The first thing to know about Plus Size workout clothes is that there are very few choices of clothing that come in my size. It’s hard to find even basic workout gear in my sizes – sports bras, yoga pants, t-shirts etc. – so it’s not a surprise that finding technical gear in a 26/28 is not that easy.
As a side note, I think it’s possible that the people who direct photo shoots for plus size exercise gear have never exercised, or seen it done, and may actually be confused about the concept.
And if the fact that most athletic wear companies don’t make clothes in my size wasn’t enough of a message, there’s this:
New Balance’s website front page wants me to know that “Fabulous comes in many shapes and sizes.” A couple clicks later I learn that mine is not one of them.
But points to New Balance for not saying they cater to “All shapes and sizes” when they don’t even come close (I’m looking at you Fabletics) or do the Old Navy thing of selling plus sized clothes but only online with the rule that you aren’t allowed to return them to the store (which says to me “We’ll take your money but we don’t want to see your fat ass in our stores.”) Also, New Balance has the only shoes that fit me but that’s a subject for a whole other post.
Danskin has some basic stuff in my size that I like. They get points for putting all the clothes together (instead of that annoying thing where you choose from Tops, Bottoms, Bras, Socks, Shoes, Plus as if they have to keep our clothes separate lest the other clothes catch fat.) Some of their stuff goes up to 4x, but some only goes up to XL so it’s a crapshoot for the larger sizes.
Enell makes super badass sports bras in a lot fo sizes.
Junonia has great plus size workout clothes up to 6x, and they actually sell clothing made out of performance wicking fabrics rather than just cotton (which soaks up water, including rain and sweat, and becomes gross, heavy, and chafe-inducing.)
I just ordered padded bike shorts from Aero Tech Designs (because, at least for me, spin bikes and lady bits seem to be a match made in hell.) They have technical gear in plus sizes sometimes up to 5x and they don’t seem to have a big upcharge for larger sizes so that’s cool.
It looks like my wetsuit will have to be custom made, and that I’ll have to get some upgrades to my bike and and I’m sure there will be other clothes and gear that I need that are hard to find, and I’ll learn all about that soon enough. For now I’m excited about getting my first round of clothes to try out.
Just as I’m irritated by a world that (inappropriately) insists that I should exercise because I’m fat, but then suggests that I should be horrified if people see me doing it (or tries to get this message across by throwing eggs at me,) I’m also irritated that a world that (inappropriately) insists that I exercise because I’m fat makes it difficult and expensive at best, and impossible at worst, to have appropriate clothing to engage in the kind of exercise I want to do. I’m not going to let 140.6 miles stop me, I’m certainly not going to let trouble finding clothes stop me.
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