The Daily Dump

A place where everyone (me) is welcomed to express their opinions openly and honestly. I encourage free thinking, free wheeling, off-the-cuff banter and monetary donations.

Thursday, December 15

Why Don’t You Like My Sweatpants?

Back in March, I went to Europe for two weeks and came home a happier man. Not only because two weeks away from work was exactly what I needed, but also because eight hours on a plane followed by local Scottish cuisine for a week left me so constipated I nearly turned to God for help by day five. Luckily the secular miracle-worker Metamucil got to me first.

When I got back from Europe I decided I was going to make a few changes in my life so as not to fall back in the rut I was in before I left. One of those choices involved starting a blog, the name of which was partly inspired by my return to gastrointestinal normality. The other was to join a gym. Eight months later I’m in the best shape of my life and a handful of people believe that I find Boxing Helena to be a romantic, heart wrenching film. Success all around.

Everything was going fine until last month when the weather dramatically took a turn for the shit. Suddenly I can’t wear shorts and a t-shirt to walk to the gym anymore. This leaves me with two options: 1) wear regular clothes to the gym and bring my gym clothes with me in a bag; or 2) wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt OVER my gym clothes and come off looking like the “poor” kid in grade school.

Personally, I don’t have any problem with bringing clothes and changing at the gym. Even though when I was younger I was one of the kids who made sure he kept his shirt on when he took his pants off in the locker room, I overcame all that in college. Not that I was ever in a locker room in college . . . but college does weird things like that. What I do have a problem with is everyone else changing in the locker room. For some reason, it seems the men most comfortable walking around naked in front of other men are the obese and the elderly. I officially gave up the “change at the gym” option after one particularly busy day when, amidst a crowded locker room, an old, naked man brushed up against my back WHILE I WAS SITTING ON A BENCH. I still have nightmares about what could have happened had I been sitting the other way around.

That leaves me with the plight of having to wear sweat clothes in public – and my question is this: When did this become such a bad thing? I bought a pair of Nike sweat pants the other day and, gathering up every ounce of courage and “I’m so cool I don’t care” attitude I could muster, I walked outside. And you know what I found out? Wearing warm sweat pants outside in cold weather IS FUCKING AWESOME. I’m note even remotely kidding. It’s like being out in the cold, yet wrapped in a warm, fleece blanket. It’s the closet a human can get to recreating the feeling of being in bed in an outdoor setting.

I was totally enjoying myself until I got to 2nd Avenue which was packed with people still in work clothes. At that point, I felt compelled to make these people aware that I was dressed like this because I was going to the gym. Not because the Gap was having a sale and it was all I could afford, not because I’m unemployed, but because I am striving to be a physically fit human being.

I stretched my arms across my chest as I walked. When stopped at a corner to cross the street I would stretch my quads or jog in place. I bobbed my head side to side as though I were waiting for the opening bell of a boxing match. And when I finally made it to the gym, I was already so out of breath that when the girl at the front desk said hello, I responded with, “Hey, how’s it (garbled breathing noise).”

In short, I made myself look like the asshole I was afraid of looking like by going outside in sweatpants. So is this proof that sweatpants (outside of those awesome track suits that I could never wear anyway) will never be a viable form of public attire? Or that maybe my mom had the right idea when she held me back for an extra year in nursery school?


Girls can get away with it. I wear my "yoga", ie. gym clothes, to bars and people always comment on it, usually nice comments that is. My gym clothes are my staple things to wear, I can't live without them.

By Blogger Betty, at 2:44 PM  

That might be the worst part - that it's socially acceptable for women to understand the comfort that is forbidden a man.

Although women will never understand the comfort that is sitting in the waiting room while your child is being born. So I guess it evens out.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 3:05 PM  

Sweatpants on a man are ok as long as underwear is involved. It is just creepy to see a man's penis flopping around in the freedom of fleece.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:45 PM  

It's so obvious that you live in a major metropolitan city. If you lived in Collegetown, USA like me, you could wear those sweatpants all of the time and still look more stylish than everyone else.

I'm sure that you looked fabulous.

By Blogger Momentary Academic, at 3:49 PM  

haha anonymous said it best. as long as your junk isnt on virtual display, i dont care. oh and you arent wearing a sleeveless "muscle" t...because then i will vomit on your shoes.

By Anonymous shawna, at 3:50 PM  

Having to take that extra bag with me to work is the main reason I don't go to the gym in the winter... oh and the fact that I'm lazy and hate the people at my gym.

I totally agree with you that old naked people frighten me especially when they try and chat with you while they are naked and saggy.

By Blogger Julie_Gong, at 4:12 PM  

1) I cannot pass judgement. I did the same thing when I walked my roommates dogs in the city. In the mornings I usually ended up wearing my fleecy pajama bottoms, a tank top and my ankle-length wool coat. But I had to make it known TO THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD that I was outside dressed like that because my "jogging" coat was "being cleaned" or "i left it at a friends house" so they didn't think I was a total douche for wearing a dress coat and track pants.

2) please, for the love of god, we need assurance that you have not committed the deadly sin of "flapping about" in your track pants

By Blogger birdie, at 4:12 PM  

Sweatpants are dumb.

Less'n they're yellow.

By Blogger ducklet, at 4:15 PM  

If you're wearing the kind of sweatpants pictured (with the elastic around the ankles), I agree it's not cool to wear them, but if they're normal sweat bottoms then have at it. And maybe pair the pants with a long sleeve shirt under a short sleeve shirt. That always looks hot on guys.

By Blogger Bev, at 4:20 PM  

I still can't figure out the people who walk around naked at the gym. There's one woman at my gym who insists on weighing herself in the nude, like if she was wearing underwear it would make that much of a difference? And it's not like she's some body builder who really wants an accurate reading. She's a dimply, pudgy, old woman. Yuck.

By Blogger Hope, at 4:20 PM  

Hmm. I don't give it a second thought if I see someone in sweats outside. Never realized it was an issue. But here's a suggestion: how about holding your keys and your gym card in your hand as you walk to the gym? That will signal to the hyper-alert that you are on a brief walk to the gym. (I really hate to see people stretching on the street.)

Also, the root issue is really your not wanting to change at the gym. Sorry, but attractive guys in good shape owe it to gay men to show some skin occasionally at the gym. It's part of the reparations we're due after years of oppression by the man. (Ask your older brother about this.) Your brief display will do 2 things: 1. provide momentary eye candy to the brothers (don't worry, they'll forget about you in 27 seconds) and 2. possibly encourage those is poor shape to cover up or work out a little more seriously.

Then again, I too was help back in nursery school.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:22 PM  

I had shorts on under my sweatpants, meaning that I was safe from the "flapping in the fleece" stigma, however very much unsafe from the "looking really fat in sweat pants" stigma.

And Brando, I have a picture of me almost identical to that except I'm 10 years old and wearing my shorts on the outside of my pants. Seriously, The Girlfriend can back me up on this. She laughs every single time she sees it at my parent's house.

Oh, and the pants were the kind from the early 90's that had two velcro strips at the waist and a pattern made up of about 36 different colors. Why am I still talking about this?

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 4:24 PM  

I'm usually pretty analytical, but I gotta say that I think you're over analyzing this one.

If you're really this concerned about looking poor, you should just silk screen onto your sweats: "Don't judge me. It's between wearing this and having naked guys brush against me at the gym."

By Blogger undercover celebrity, at 4:32 PM  

at least you dont have to wear juicy on your butt... oh dignity

By Anonymous shawna, at 5:09 PM  

Honestly, I'm kind of jealous of the girls' sweatpants with the phrases on the ass. If you think I wouldn't wear a pair of sweat pants that said, "100% Grade A Beef," you don't know me very well.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 5:16 PM  


By Blogger birdie, at 5:19 PM  

So you're telling me that on a Sunday morning, when you go to the diner on the corner for breakfast before starting a day of football on the couch, you put on real clothes? Man, I would hate being a guy. Sweatpants (note: the ones without elastic on the bottoms) all the way.

By Blogger Libby Mae Brown, at 6:15 PM  

Birdie, I will absolutely take you up on that challenge. (It's this part of me that compelled my mother to hold me back in school, I'm almost positive.)

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 6:21 PM  

It's ON.
Find a post office box (because though I just recently gave up my anonymity, I find the thought of sending something to someone.. so... DIRECTLY... kind of creepy. Like maybe kind of stalkerish? Like, you know, like, maybe kind of like when you show the stupid teddy bear your current date-ee gives you to your friends but in a way that you snicker together as if to say 'my oh my he IS a scary one, isn't he?')
And you know what? I'm going to get them AIRBRUSHED. ON THE ASS.
Be warned: Once you go white trash you never go back.

By Blogger birdie, at 8:06 PM  

Um, yuck.

By Anonymous Later, at 9:17 PM  

strange how its weird to be seen out and about in NY with sweatpants on... people LIVE in track suits and sweat pants here in LA!! Working out is amazing huh?! Its the best 'high' you can get in my book.

By Blogger Audrey, at 11:17 AM  

In Vancouver, we have a store called lululemon ( originated here, and I think there's lululemon stores in the Western US as well...I saw a store in LA while I was there a couple months ago.

My point wear and athletic wear have become amazingly fasionable. Girls aren't trying to buy Guess and Gucci anymore....they're saving their money for expensive lululemon outfits. I bought a $100 pair of lululemon yoga pants last Christmas...and they majorly show off my ass! They are tight on the ass and hips, and flair out slightly from the knee down. They look great and THEY FEEL AWESOME. Now I'm saving up for a lululemon hoodie!

I think you're probably super hot in whatever you wear. But I have a crush on you, so I'm biased.....

By Blogger Vesper, at 3:53 PM  

I found you through Undercover Celebrity. This was hilarious! I never thought about sweats being for poor people, but I totally pictured some kid in elementary school with sweatpants that were too short over his payless dress shoes and dingy socks!

Thanks for the laugh.

By Blogger Carolyn, at 4:47 PM  

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