Buying workout gear is often irritating at its best; it’s even harder when you’re an overthinker. Factors like tightness, looseness, awkward wrinkles in the upper thigh area, pastel colors and built-in underpants all must be taken into account in the complex equation that should (eventually) result in the purchase of some kind of shirt and some kind of shorts or leggings that are acceptable to wear to the gym… that is, if you can fight your way through the following 13 conundrums.
1. Colors vs. black and white.
Every time you go into a store thinking you’re sick of black and white, you leave with yet another black or white piece of clothing, because your only other options are pink, light pink, heathered pink, robin’s egg blue, baby blue, heathered lavender, lilac and mint green. You will spend at least half an hour contemplating these various color options before deciding that you hate them all, including the graphic tees that were clearly made for fourteen-year-olds. If you’re a true overthinker, you’ll then engage in a philosophical discussion with yourself regarding why women’s clothes have to be made in such hideous colors.
Do you go with the more breathable polyester or the smoother, less staticky nylon? How much spandex is too much spandex? Does this shirt have cotton in it, and if so, will you sweat through it within five minutes of putting it on? SO MANY DECISIONS.
3. Leggings vs. capris.
Do you go with the leg-covering legging, which will make you look sleek and svelte and also be way too hot for working out indoors, or do you go with capris, which are cooler and more appropriate for the gym, but will make you feel like Milhouse?
As if decided on leggings vs. capri leggings wasn’t enough, you also have to decide on shorts. Do you spare the extra expense and buy shorts in addition to the bottoms you’ve already chosen, or do you only go with something in the legging family? Shorts are the most breathable and coolest option, but they also present their own variety of difficulties, including colors, materials, looser shorts versus tighter spandex shorts, built-in underwear and see-through mesh side panels. There’s only so much contemplation of underwear that one person can be expected to do in one day!
5. Knee pants.
It just never ends. After you’ve waded through all the full-length leggings, ankle-length leggings, Capri leggings, booty shorts, mid-thigh shorts, fitted bike shorts and built-in-underwear-containing shorts, you’re faced with the option of knee pants. Admittedly, they’re usually even cooler than full-length leggings or capris, but you can’t decide whether or not they make you look like a Hobbit. You’re tempted to bring a tape measure to every store so you don’t have to try on 18 different pairs of pants/leggings of varying lengths.
6. T-shirts vs. tank tops.
Much like with every piece of women’s workout gear, you are faced with the choice of staying cool versus not exposing every square inch of their body. Some women don’t want to show the entire world their upper arms and 90 percent of their bra; some women are fine with that. You still can’t decide which opinion you subscribe to.
7. V-necks vs. crew necks.
If you think this is an easy decision, you’re clearly not an overthinker. Crewneck shirts present the opportunity for strangling, while v-necks present the opportunity for showing more cleavage than you intended to show. There is no middle ground.
8. Sports bras: padding vs. no padding.
Your options are unpadded sports bras in terrible colors or padded ones in colors that you like. The pads are not sewn in, so as soon as you wash the sports bra, the padding will shift around and make it look like you have toilet paper stuffed down your chest.
9. Sports bras: racerback or not?
You usually assume that racerbacks are the best option, but if they’re the best option, why is the store selling other styles? And why do some of them hook in back? You assumed the whole point of the sports bra was not having hooks in back, but now you’re questioning everything.
10. Sports bras: thin straps vs. thick straps.
Thin straps will probably dig into your shoulders, yet you’re tempted to just get them, because the only ones with thick straps are either black or white, and also not in your size.
11. The age-old question of socks.
The issue of socks can literally keep you in a store for hours. Do you get the ones that come up slightly higher than your sneakers so they’re not constantly falling down? Do you really want to pay that much for those? Do you save money by getting the normal socks that will most assuredly start slithering down the second your foot hits the treadmill? And what about black? Why do they make black athletic socks? Are black socks something people wear to the gym? It’s like the leggings all over again.
12. Shirt length.
Get a shirt that’s too short, and you’ll also have to get a tank top to wear under it. Get a shirt that’s longer, and it’ll probably be too big for you. Or too low cut.
If something is only a little bit see-through, should you still buy it? It’s not like you can’t wear it with a tank top underneath, but do you really want the added hassle of having to wear more clothes? Then again, you also don’t want the added hassle of having to shop for another, less see-through piece of clothing, so you’ll probably buy the slightly see-through thing and then regret it later. These are the difficult questions that every woman must face before the actual difficult of working out.