The Tyranny of Workout Clothes

#1 and I were at the local coffee shop this morning getting breakfast. In line at the counter in front of us were three mothers each with a child. A fourth mother was waiting for a drink at the far end of the counter. All were wearing workout clothes—yoga pants or remarkably short shorts on the bottom paired with sports bras or tanks on the top (and all from the same manufacturer du jour). All four mothers seemed pleasant and polite—here on the Main Line that is notable. Two were fit, though neither seemed to be on the way to or from a workout. Two were not.

Looking at them I wondered:

  • Why do mothers commonly wear exercise clothing when they are running errands, getting coffee, shopping, or otherwise not exercising?
  • Why don’t fathers where exercise clothing?
  • What does that difference reveal about our culture?