My co-worker has a “no sweats” policy. He believes there is no excuse to ever wear sweatpants outside the house unless you are actually sweating at the gym. I’m trying to get my head around this. An avid sweats-wearer, I own everything from really ratty paint-the-house sweats to upscale Lululemon yoga pants. And I have to admit that, until recently, I thought sweats said “casual” and “young.” But lately I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon: the same choices that screamed “immature” in my twenties now flatly state “middle-aged housewife.” When did dressing down start to make me look older? Why can a T-shirt and leggings look runway hot on a younger person, but make a 40-something look like she’s gearing up to clean house? I’m still working on the answer, analyzing the ever-changing T-shirt cuts as I try to keep my wardrobe current. I’m also looking more closely at fellow middle-agers who boldly wear athletic tops outside the yoga studio. While I don’t take the hardline stance of my co-worker, I’ve come up with a few “DON’Ts” to keep our judgment in tip-top shape. If you’ve got these, keep the sweats behind closed doors.
Beer Gut: It may feel like that $70 worth of spandex is holding you together, but if your waist is over 27” you look like a thick-in-the-middle old person. It’s admirable that you made it to Pilates, but you need to head back before sharing your core.
Big Boobs: If you’ve got ‘em, you know that high impact sports aren’t for you. Running in a yoga top – no matter how industrial – is bad form and totally unflattering. Save the rack display for an outfit that complements your curves.
Back Fat: ’nuff said.
Check yourself against the “Three Bs” checklist to see if your athletic wear is street-ready. If any of the three Bs applies to you, ditch the yoga top or better yet, throw a loose-yet-hip T-shirt over it.
Tags: athletic clothing, forty, forty-plus, middle aged women, over forty, sweatpants, sweats, women, women over 40, women over 50, women over forty, yoga pants, yoga tops