Why (inexpensive) workout clothes

Funny crooked smile but I like the way my arm muscles look.

Where do you get your workout clothes?” asked a friend who’s transformed her life with the loss of 45 pounds (so far). “Not your tutus, but the regular (normal) stuff.”

I pick through the racks at thrift stores at least once a week. One of the bigger chains has started salvaging unsold workout duds from Target and Kohl’s, and they’re the best deal. I learned at Christmas time to start going through clearance racks at Wal-Mart which sells Danskin and Avia brands. I  just found a pair of Avia tights for a whopping $3.

Shorts and Nike jacket from thrift store.

An article in one of the fancy workout mags I read at the Y said women in urban areas are paying — and paying happily — $100/hour for classes and $500 a month on workout clothes. To me this is two car payments. I can’t imagine doing that.

On the other sneaker, lots of people can’t imagine buying clothes just for working out. They’re at the gym in jeans and tee shirts and think workout clothes are for teenagers. Which is fine, but not for me. I want to be serious about this whole fitness and nutrition thing. I cannot do it partway, and that means I want the wardrobe. Plus, until the tax code changes officially, I can deduct clothing purchases as business expenses now that I’m teaching Silver Sneakers.

I might buy one new pair of good athletic shoes a year, but the rest also come from the thrift stores. If the treads or heels are worn down or the insides, dirty, don’t buy them.  When athletic shoes are done, they’re done, but you can find plenty in good shape, some, never worn.

These tights are probably leggings for teenagers to wear as street clothes, but they also work as exercise threads, especially during the holidays. I do not, however, have them on straight!

The owner of a consignment store told me once she had a lot of women who consigned clothing to her who had nothing but money and time to shop. “They buy something in 10 colors without knowing if they like it,” she said, “and then it all ends up in here.” Lucky us.

I try to spare the world the sight of my spandex-clad middle region as much as possible. I throw on a big shirt or a jacket to go to the supermarket on the way home from the Y.

But while I’m at the Y, I take seriously what I’m doing, whether it’s Body Pump or whatever. I want to be able to move and sweat in my clothes and look as good as possible while I’m doing it. I like looking down and seeing those new thigh muscles, and, hey, I was a theater major so I’ve always loved costumes.

Sometimes I’ll poke around online, looking for bargains on seasonal clothing. Next on the list: Some inexpensive tights with candy hearts on them for February Silver Sneakers classes.

How could you NOT be eager to work out in these colors?



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