In case you missed it, I ran the Great North Run on Sunday.
Well, I ran/walked it, as one of the other members of staff in my office decided to return from holiday and promptly give me her cold. Which was delightfully generous of her.
I must admit though, I’m not built as a runner. I’m short (5’4″), I have a long body and short legs, and, well, I’m no Jo Pavey (this was reinforced as I high-fived her as I set off). I have curves – lots of them. At a size 16 I’m classed as plus size, which raises all sorts of issues, especially when it comes to sportswear.
Having a larger (but perfectly toned I’ll have you know) bottom than most means that I need leggings with room in them – no hanging off the hips for me. A long body means I need a good long top to wear, and thick thighs and a tummy means I need stuff with stretch. There’s a fair bit of me to squeeze into lycra.
Until the last couple of years, shopping for any fitness gear in the plus size range has been a nightmare. When I started running in 2011 I ran in jog pants and a man’s t-shirt (Mr GFB’s old tee to be precise) because at a size 22, running leggings just didn’t go big enough.
And don’t even get me started on hunting up a sports bras at a 42DD.
As I shrank, things got easier, but it frustrated me. Fitness and health don’t really have anything to do with size. I’m a size 16, sometimes an 18, and I run marathons. And half marathons. And lift weights, and do spin classes and I am fitter than a lot of people I know, no matter what their size.
And given that the powers that be are continually throwing the obesity crisis in our faces (I am currently rolling my eyes), one thing was obvious – where’s the motivation if you can’t get the right gear? Nobody wants to look like they’ve had to raid their dad’s wardrobe just so they can get out and exercise. Whatever your size, you have a right to be able to find the right supportive sports bra, the right comfortable sports gear.
New Look have a fantastic sports range, and as with Simply Be and Curvissa, offer sizes up to a 32 in their Inspire range. As a size 16, I can still hit the XL section of the ‘normal’ range, and selected these beauties, navy blue multicoloured leggings.
The length is (on my short legs) super long, down to the ankles, which makes them perfect for running in colder weather, whilst the room in the thigh and bottom area is ideal. I’d even go so far as to say these would comfortably fit an 18, maybe even a size 20 with a little wriggling.
For all their stretch, they’re still a firm fitting legging, meaning you’re not going to go wobbling all over the place, which always worries me a bit, but what I really really love is down to pure aesthetics.
They’re not black.
They’re multicoloured with splashes of hot pink and white. They’re loud, proud, on my wobbly thighs running stupid distances and I don’t care.
I want to see more. I want to see more ridiculously coloured, patterned, printed leggings for ladies over a size 12. We too are allowed to wear colour, so it does disappoint me a little to see that the Inspire range is more limited in both style and colour. Especially as I did see a fellow curvy runner wearing the same leggings at the Great North Run.
Please New Look, think bright, think Disney, and cartoons and patterns and colour.
Please New Look, more of these.
New Look provided these leggings , they are pretty damn awesome and though I’ve only had them just over a week, I’ve worn them twice and can’t wait to do the laundry to wear them again. Which quite possibly makes me a little bit strange.