Thursday 9 June was as normal as any morning. I set my morning alarm for 6AM spin but did not get up. I ate my morning oats. I pretended to do uni work in my study whilst reading four articles on celebrity break-up conspiracy theories. Life in it's mediocrity was well and in my heart I knew Gigi and Zayn were still together. It wasn't until I opened my wardrobe to prep for my afternoon class and asked the age old question, "what should I wear?", that I reached a dilemma.
Let's clear somethings up before we begin.
1. The 'joggers' were black Nike Flyknits (relatively 'trendy' in the world of athleisure and my working shoe of choice).
2. I started work at 5:15PM and had a 40 minute time window to get the train from uni.
3. My backpack didn't match my outfit, hence a smaller bag that did not fit an additional pairing of shoes was a necessary compromise.
Call me vain, maybe it's the hope that someday someone will comment, "you're kind of like a Carrie Bradshaw," but I was mortified when I stepped off the platform at Central Station and watched my un-restrained feet move with ease up the escalator. Was I comfortable? Physically yes. But this was a kind of comfort that I had reserved only for the seclusion of my house or the women's section of Goodlife. Fashion wasn't supposed to make you comfortable; fashion was supposed to make you feel something (even if that feeling was 'inappropriately cold' or 'blistering').
I reached class quicker then usual which was fortunate as it gave me enough time to apologise profusely to my one friend for my fashion faux pas. To my dismay, my "fresh ticks" were not the only ones in the room. In what could only be described as resembling the scene in 'Mean Girls' where Janis Ian cuts holes in Regina George's singlet, the room was a sea of lycra. Was this tweet trending? Had I missed a Lorna Jane sale? No, I definitely had not. But why then had my fellow women traded in their Louboutin's for Lululemons?
Don't mistake me, I have a vast activewear collection and my Mum and I have made a tradition of excess spending at the twice yearly Running Bare sale. I also love being comfortable, who doesn't, and at this point in the semester the temptation for comfort over fashion is certainly high. But will my quick dry leggings make an appearance outside their purpose designed activities; no, and here's why.
Activewear is just that, active wear. It is not study wear, or shopping wear or even coffee wear. Would I wear my beloved Top Shop Duster Coat with matching brogues to Body Pump? Of course not, so why are sports bra and patterned lycra shorts at Westfield any different?
The reason for my discomfort wasn't that I was physically uncomfortable. I had in fact never been more comfortable and my podiatrist would have been gleaming to know that my orthotics were getting new use. My discomfort rather was mental. I didn't respect the way I was dressed and hence didn't expect anyone else to either. Fashion is empowering and exciting. It demands attention and exudes a confidence that is sometimes trapped deep within. Feeling presentable and looking presentable cannot be separated from one another.
I made it to work that evening with a few minutes to spare. I owed it to my joggers for this brief window of rest and knowing I didn't have to change from a knee-high to a Nike was a relief, I must admit. I can see the appeal in activewear outside the active forum, that shouldn't be mistaken, even if my activewear was limited just to my feet. It's easy, it saves a lot of time and I'm sure a lot of money. But until activewear possesses the same power as a LBD I'll keep it where it belongs, in the gym.