5 Life Hacks for Your Athletic Wear: How To Make the Most of It?
It would be an understatement to call her the consignment store’s queen. The one who hunts for secondhand shops. As long as the footwear is stylish, I have no problem donning someone else’s pre-loved kicks. Even if it costs me $2, I’ll gladly buy a jacket, lop off the sleeves, and make it into the vest of my dreams. One of my favorite activities is exploring new places and discovering interesting things. Personally, I’d rather have something special created.
It’s not a good idea to buy old athletic gear, especially if it’s a snug fit because it tends to wear out quickly. Wearing sweaty stretch trousers will always leave you smelling nasty, no matter how often you shower. It might be difficult for a cross-trainer on a small budget to find versatile clothes that can be worn for a variety of activities.
It’s a Life Hack.
Over the years, I’ve repurposed my workout clothes in various ways, including by chopping off unwanted sections, envisioning additional limbs, sewing up holes, and rocking hand-me-downs while wearing them inside-out and upside-down, and more.
Since running and bicycling are my go-to’s, I tend to exaggerate how easily they can be hacked. However, I do believe that some of these ideas (or a general frame of mind) may be applied to a wide range of physical pursuits. Many of my favorites include:
My spouse is an avid cyclist. Some of my wealthier pals are going. In my experience, karma returns the favor when I help others in need by donating clothes and other necessities. Their men’s x-smalls or “it’s too tight in the stomach” tank tops sometimes find their way into my glad arms, even though I have other plans for them. I’ll treat them carefully and decide what to do with them later.
I’ve been known to lop off the sleeves of old cycling jerseys and use the body to build a raggedy-cool tank top with all the pockets I need and none of the armbands or farmer tan lines that come with them. In my opinion, this is the best way to wear even a “bigger” men’s jersey. If the cutout at the shoulders is too revealing, I wear a brightly colored sports bra or a thin tank underneath.
The Tweener Knee-High.
Bike riding is a hobby that my husband takes pleasure in. As is often the case, friends with more disposable income take the lead. What I’ve learned is that when I help others in need by donating clothes and other items, karma rewards me in kind. With a wink and a smile, people often give me their unwanted x-small men’s clothing, tank tops that are “too snug in the tummy,” outmoded layers that I want to repurpose, and other items.
These items are worthy of respect, and I’ll decide their fate when the time is right. If you want to avoid armband constraints and unsightly farmer’s tan lines, you may make a vintage tank top out of an old cycling jersey by cutting off the sleeves.
When worn like this, the “bigger” men’s jersey is much more comfortable for me. If the cutout at the shoulder makes me feel unprotected, I’ll wear a colorful sports bra or a thin tank top underneath.
The Cutting Table
When it comes to reusing worn-out athletic clothing, nothing beats a sharp pair of scissors. Seriously, I mean it. The deceased owner of our home left us with a pair of well-honed scissors.
Diced up with the granddaddy of dicers, my old pants have become everything from headbands to sweat towels for outdoor activities. Lucy, my 15-year-old daughter, once had her yoga trousers lost in a pile of other black pants. They are expensive and well-made, with excellent elastic fabric, but they never seem to be just the right size.
They continued to look further and further into the storage closet for their outdoor gear. Just recently, in a fit of enthusiasm, I had the memory of them return to my mind. I needed a set of straight-leg, above-the-knee mountain biking shorts to wear over my existing padded liners. Then, I layered the flare-legged pants with the spandex I no longer wanted to wear, and voila! Totally without cost, an article of well-tailored clothing was made.
The Scrap Bin
I love thrifting for useful fabric remnants by searching through racks of pre-loved clothing. When I need some bright, colorful, stretchy materials, I head to the remnants section of the fabric store. If there aren’t any discounted bolts of fabric in the general fabric department, I’ll head over to the athletic fabric section.
You may make your own unique “buff” (those $20 multipurpose headbands/neck gaiters/sweat stoppers) by purchasing a quarter of a yard of your preferred fabric. Respect from the attractive women.
Get some stretchy fabric that won’t fray and cut a long, wide rectangle that narrows at the end so it can be tied off quickly (most stretchy varieties comply). There is a wide range of styles and hues available for these. I used to only have one buff, which I had to remember to wash, but now I have ten.
The Multiple Uses
My aversion to cleaning clothes is one source of inspiration for my constant need to find new uses for old things. Rather than fret over whether or not I have thrown away my favorite pair of $90 Lululemon leggings, I’d rather have a wide selection of versatile goods (yes, I buy the Kool-Aid every few years).
I’m familiar with the alternatives and layers necessary for a bike ride, run, swim, or snowboarding experience in a wide range of Colorado climates. When I do get to wear my favorite ultra-smooth garments, I find that they treat me better and last longer due to the significance of the event. Some of my more recent recycled endeavors include the following:
My precious swim goggles lost their seal from being squeezed inside my gym bag, so I had to buy a new pair. Practicing heated yoga in a fully covered, well-padded Prana swimsuit top.