Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Buying happiness: attractive exercise clothes

Since I only ever exercise at home where no one can see me, I've always worn truly awful clothes. The sports bras were nearly 10 years old, the clothes themselves were somewhere between 15 and 20 years old, and they had no redeeming qualities except that they're cotton and light and comfortable. They were horrible enough that if, while exercising, I had ever found myself in a situation where a fire alarm rang or I had to call an ambulance, I would have changed clothes into something that at least acknowledged that the 1980s had turned into the 1990s before saving my life. After reading about some emergency or another where people had to flee their apartment building with nothing but the clothes on their backs, I had actually worried about how humiliating it would be if I were stuck in my exercise clothes.

Just recently, on top of all those aesthetic problems, elastics started dying. I was crossing my arms under my breasts and tugging my pants up. So I finally decided to splurge on new exercise clothes.

I got Secrets From Your Sister to fit me with an exercise bra which doesn't let anything move (while still giving me a decent line) and is a very fun shade of purple. And I got a simple black and charcoal yoga outfit with lines that flatter my figure. Even though I shopped well and got everything at significant discounts, that's still about $100 spent on clothes for something I hate.

What I didn't expect is how good these clothes make me feel. I look like I'm aware that the 21st century has started! I look like I have a waist! And a figure! If I were interrupted without a chance to change clothes, I'd look like a perfectly competent, fashion-aware person who happens to have been interrupted while exercising. And, underneath it all, a fun purple bra!

Attractive exercise clothes don't help the tedium or sheer hatefulness of exercise, but they do help mitigate the indignity of it all. My morning feeling of "Blah, ugh, I have to go exercise!" is now accompanied by a tiny little glimmer of "But I get to wear my purple bra!" While it doesn't make the process pleasant, it does make it less unpleasant.

If, like me, you feel utterly disgusting and hideous while exercise, I do recommend getting something attractive and flattering to wear. It does help, more than I would have expected.


laura k said...

I like it! Was it that big fire on Wellesley that made you consider this?

I get a similar feeling from things I rarely buy and probably should buy more often. A few months ago I bought a new winter jacket, a totally different look for me, and a new every-day bag.

I use the same bag for ages, and I often don't like current styles, so I'm reluctant to shop for a new one. But I love this bag by Fossil. It's way more expensive than I would normally spend on a bag, but I love it every day.

The jacket + bag combo has revived my confidence when I go outside.

laura k said...

So is Secrets From Your Sister the Toronto bra-fitting store I've heard about? I've heard a place mentioned but never got the name.

I used to go to an old, famous place in NYC and haven't been able to replace it yet. Had you gone to them before? Do you recommend it? If you wanted to blog about the experience, I'd be very interested.

impudent strumpet said...

Secrets From Your Sister is definitely THE bra-fitting place. I've been going there a couple of years, and I'm actually surprised I haven't blogged about them. They're super-competent and professional, listen to what you want and make it happen (even if you're like me and can only explain it in terms like "rounder but further forward"), and are able to protect quite a lot of your modesty and privacy considering they're fitting you with a bra. The fitter never sees you without a bra on and never touches your breasts (she touches your straps and band, and if your breasts need to be moved she tells you what to do and you do it yourself). It's a bit pricier than a mall store or a department store, but if you've already been getting individualized fitting at a famous place in New York City, it's probably the price point you're used to.

impudent strumpet said...

Re: winter coats, I find a good winter coat is disproportionately beneficial because you're wearing it every day for the better part of the year, and it's the first thing most people see you in. If you're doing errands, it doesn't matter what ugly old shirt you have on underneath if you're wearing a good coat. I bought a really good quality one for my 30th birthday, and I definitely feel more confident in it. I'd get one custom-made if that were anywhere remotely near what I could plausibly afford.

laura k said...

I am definitely going to this bra place. I'll put it on my spring to-do list. Thanks very much.

I agree, a winter coat is definitely worth spending some money on if you can. Another thing I put in that category is eyeglasses. My lens are very expensive now, so I can only afford one pair, but I have to love them. If/when I have more money, I'd like to have two pairs that I love.

Hmm, I think I should blog about the money-buying-happiness thing. I once commented here that it's an oversimplification of a complex concept. Now I think it's even more complicated.

laura k said...

Oh also, the place in NYC was famous for being a really tiny, old, hole-in-the-wall shop, owned and run by a family for 50+ years. They almost lost their lease, then expanded to a slightly larger store a few doors down from the original location.

I think the publicity from their near-death experience brought a ton of customers who never knew about individualized bra fittings.

laura k said...

Could you point me to your previous post about money buying happiness?

impudent strumpet said...

I'm not sure if I know which post you're talking about. Do you mean this one? I know I've written about it many times, but that's the only significant-looking one that comes up when I search.

laura k said...

That's the one. Thanks.