“Free Dress Days” were the coolest. If you attended a school that required a uniform, nothing symbolized independence quite like choosing your own outfit. The opportunities were rare: the last day before vacation, field trips, winning some sort of scholarly award, the end, so being given a hall pass to create an outfit was like someone handing Michelangelo the Sistine Chapel and saying, “Have at it kid.”
Here’s what I looked on days I could wear jeans:
After living in a world outside the confines of Dennis plaid skirts and pleated khaki pants for at least 8 years, however, the novelty of dressing myself has mostly worn off. Not always — there are sets of weeks where I’m dead set on wearing a new outfit every day, or nights where I’m going out for the sole purpose of hanging with a pair of shoes I just bought. On the weekdays I get dressed with some semblance of coordination and style because otherwise I have to deal with Leandra glaring at me like an eel who broke its elbow during an extreme evening of fornication, BUT —
Every Saturday and Sunday from noon ’til dinner, I put on my workout clothes.
My intention is not to work out. My intention is to look like I just worked out so that I can spend my day in what is essentially the socially acceptable equivalent of being naked, if being naked also included arch support and shock absorbers. Gym clothes are just so easy. They require zero thinking. The pants have elastic waistbands. The sneakers allow to me jaywalk faster.
“But Amelia, don’t you like to get dressed up for brunch with the girls?”
No Bob Fosse. No I do not. Why, after spending 5 days creating 5 different “looks” that can take me from “day to night” or the “boardroom to the party room” would I want to waste my days of rest and eating in anything other than loungewear?
In the words of Sally O’Malley, I’m 26 years old and I like to kick, stretch and kick — and my gym clothes let me do that better than any old pair of culottes could ever dream of.
Now what about you? Let’s confess. Do you wear gym clothes to not work out? Don’t lie. I can smell the Spandex a mile away.
Image on the left: Spencer O’Brien, via Nike, Image on the right Courtesy of Vogue UK, shot by Alasdair Mclellan, March 2014.