Cool, Comfy Workout Clothes

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A quick life update: I stopped taking my beloved one-on-one pilates classes and joined the gym around the corner from my apartment, so now I have 24-hour access to a treadmill and the seven major television networks. I’m not there to impress people or make friends, and I don’t compete in sport—I go to the gym to take up less space in my pants, not to challenge myself or others in feats of physical prowess. My gym conduct is how I imagine I’d act if I were to go to prison for a low-level offense: just get in there, serve my time, and stay out of trouble. You won’t see me in workout clothes like compression shorts and racerbacks or in things that wick sweat. I try to fly under the radar with the chastity belt that is my all-black, standard-issue Russell sweat suit, and the passionate embrace of my 4-year-old yoga pants paired with an oversized t-shirt that drops past my mid-thigh.

Problem is, with the New Year and all, everyone’s interested in social workouts: taking fancy newfangled workout classes with friends and coworkers. The anonymity that I’ve enjoyed with my complete schlubness isn’t acceptable in gyms—nay studios with actual art on the walls. At the same time, I find that seeing colleagues while wearing nothing but spandex is uncomfortable for all involved. I need something that affords me the excess volume I enjoy, but that's fancier than clothes you might wear to paint your living room…something born of an Adidas collaboration. Stella McCartney always offers something drapey and mesh and chic, but the newest players on the Friends of Adidas roster, LPD, are especially cognizant of my no-frills, no-attention needs. They make, among other roomy black and white unisex offerings (fishnet basketball shorts), jerseys for you to rep favorite designers: Wang, Tisci, Slimane, and more. In other words, just special enough to fit the fancy workout class bill without sacrificing personal comfort, and just long enough to cover your butt when paired with leggings, for modesty. Other suggestions on workout gear that leaves air between your body and the fabric are welcome below.

—Annie Kreighbaum

Photographs by Tom Newton.