits based on the shoes I have. It all starts with the shoes. I bought a pair of blue running shoes with red laces. Marine Corps, “I wore the same running outfit for 13 years: green socks, green shirt, green shorts,” he says. When he left the service and picked up running again, “You have one shirt, one or two pairs of shorts, and that’s it. I wanted more. I wanted variety.

“I’d be in a store and think, ‘Wow, I really like those shorts and shirt, but that will look weird because they’re blue and my shoes are orange.'”

“If I have a shoe wearing out, I try to replace that color. If I can’t find that color, I won’t get rid of the outfit; I’ll retire it. It might be a few years before the company brings the color back.”

When he first started running seven years ago, he wore size large. Now he wears medium. “So guess what?” he says. “I had to start all over.”

Priciest piece of workout attire: Adidas Ultra Boost shoes, $180.

Steve Trentham, 40His sport: Strength and conditioning; overall fitness.

His philosophy: “Honestly, it’s a case of I really couldn’t care less. I grab the first thing I can, get up and go with it. It’s more about functionality than fashion.”

His wardrobe: About a dozen pairs of shorts, a University of Texas ball cap and “probably 25 to 30 shirts I rotate during the day.” After a sweaty morning, he goes home at lunchtime, showers and grabs a second clean shirt to last through the afternoon sessions.

His fashion path: As owner of Dallas Underground Strength and Fitness, Trentham knows many of his contemporaries at other gyms wear polo shirts. That’s fine, he says. But “at any time, my clients may call me down in the middle of an exercise and I have to get down and dirty also.

“I’m here at 5 o’clock; I’m up at 4:15. I just get the first shirt that’s clean. That’s more important than anything else. It’s more about the workout. I guarantee everyone here thinks that.”

He does wear dry fit clothes to wick away sweat, because in his open bay door facility air conditioning or not everyone gets varying degrees of drenched.

“Usually we don’t want to be funky,” he says. “In the summer, you keep a shirt and pair of shorts three months. With the amount of perspiration we do, that goes into play.”

Priciest piece of workout attire: Brooks shoes, which run about $120.

Karla ‘Kaa Gee’ Gallegos, 23Her sport: Yoga.

Her philosophy: “It starts with the pants and I work my way around those. It depends on the mood I’m feeling. I can go with a scrunchy look. I have skull pants, which are really cool. If I really want to be adventurous, I have some muscle pants; they have muscles all over the leggings.”

Her wardrobe: About 30 pairs of yoga pants and leggings. “I may have a lot more tops than anything because I make them. I cut them off or they’re undershirts.”

Her fashion path: She’s long been into fashion and expressing herself, she says, whether through piercings or shaving her head. But “when I first started doing yoga three years ago, I mostly just wore T shirts and some slacks, just because I didn’t know the practice of yoga.” Then she began understanding and enjoying yoga more and also working at Buffalo Exchange resale shop. There, she’d find a variety of significantly untypical yoga pants and leggings.

“Self expression,” she says. “That’s one of my things in yoga.”

Priciest piece of workout attire: $30 for her muscle print leggings. The least expensive? $6.

Marck Weir, 49His sport: Cycling.

His philosophy: “I love clothes and bike clothes. I pick out what I’m going to wear the night before. It takes five, 10 minutes to figure it out.”

His wardrobe: One kit (which, to the uninitiated, looks basically like Lycra shorts overalls), three jerseys, two pairs of bike shorts, one helmet, two pairs of bike shoes.

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