August 18, 2022

5 Life Hacks for Athletic Clothing: How To Make the Most of It!

5 min read
5 Life Hacks for Athletic Clothing: How To Make the Most of It!

Consignment queen would be an understatement. The scout for thrift stores. If the shoes are cool enough, I don’t mind wearing someone else’s old ones. I will gladly buy a $2 jacket, chop off the sleeves, and turn it into the vest of my dreams. Going out and looking for new stuff is one of my favourite pastimes. I’d prefer to make it unique.

Generally speaking, it is not wise to purchase used athletic clothing because it frequently falls apart, especially if it is tight-fitting. No matter how many times you shampoo, there will always be that unpleasant smell when wearing sweaty stretch pants. Finding the appropriate clothing for all of my recreational endeavours may be challenging, especially if you’re a cross-trainer on a tight budget.

It’s a Life Hack.

As the years have gone by, I’ve cut legs, envisioned new arms, stitched stragglers, rocked hand-me-down garments, turned them inside-out and upside-down, and generally thought about ways to reuse once-expensive training gear.

Running and biking are my go-to activities, so I tend to overestimate their hackability. I do think that some of these concepts (or a general mindset) may be applied to a variety of physical activities, though. Several of my favourites are:

The Hand-Me-Over

My husband enjoys riding his bicycle. Friends who can afford it more go. I’ve discovered that when I give away clothing and supplies to people in need, karma seems to reciprocate in like. Even while I have other ideas for their menswear x-smalls or “it’s too tight in the stomach” tank tops, I am frequently an eager and grateful recipient of theirs. I’ll handle these with respect and make a decision about what to do with them later.

In order to make a raggedy-cool tank top with all the pockets I need but none of the armbands or farmer tan lines that go with them, I’ve been known to cut the sleeves off old cycling jerseys. My experience is that even a “larger” men’s jersey drapes better this way. If the shoulder opening shows too much skin, I use a sports bra in a bright colour or a thin tank underneath.

The Tweener Knee-High.

5 Life Hacks for Athletic Clothing: How To Make the Most of It!

My husband enjoys riding his bicycle. The friends who have more money to spare usually take the initiative. I’ve discovered that when I give away clothing and supplies to people in need, karma seems to reciprocate in like. I frequently receive x-small menswear goods, tank tops that are “too tight in the tummy,” outdated layers that I wish to use for something different, and other stuff with a smile from others.

These things deserve respect, and I’ll make a decision about their ultimate fate later. Cut the sleeves off old cycle jerseys and create a vintage tank top with all the necessary pockets to avoid armband restrictions and unsightly farmer’s tan lines.

I really like the fit of a “larger” men’s jersey better when worn in this manner. I’ll put on a bright sports bra or a thin tank top underneath if the opening at the shoulder makes me feel exposed.

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The Cutting Table

5 Life Hacks for Athletic Clothing: How To Make the Most of It!

Nothing like a good pair of scissors for recycling beaten-down sporting gear. I mean that in full seriousness. When the former owner of our home passed away, they also left behind a set of sharpened sewing scissors.

I use the Mack-daddy of dicers to turn old jeans into everything from headbands to sweat cloths for outdoor sports. I recently found my 15-year-old Lucy’s yoga pants buried among a collection of other black pants. They are pricey and made of great elastic fabric, but they never quite fit completely.

They probed the outdoor equipment cupboard farther and farther. Recently, in a rush of excitement, I envisioned them again. I had been seeking a pair of above-the-knee mountain bike shorts with a straight leg to use over my old padded liners. I then put the spandex I no longer wanted to wear on top of the flare-leg pants I had previously cut off, and presto! Free of charge, a well-fitting garment was produced.

The Scrap Bin

I enjoy digging through racks of vintage garments to find helpful fabric scraps. I search the leftovers section of the fabric store when I go there in search of some vivid, colourful stretchy materials. If not, I’ll go to the athletic fabric area and see if there are any reduced bolts of fabric there.

To create a customised “buff” (you know, those multifunctional headbands/neck gaiters/sweat stoppers they sell for $20), buy a fourth of a yard of your favourite fabric. The sexy ladies will respect you.

Cut a flexible fabric that won’t fray when you trim it into a long, broad rectangle that tapers towards the end for easy tying (most stretchy varieties comply). These come in a variety of colours and designs. I now have ten buffs instead of just one, which I had to remember to wash.

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The Multiple Uses

One of the things that fuels my repurposing frenzy is my dislike of doing laundry. I’d rather have a variety of multifunctional items rather than worry about if my favourite $90 Lululemon leggings are in the trash (yes, I buy the Kool-Aid every few years).

I can put together options and layers for a bike ride, run, swim, or snowboarding experience in a variety of Colorado weather situations. Even when I get to wear my preferred buttery-soft clothing, it feels better and lasts longer because of the special occasion. Here are a handful of my most recent efforts that involved repurposing:

I had to replace my treasured swim goggles since they lose their seal when they are crammed inside my workout bag. wearing a fully covered, well-padded Prana bathing suit top while doing hot yoga.

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