There’s been a significant change taking place at my morning gym classes and it’s all to do with the gym gear. Recently, us girls have been having a brightly coloured leggings competition, also known as a ‘tights-off’. The brighter and more eye-crossingly patterned, the better. We wiggle together in colourful array now – having branched boldly from the safety of long, straight cut and black. Of course my 15 year old daughter predicted the trend at least 18 months ago. When she first asked for patterned gym tights, I looked at her as if she were completely mad (same went for the 1980s fleece she asked for and most recently, flared jeans).
My initial pair of black and white ‘butterfly’ leggings (the best that Sports Direct in UK had to offer) were greeted with a very odd look from my 10 year old as I bade her goodbye on a Saturday morning. Spotted me in them as I poked my head around the door, she said, almost caringly, “Have fun – and don’t let anyone be mean to you about your new trousers mummy”. “Okay” I replied, trying not to feel too debilitatingly deflated before my ‘new’ legs had even had their first outing.
More recently, I think I might have got a little carried away with the marketing around Abbey Clancy’s new range of Reebok ‘sequin effect’ tights. Under the bright lights of the modern shopping centre in Dubai, they seemed like such a good idea. Having attended the same Zumba/Songa class for 2 years, out of the blue I was called to the front of the class to do a dance demo (bless the indulgent instructor, but definite ‘finger down throat’ from the rest of the class). Mortified in my new workout wear, I lasted about 30 seconds before reversing shiftily to my place at the back.
Sadly, I’ve discovered that patterned legs are a bit hard to pull off. First of all, what to pair them with? You don’t want people mistaking you for an actual peacock or rainbow, so you need to keep it plain on top and ideally long because they do also have a less than comforting ‘enlarge-ing’ affect – especially around the upper thighs and posterior area. Those gym mirrors are never kind. I end up tying a dark sweatshirt around my waist for modesty’s sake (and for the sake of any poor innocent who might be located behind). And another thing, when you are wearing those ‘statement’ trousers, you kinda feel that you have to be pretty damn fit, so there’s no room for slacking off and disappearing for frequent water breaks. It’s all about hardcore work, burpees, jumps and dashing around. In fact, since opting for the crazy patterned leggings, I’ve definitely broken out into bad gym skin due to all the sweating (added to the fact that it’s hot and sticky in Nairobi at the moment).
And finally, is it just me or does anyone else find that these new more fashionable workout bras produced by Nike, Reebok etc pretty much ineffective? I’ve always sworn by my trusty and somewhat unslightly ‘Shock Absorber’ and have struggled to find a new one to replace it. Oh the trials and tribulations of fashionable active-wear. No doubt I am still a season behind. The latest workout tights have transparent panels – I daren’t venture into that territory…yet…
Where to buy similar workout gear in Nairobi?– Visit the new Addidas and Reebok store at THE HUB (new shopping mall), Karen, Nairobi.
Emma the expat gym bunny
It’s Monday morning. Emma consumed so many glasses of wine over the weekend that she lost count; what with the Africa Expat Wives Club ball and the children’s birthday party that ran on until midnight, her head is still fuzzy. Now it is time to pay the price…